Strip Designer is now available on our iPads! It’s a great app that allows students to create their own personal comic strip using photos from the photo album on the iPad or hand-drawn sketches. You can add simple image filters, speech bubbles, stickers and effect text like this – OMG!
While you edit your comic you can freely zoom and pan to manipulate even small details. When you are done, save the resulting image to the iPhone’s photo album, email it or share via Twitter or on the student blogs! Another cool alternive could be to use Book Creator an export to iBooks as full blown eBook for sharing.
There are loads of benefits to having students create comic strips in your classroom. Plasq Education describes the following as reasons to incorporate comic strip creation into your classroom:
They are a great visual representation of knowledge
Presents what is essential
Easier to remember a visual graphic containing key information
Engaging through thinking, creating and writing.
A perfect avenue for writing dialogue
Incites students with a low interest in writing
Helps organisation through storytelling and storyboarding
Using visual images convey meaning to a story or topic
Develops creative and higher level thought processes
Develops composition techniques through visual-verbal connections
Enriches reading, writing, and thinking
Serves as an assessment and evaluation tool
Sequencing promotes understanding
How do I use Strip Creator?
This app is simple to use but it also has the ability to use some more complex features. The following series of videos outline these features. Begin with the introduction and from there it’s easy to get started! If you’re keen to know more about a specific feature, including image options, stickers and effects and cells, continue to view that video accordingly.
Stickers & Effects
Now go, have fun and make comics! Be sure to share student exemplars with the Ed Tech team (and with the world via Twitter #learnISB) so that we can publish them here to share with others. Any support you might need, don’t hesitate to ask.
VideoScribe is a super great app for creating whiteboard animations. The application allows you to create fun, energetic and animated presentations without the fuss of having to draw on your own. The final product makes it look like you are drawing the illustrations and text – it’s impressive! Every time I’ve created and presented a VideoScribe video, I’m asked “Is that your hand?” – the answer, no! In addition to the simple and effective means to creating an engaging, scribed presentation, the app allows you the option to zoom out, at the completion of the video, and provide the audience with an overview of the story having just been told. This is an added bonus as presentations can essentially double as both video and print based media. This adds an additional challenge for students – What will my presentation look like in print? Will it tell my story without the need for audio or the structured flow of a video?
Here is a short video, created using VideoScribe, that outlines the many benefits of using video as a powerful tool for communication, in particular, the effectiveness of whiteboard style multimedia.
Recently, I have been working with a High School EAL class on a digital storytelling unit. One of the three tasks within this unit, was to develop a persuasive piece, using VideoScribe, on a current political issue, from an English speaking country. The planning process was significant in that, not only did students need to storyboard their persuasive argument, they also needed to consider how they would use the app to effectively convey their message. This included:
the selection of appropriate images and key words
the right balance of images vs. text
a clear and concise script for the voice over
selection of an audio track that would assist in conveying the message
the visual layout of the information (text and images) at the completion of the video (zoomed out view)
Jesse (Grade 9) planning the overall layout of his scribe.
Wumian (Grade 9) working on his final presentation.
Wumian from Grade 9, choose to research and present his persuasive piece on the current debate in Australia: Should the date of Australia Day be changed? This is his presentation:
This is another example of VideoScribe being used in the classroom. This time, a Grade 8 student explains the Syrian Revolution. Emily (Grade 8) says “The bloody Syrian Revolution is still going on and people to this day are dying. We think that not a lot people know about this subject, which is why we made this video.”
VideoScribe is now available on the iPads in the Middle and High School and will soon be available on the ES iPads. If you’re keen to offer this app as an alternative option for video creation, or perhaps use this app to create your own flipped learning content, let me know you need any assistance. The VideoScribe website offers a series of tutorials to help get you started. These include adding text and images, change draw and pause times, adding audio and soundtrack files, and publishing and sharing your scribe. I encourage you to give it a go!
Here are some recommendations for how to get the most from Seesaw in the upcoming Student Led Conferences. We would love to help you in any way we can – invite us to a team meeting, make a time for a one-to-one chat, or invite us to your class to guide student activities.
