What worked this week – engaging students with technology!

Each week I am trying something different with my predominantly disengaged year 9/10 IT elective class, for the second part of their ‘double’ or 100 minute lesson. For the single, we tried jigzone, converting images into jigsaw puzzles. Here is how it looked:-

  1. Students were given 5 minutes to put together my  jigsaw. It was of the recent presentation ball and many of my class were part of it.
  2. Students then chose a photo from our photo album on the student public drive, uploaded it to jigzone, after registering, created a puzzle, grabbed the code and embedded it on their blog in a new post.
What worked well:-
  1. the nature of puzzles. They took more than 5 mins to solve my puzzle and were all happy having a go at it.
  2. the better students created puzzles with many pieces and happily sat there all lesson playing with them, once their post was completed.
  3. the less able students also were engaged making a simpler puzzle, experimenting with it etc.
  4. They all completed the tasks.
  5. Students chose to open up their blog and play their puzzle at the beginning of the next lesson.
The double lesson – making a “countdown” digital movie in preparation for teaching how to upload to youtube, mashups etc (1 lesson of the double). These were the  instructions given:-
  • Goto MS Powerpoint
  • Create 10 slides, each with the numbers from 1 to 10 in large print and counting backwards it 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1!
  • Save the ppt as jpg image files
  • Open Vegas Movie Studio of MS Movie Maker, import or insert the images.
  • Create transitions, video effects etc.
  • Then think………………………….what are we counting down to. Add that final slide
  • Search for an appropriate sound to add to the 11th slide eg boom!, cheers, explosion, applause etc
  • Think about adding a sound to create a mysterious or a bit of suspense at the beginning before the first slide is displayed.
  • Make into a movie that is less than 5mb as it is to uploaded to students blogs.
  • Add a post, upload the movie. Write a brief intro and discuss the data involved in the video.

Reflections:- I thought this would take one lesson and had prepared another activity to fill in the second 50 mins. However there was no need for this, as students really enjoyed this activity. It kept them occupied and engaged the full 100 minutes.  Some chose to do a ‘kaboom!’ at the end of the countdown, some ‘Happy New Year” etc.


5 responses to “What worked this week – engaging students with technology!

  1. Karen Webster

    My disengaged Year 10s enjoyed using GameMaker and also creating a Maze Game in PowerPoint. We had an artist come in for a double lesson and show them Arkaos VJ, the boys in particular enjoyed this program

    • annemirtschin

      Thanks for the comment on my blog post about engaging year 9/10 students. I would love to know more about the mazemaking in powerpoint. How did you do it? What instructions did you give? Did it become a game? Is there more on this online somewhere. Some of my students enjoy using game maker but as I am not confident in its use, I can never help them get beond basics. Have you found any good sources of tutorials or how well do you know how to use it?
      I was also interested to read about Arkaos VJ. Is that a music editing program. How did you get on to the artist? Did you have to pay them to come into your classrooms? Thanks for any other further help and advise. Would love to stay in touch.

  2. I love this stuff. I have started blogging poems for1st and second graders here in the states and the kids are very excited. To date we have posted over 90 poems all written by 6-8 year olds in class at the school where I work.

    Today I shared the site stats for the blogger blog where they are posted and you should have seen their faces when the data showed that they had had viewers from Germany.

    • annemirtschin

      Thank you skip for your comment. I visited your blog and loved the poems that you have been doing with your students. My older students get really excited when they see where viewers are coming from. In fact, one of my most disengaged students was excited and told me that he had a flag on his flag counter from USA. Authentic audiences are so motivating.

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