Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. -Confucius
I’ve been trying to find ways to incorporate more photography in my classroom. It is a recent passion of mine and I think there is a lot of value in incorporating pictures into student work and writing… not my pictures, but their own. After all, young children have a unique perspective on the world. Their pint sized view lets them see things from different angles than adults.
Their iPads have cameras and they love using them to photograph everything from a spider in the room to their left nostril. We have used the iPad cameras to document their work and their learning. For a change, we used my Olloclip on my iPhone. You can check out the Olloclip here and here. I’ve been using it to take several macro shots of foliage, but the fisheye lens was very intriguing to my students when I showed it to them. After a few days being cooped up inside with rain, we took to the outdoors to try out a few shots. I put their pictures in Showbie and they downloaded them into their PaperDesk Pro app. This is a great app for journaling. Once their photos were downloaded into their notebook, they wrote about what they saw. Here are a couple of samples:
This takes a little while so we are doing a few each day until everyone gets a turn. Because it was different from our usual writing workshop, the kids were excited to write about their picture. They wanted to take more pictures and write about them. Because we offer choice in our classroom, some children are taking screen shots of their creations in Blokify and are importing them into Paper Desk Pro and writing about them.
While some young writers struggle with traditional literacy, using digital storytelling engages students and encourages them to employ different kinds of literacies to complete their final product. The PaperDesk Pro app allows you to add voice notes so students who have difficulty writing can dictate their story, or students who want to read what they have written may record themselves doing so. Simply generating text can be daunting to a child. Incorporating images, speech, or even music enables students to create in a way that they couldn’t otherwise. The technology allows us to redefine the way we learn.
As we move into the final 45 days of school, I want my students stretching and exploring, learning and creating. We will be app-smashing, building, photographing, experimenting, and continually redefining what it means to be literate in today’s digital world.
Today we will do exciting new things. Let’s get to it.