I was so impressed by the work that Mrs. Kelly Hocking’s Kindergarten students did on their Tux Paint stories. You can read more about that adventure here. We wanted to continue their work in some way so that it might inspire and support other classes in trying Tux Paint. After some planning, we decided to have the kids make an instructional video. Mrs. Hocking brought her whole class to the library. We talked about how instructional videos are a kind of informational text just like they are reading in their classrooms. We also talked about being a leader and sharing expertise. I made a screencast to show how to make an Animoto and we watched a part of that.
Along the way, I paused and had students talk about things that they noticed. They shared things like
- You clicked on things.
- You talked about what you were clicking on.
- You didn’t use a silly voice. You used a serious voice.
We continued this pattern of watching and sharing for a few minutes. Mrs. Hocking and I both added our own observations of what to include in an instructional video, too. I told the students that they had to take themselves all the way back to the beginning and think about what they did first, second, third, etc. Then they had to think about what they would say and what they would click.
A small group of 5 students stayed behind in the media center while Mrs. Hocking took the rest of the class back to Kindergarten to talk some more. The small group and I took a netbook and started looking at Tux Paint. I had them show me things they knew how to do. As they did that, I started typing their words and expertise into a Google doc. I also started pushing them to think about order. What would someone do first? second? third? I rearranged our doc to have a better sequence and put student names by each piece of tux paint that they would demo. Then, we practiced. Each student showed his/her knowledge of a certain aspect of Tux Paint. Their tendency was to just click without talking. I had them start again and say what they were doing as they clicked. They also all wanted to talk while someone was clicking, so we had to discuss one person being allowed to speak without being interrupted.
On a separate day, the small group came back and we recorded their screencast using Screecast-o-matic. In between each speaker, we paused the screencast and prepared the screen for the next student. It was a challenge to stay quiet while someone was recording, but they did so much better after our practice in the 1st lesson. Here’s what they created:
Our next step will be to send this video to Shannon Miller in Van Meter, Iowa so that her students can watch it and learn how to use Tux Paint. Then, we will Skype with her students for them to ask follow-up questions about using Tux Paint. The video will also be shared with teachers at our school so that they might consider using Tux Paint with their own classes.
I love the potential of this. It is empowering for students to be able to share their expertise with the world, become leaders and teachers, and take time to reflect back on what they have actually learned about a particular technology tool. I want to do more of this in the coming year, especially now that our students have access to Youtube. Imagine the possibilities of students creating videos about what they have expertise in and sharing that with other students in the school. The collaboration potential is mind-boggling!