I can’t believe how quick this week has gone. But here we are, back in ICT.

Today the group was given time to add finishing touches to the videos and apps that had been made in the previous session. We had already finished our previous app, so after some discussion, me and my group decided that we wanted to make another resource that we could use, related to the same book as last week, ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ by Julia Donaldson.  We decided that we wanted to try and tell the whole story through an app. We decided that we would use Puppet Pals. Puppet Pals is another iPad app, and we again found the app was very easy to use. On the app there are many pre-made characters and backgrounds, but you can also add your own. This is something I was very impressed by, the app could be used to create a random story using what was provided, however it was not limited as extra pieces could be added. We therefore decided to use a mixture of our own characters and backgrounds, and also some of the ones that the app already had, as we wanted to experience how easy/difficult it may be for children to use. To add characters and backgrounds, all that was needed was a picture, and for the characters to be cut out (which we thought may be the only difficult part for those little fingers!!). To make our Puppet Pal video, we recorded the key parts of the book, whilst moving the characters on the screen and speaking. Another reason I was impressed with this app, was that more than one character could be moved at one time, therefore meaning that it would be easier for children to work in pairs or groups. Also, the sound recorded for you from the moment you pressed play on a specific scene, which for children would be ideal, as it’s one less thing for them to try and remember.  The only negative thing about this app is that it does not blend more than one video together. 

For anyone who has not used Puppet Pals before, here is a YouTube video to explain the steps.

 

Therefore if you create more than one video on Puppet Pals, you must use another app or program to merge the videos together. This was one of the mistakes we made, however we used iMovie to put our videos all together – we also added music using the iMovie. Children could either follow our steps by making merging the videos with another app, or could create a longer video on Puppet Pals. This is a decision that could be left to the children, giving them opportunities to take responsibility for their own work.

Here is our Puppet Pal/iMovie video:

I think this app is fantastic! And I think children would be able to easily access this app, I also think they would be able to access it independently after a quick tutorial of how to use the app properly. Children can be given the independence to create their own story, or retell a familiar story, also to create their own characters and backgrounds, or to use the ones provided. The possibilities are endless with this brilliant app!

Here were some other ideas of how ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ could also be used. These were just some of the examples we came up with:

Ipad

We believed this story, and particularly the film making could lead to further areas of development in the classroom. In a foundation class this could be used to discuss a farm topic, for example: what noises specific animals make. The children could act out the story and record it themselves, the children could then go on to share their videos with other members of the class, school or wider community. The video could also be used to teach about morals, about right and wrong, by using a range of open and closed ended questions, such as: “Were any of the characters breaking the law?”, “Which characters were good? And which were bad?”. This book could also be used as a starting point for discussion related to some Personal areas of development, for example: with children who are shyer than others (like the ladybird in the story). Discussing with the class how they believe the farm animals should treat the ladybird. In Key Stage One; children could go on to create further apps and videos based around the story and video, children could also start developing knowledge related to stories having a beginning, middle and end, and the idea of storyboards.  This video could be used as an example to children in older years, of recreating a story, the children could then choose a book to recreate (perhaps for younger member of the setting).
We also displayed some of these ideas in Popplet. 

I have really enjoyed making these Videos over the past few sessions, not only is it fun for us adults to play with, but I believe there is a real benefit from children having access to videos and resources similar to the one we created!! 

Reflection: 
Before using these different apps, I had stuck to the traditions of using a book to tell a story, however I now know there are many different ways to tell a story. I have also realised that when making ICT resources, everything does not have to be perfect, there can be little mistakes, and the resources can still be a great benefit to children. Our resources were not perfect, however I believe they would be a real asset in the classroom! In the future, I would definitely consider using these apps and programs again, for children and with children! I am now more intrigued to experiment with other apps and programs related to storytelling and other various aspects that could be used in the primary classroom!!

Further Reading:

Today, we had a small discussion about why story telling is important and how it can be used in ICT. After the session I decided story tellingto some further reading, as the discussion in class really interested me. I found an article by Penelope Longfellow, about why storytelling is so important. After reading Longfellow’s article and many others, I found it interesting that there are so many different views of story telling, it’s not just about Literacy and being able to remember and recite stories, but there is much more to it. For example: social experience, and tradition. Storytelling has been around since the beginning, unlike technology. I think it is important to mix the old with the new, and be able to tell stories through technology. And I think that this can  be easily done with the amount of apps and programmes available. However I also think it’s crucial not to drift too much away from the basic reading from a book, or basic storytelling from memory or imagination. Storytelling is not just about made up stories, or about teachers telling the children a story, storytelling is also about the children telling stories, whether fact or fiction. I also found it interesting that many teachers and other professionals would use story telling across the curriculum, and not just in English. Obviously we have seen and experienced how it can be used in ICT, but others have said that they would use storytelling in other subjects, such as; Science, History and Geography. This is something that I am going to keep in mind for the future.

 



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