The goal of our project was to introduce very young learners to a variety of computer tools and techniques. Students created an electronic scrapbook of their work which documents highlights of the school year. This “portfolio” includes photographs, creative and expository writing entries, and scanned artwork. The particular content of each entry could be adapted to curriculum or special events appropriate for individual classrooms. There are five components of the project: lesson plans, templates, student examples, technical tips for teachers, and evaluations.
MULTIMEDIA MILLENNIUM MEMORIES
An Introduction to the World of Technology
C & I 335 Major Project
Zan Brixey, Sue Cooper, Jennifer Haberkorn,
Paulette Sallas and Becky Trieger
Templates Student Example Techie Tips Evaluation
Software applications we used were The Print Shop Ensemble III, Creative Photo Albums, HyperStudio, Kid Pix, Flash-It, PowerPoint, and Children's Encyclopedia CD. We used the following hardware: a digital camera, Quick Cam, scanner, MAC/PC, printer, LTV hookup, television, and a traditional camera.
This unit is comprised of eight lesson plans. There is one lesson per template and an additional lesson for creating the final PowerPoint presentation. Each lesson should take approximately thirty to forty minutes to complete and consists of an objective, materials needed, pre-lesson activities, and procedures.
Computer generated templates were created for each lesson. These templates were then loaded onto the computer and the children inserted photographs, artwork and text. Completed pages were stored in individual student folders located on the computer desktop for easy access.
Each lesson required the students to observe the demonstration of a particular IT tool (or actually use it if capable), add brief written commentary relevant to the page theme, edit, embellish and publish their work. The use of templates was intended to focus the student's learning on the technological tool rather than the theme of the scrapbook page. The templates provided backgrounds and layouts so that the students could easily complete the page utilizing the tool or technique they were learning about (i.e. adding text by typing entry into a preset text box or adding a scanned image into a preset image box). If necessary, the teacher added digital and scanned images into each student's folder to simplify the process for younger learners. Students worked in groups, individually or with the teacher depending on what was appropriate for the particular class.
In addition, there is a downloadable PowerPoint file available for those interested in modifying or using the templates we made.
Included is a sample scrapbook created by a first grade student. Her work has been edited to protect her identity as requested by her parents. Missing elements (i.e. scanned photograph) would be part of her actual portfolio. The student thoroughly enjoyed the experience, however, instructional modifications are deemed necessary to implement this unit with a large group of first grade students. Such accommodation is discussedlater.
Multimedia Millennium Memories introduces “Techie Tips,” quick start guides that comprise a reference for teachers giving instruction on a variety of technologies, including both hardware and software utilized in the project. Techie Tips were created to provide step- by-step directions for the user to follow. It is hoped that not only will teachers and students utilize the guides but also parent volunteers and senior citizens. To have a set of simple directions (not like the typical documentation that accompanies the tool) will be motivating to the user to venture into the unknown! It would be ideal to provide each teacher with a notebook in which to organize the Techie Tips, thereby ensuring the filing away of the directions for future use.
The final component of the project is evaluation. The students used a checklist to create each page of their electronic scrapbook and a rubric for evaluation. Before they began each entry, they reviewed the rubric and suggestions and/or changes were made before work began. After the students finished a particular entry , they used the rubric to assess their product. The teacher also used the same rubric. Meaningful discussion took place as the children and teacher shared the rubrics. Upon the completion of all 8 lessons, a PowerPoint presentation of their scrapbooks can be shown at a celebration that includes fellow students, parents, and additional staff members interested in using this interactive approach for introducing IT tools.
The teachers also kept narrative documentation of each lesson. This review included discussion of: ease of use of technology, success of student participation, content of lessons, time limits, and suggestions for future implementation. These written observations were shared by electronic mail with all project participants. Such commentary was the foundation for sharing and learning among us.
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