Long gone are the days of pencil sharpeners and erasers – in today’s classroom it’s all about the amazing versatility and endless capabilities of digital technology. We are so delighted to welcome 4th grade teacher Michael Black, who describes how technology has brought his students’ passion for storytelling to life.
“Technology is the campfire around which we tell our stories”. – Laurie Anderson
Our desire to tell stories is a practise that drives most of us throughout our lives. We all just want someone to listen! I’ve found this to be particularly true in our educational journey at The Canadian International School.
In my second year of working within a “1:1 iPad classroom” where every student has their own iPad, there is no doubt in my mind that allowing technology to become an active tool within the classroom provides students with a greater opportunity to create, communicate and reflect on their own stories.
I’ve noticed a deeper, more comprehensive understanding of content, as well as a greater desire for students to share their work due to what I believe is a more personal connection to the learning process. Through creation, students begin to unlock potential that was previously inconceivable with traditional education materials.
One app in particular has emerged as my favourite agent for creation and expression: Explain Everything, an easy to use screencasting and interactive whiteboard tool that allows students to annotate, animate, narrate, import and export almost anything to and from almost anywhere.
The advantage of an app like Explain Everything over traditional materials like pencil and paper is that students can present information using multiple forms of expression (images, text, video and audio) all at once.
This video created by 9-year-old student Sienna for her recent How We Express Ourselves summative task reveals how the digital medium can lend to the inclusion of relevant and engaging pieces of evidence when reflecting on a learning experience.
Work can then be shared through a multitude of platforms and reach a wider audience. I still shake my head in awe when I read a comment on one of my student’s blogs from a relative in a foreign country who has been able to track and enjoy the student’s learning journey throughout the school year.
Storytelling has been one of the most powerful forms of education throughout the history of the world. Whether you look back to Ancient Greece when wandering bards shared their stories orally from place to place, or the rise of the printing tradition in the 1400’s, storytelling has been front and centre. As storytelling platforms continue to evolve so will the magnitude to which we can share our stories.
Students have an increased sense of purpose when expressing their ideas, and when I consider the potential the digital medium has for allowing students to create more personal and captivating work, I can’t help but get excited about where their stories will take us!
Top video credited to CIS Grade 4 student Ava.
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Canadian International School Tanjong Katong Campus, 371 Tanjong Katong Road, Singapore 437128, Tel: (+65) 6345 1573
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