Read, write, perform!
The first Teach Meet to Support Digital Genius Challenges was held at Writtle Junior School. Our host, Jenny Greensted an inspirational teacher who understands the power of digital fluency to enhance learning, led a masterclass on how to include stop frame animation, green screen and video editing to achieve amazing results in the classroom. Her honest and practical approach, belies her influence. She is a giant amongst teachers, talented and forward thinking, she effortlessly ‘infects’ her colleagues with self belief and wonder.
Jenny believes that teachers have a fantastic opportunity to bring language alive when they engage with their students with digital tools. Writtle Juniors a small state school near Chelmsford are taking a critical look at their curriculum and crucially, at the demands that the curriculum asks of their learners. Is it relevant? Is it fun? Is it achievable? When the answer is no they tear up the rule book and refresh their collective thinking on how to approach the curriculum, in this case literacy, utilising the digital tools at their disposal.
Read, write, perform resonated in the ears of many teachers with initiates being pushed into primary schools to get the learners as active participants in acquiring literacy. This process focused approach is paying dividends from reception to Year 6. Early mistakes are learnt from, refined and strengths built on so that learners are provided with the appropriate time allocated in the timetable, environments are changed and classroom furniture cleared to break the barriers down that are preventing quality work being created. Leg space is planned for and TA’s respond by providing the ‘unusual’ requests for equipment to support the children’s needs. Problem solving, critical thinking and most importantly responsibility to get the task completed in the time scale, rests on the shoulders of the students. They do the work. They have been prepared by skill sessions to get them to practice and rehearse their new skills of camera angles, lighting and editing. They embrace the process completely and involvement invariably grows beyond the classroom back to parents who provide Lego characters or similar props.
The apps that are required for innovative storytelling include Stop Motion,
Stop Motion Studio by CATEATER, LLC
Book Creator for iPad by Red Jumper Limited
Green Screen by Do Ink by DK Pictures, Inc.
iMovie by Apple
At the end of the hours session, the audience was left feeling enthused and excited to get back into their classroom to try out this exciting way of learning. Safe in the knowledge that they had taken the opportunity to have a go and try it out themselves first! The Digital Genius Challenges are available to inspire the students especially the innovative storytelling challenge.
Tip of the day – buy green tables to double up as mini green screens! Genius!