Establish criteria that leads students through the process of reviewing their Seesaw journal and curating posts that highlight their learning most effectively;
Posts that demonstrate individualised student choice
A range of in progress and finished works (formative/summative, process/showcase)
Work across a range of L21 Skills and disciplines
A demonstration of incremental learning over different timeframes
Once students have added their best posts to the “SLC 2018” folder, they should review each post to make sure that the point they wish to articulate in the conference is clearly communicated (this could work well as a peer feedback/critique activity).
Students can then create a new comment with appropriate reflection and clarification if necessary to guide their conference.
We have some new students joining us in the Elementary School, along with some students finishing up at ISB, so now is the time when teachers will need to update their Reading A-Z (RAZ) class rosters. It is quite simple to do, here is a brief run through in case you’re unsure:
If this is the first time you are logging in to Seesaw, you will need to select “I am a teacher” and log in with your ISB email address and password
Click on the large green “+” symbol
Select “Send Announcement” > Send To: All Students and Families (if some parents aren’t connected yet they will receive instructions on Monday afternoon)
Type your welcome message to your students and families
Upload your class photo(s) from your camera roll
When you have completed your message, click the large green tick button and it will appear in student & parent feeds.
Please note, as new parents will not yet be connected, this welcome post will be made in the student announcements for all users to see. In the future (when all parents are connected) teachers will be asked to use “Family Announcements” to ensure student journals don’t contain parent communications.
On Monday, Tina, Angela and I will distribute printed QR codes and instructions to all homeroom teachers, for families to connect to their child’s Seesaw journal. Families will need to follow the instructions to download the Seesaw Family app and scan the code in order to see any Family Announcements or student posts.
Throughout Monday, we will prioritize our time to support any teachers who require help with Seesaw. We’ll be available for 1:1 help all day including after school. Please be in touch or stop by the ES Library office if you need any help.
What is Seesaw?
Seesaw is a student-driven portfolio platform that is used across the ES to empower students to document, share and reflect upon their learning journey throughout the academic year and across their years in the elementary school.
As part of our Seesaw Common Agreements, there are certain tasks and setup procedures that each teacher should do once their class has been created. There are also some introductory lessons/ideas that can help you get started using Seesaw in your class.
You can use this checklist to guide you.
Setting Up Seesaw
Ensure preferred names are correct in your class list
Invite all specialist teachers as “co-teachers” to your class (except Chinese as they have their own Seesaw classes)
Manage settings: student likes & comments, post moderation, parent comments (as appropriate to your age and class group)
Create color-coded folders for portfolios (L21) and content areas:
Innovation & Creativity (Purple)
Communication & Collaboration (Yellow)
Inquiry, Critical Thinking & Problem Solving (Blue)
Leadership & Responsibility (Green)
Global Thinking (Red)
As well as folders for Math, ELA, Visual Arts, Performing Arts, PE, Science, Social Studies
Create any additional folders as required
Print out your class account QR code so students can join your class
Seesaw is like many applications in that it uses icons to create a visual fluency to help learners navigate the different features and tools available to its users. Many of these icons are consistent with so many other iOS apps and it makes sense for us to scaffold our learners in how these tools can be explicitly applied in the process of learning.
Recently, Pana Asavavatana shared a series of useful posters designed to assist Pre K – 3 students in their deliberate use of processes and features in Seesaw. She wanted her students to move beyond simply checking off everything they post and think more deeply about what they were doing in Seesaw and why. Each poster links one of the Seesaw tool icons with a student statement that encourages students to make a conscious decision about what they are doing and why.
The posters are available in English and Mandarin and are free for you to download and use (thanks to @PanaAsavavatana). As always, let myself or Bec know anytime you would like any Seesaw resources or support for you and your students.
It’s important to organise the information we share through our blogs to allow users to effectively access previous posts. Two ways to do this are through categories and tags – but what are they? How are categories and tags different and why should we use them? In the following video, Bec shares the different ways categories and tags make it easier to organise your blog’s content.