Often when children can’t verbally explain the problem they are having, I ask them to show me their work. It is then, looking at their image, that I immediately understand what they were trying to say. Visuals speak where words fail. “Show, don’t tell,” is our mantra. The same can be said for how children learn and internalize information.
Integrating visuals and text in a presentation allows students to practice a variety of skills: listening, collaborating, writing, judging, designing visuals, and creating a new idea.
To effectively use technology to integrate art and writing, we must let go of our control of every action in the classroom.
Teachers have to make the leap and use the new technologies that transform the way children learn. I have yet to meet a teacher who regretted using new apps in the classroom-usually it’s the same response:
“This is easier than I thought.”
“The kids were really involved, they dove right in.”
“I can better understand what my kids know and don’t know.“
Students need to be able to absorb information, make meaning from it, apply it to a new situation and then share it. Yesterday at the Digital Literacies Conference at Fordham University, I listened to Dr. Cortney Steffens describe the multitude of ways new digital technologies can engage students in thoughtful reflection. She demonstrated many ways the following Apps may be used in engaging students to think and reflect on their own learning. It was inspiring to see so many teachers who ‘got it’. We have to let go and allow children to explore. As teachers we can’t think, “Look what I can do.” It’s, “Look what they can achieve.”
From Cortney Steffens, links to educational apps that allow voice, text, video and drawing (I added a few of my own):
Kahoot.it online quizzes, polling, kids can ask each other questions, web based.
Can upload pictures and kids can respond.
Nearpod interactive mobile presentations that teachers create and customize themselves.
Socrative is a smart student response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational exercises and games via smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
Show Me share tutorials and lessons on a white board screen
Explain Everything draw, annotate, record, play, and share presentations
Educreations create and share video presentations with your iPad or browser
Knowmia video presentations and interactive assignments that impact students both in and out of the classroom.
Movenote make and send online video presentations
Sites that integrate visuals well (video, art, graphics, photos):
Sumopaint very cool graphic app- seems easy to use when you need graphics in a pinch
Lucidchart collaborative diagrams, flow charts, layouts, etc.
Stupeflix make movies using your photos and videos. Tell your story with text, maps.
Tellagami: Tellagami is best used to create animated movies which include user’s voice. Looks great for ELLs. Users can create characters and a scene, add dialogue, save or share.
Pixlr web based photo editing tool, variety of versions available
Scratch create stories, games, and animations to share
Haiku Deck simple, fun presentations
Adobe Voice storytelling that is fun and easy
Story Creator create beautiful storybooks- easy for primary grades
Stop Motion This looks like fun! Paint tools, themes, music, photos- you’ll be busy for hours.
More editing and presentation Apps for education:
Citelighter research, organize, highlight, and save. Organize writing assignments, make templates, allows for teacher feedback in progress, works with Google Docs
Flowboard: This one is attractive- it’ can be made on a Mac or iPad and watched on any device. Flowboard is presentation software used to make a creative and interactive presentation. Users can use images, videos and text all together to make a presentation. Currently it is $9.99- some of its features include: presentation templates, interactive presentations, image and galleries, streaming video and embedded, PDF documents, social & sharing, imbedding in websites, and posting to Youtube.
Baiboard: Baiboard is a service that allows real-time interaction among users with its feature-rich tools. Users can visualize, collaborate and share multi-page whiteboards. For the classroom teacher this can have many uses, as well as having students make their own presentations based on their research. Baiboard is also available on Mac, iPad and Android.
Dragon Dictation looks good for ELL, it transcribes what you say- annunciation is the key!
Notability sketch ideas, annotate documents, sign contracts, complete worksheets, keep a journal, record a lecture, jot travel notes, or teach a class
Want more art, writing and technology integration in your classroom? Check out these sites:
Dr. Cortney Steffen’s Blog
Dr. Troy Hicks
Google Apps for Education- free classes on everything Google in the classroom
The Passion Project
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