During this term, I have the pleasure of working with the Year 1/2 classes in our school as part of our Problem Based Learning program to develop an ICT product that showcases their learning. The problems are centred around Aboriginal Studies or animal environments (specifically desert and coastal) and the tools of choice for their final product are Powerpoint and PhotoStory. I just want to touch on the first lesson this week with the class tackling animals in desert environments and their foray with PhotoStory. Being young students (mainly seven and eight year olds) it is important to give them an opportunity to get to "know the software" in a safe, non-threatening way. I had to come up with a task that rehearsed the important components of PhotoStory so that when it comes to creating the knowledge product mid-term with the information gathered during research with the teacher-librarian, learning the software is not interfering with that process.
So, here's what I did. I used the great Flickr CC tool created by Peter Shanks from Bathurst to quickly track down 10 Creative Commons licensed images of both cats and dogs. I downloaded them to a subfolder within the class folder on the network and showed the kids how to find them and insert them into the timeline in PhotoStory. They then had to add a title into the next text box and that's about as far as we got in one lesson. The whole idea is that the students produce a quick story based on risk free material so that they learn the skills without the content interfering. That way when they do their story based on what they have researched, learning the quirks of PhotoStory is already covered and not a distraction to that creative process!
Image adapted from Flickr - Attribution: Image: 'Bella ragazza' www.flickr.com/photos/35237098471@N01/19508832