Posted by: Bill Lord | October 10, 2009

Use of digital images

Anthony Evans of the Redbridge Primary ICT team posted an excellent google presentation now called 25 things to do with a Digital Image which has grown from a starting point of 5 tips.
The suggestions cover a wide range of applications and strategies which will develop Primary children’s learning and certainly motivate them.  I loved the idea of Motivator which allows classes to make motivational posters and how this could be used in class but also (with my old role of Deputy Head in mind) it could make some excellent posters around attendance and friendship.

With my literacy hat on I would recommend those who have not worked with Comic life to look at the software which allows the user to “create astounding comics, beautiful picture albums, how-to guides and more.”
If you have not had time to visit the slides I would recommend it.

In this post I want to explore one of the approaches which I submitted – the use of Photostory. This is not about suggesting that this is something new more that this is something which has had an impact in a small number of Primary schools. Unfortunately there are too many schools which do not do sufficient work using images and I believe that this old favourite remains the most appriopriate path for them to take.

Suggestion for 25 things to do...

This example has the use of images from children’s storyboarding to create an oral presentation using Photostory. The use of storyboards allows children to develop their ideas before venturing onto the rocky path of planning and is a one way of developing quality talk in the classroom.  The movement from the study of a high quality text through to writing is one which all too often hurried and ICT is all too often used as the medium for the outcome. The piece of  work which makes me consider the value of this approach took place in Year 3 working on the Vikings.  The children had read a range of sagas from Erik the Viking by Terry Jones and had also spent several lessons playing the well known simulation Viking Quest on the BBC History website. The children took their experiences  from the books, watching documentaries clips on Youtube, internet research and playing the simulation activityinto a range of drama activities. The teachers collected the vocabulary created in the drama lessons to use back in the classrooms along with photographs for later in the sequence.
The children moved onto planning their stories and creating storyboards to show their plans. Once created the storyboards were scanned and placed onto the server. The children then chose their media of presentation (handwriting on multimodal poster, word processing, podcast or photostory) and moved into their groups.

It was interesting that one group of children chose to use the screen capture tool on the smart software on their laptops to divide their storyboards into six separate images and exported them as jpegs. They then inserted the images into Photostory and recorded their stories and published them on the school website.
This is emphatically not meant to portray Photostory but to continue my ponderings on the use of ICT to support literacy teaching. I know that there are other more recently released applications which can support the use of images in literacy but I strongly believe that this application has much unexplored potential in which could be tapped in many primary classrooms.

Potential uses:
Teacher created

Images and music relevant to a topic for children to watch as introduction – the class could even record what their KWL thoughts onto the presentation.
Introducing new composers

Pupil created:
Creating simple movies
Digital poetry work with images and music chosen to accompany the words
Biography work could be developed in Photostory before moving to the written form
Recount of key events in History
Sequencing images to show the timeline within a narrative, recount or historical era / event.

Please leave any of your ideas in the comments section.

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