Tuesday, February 28, 2012

You've Gotta Have a Plan!

I was really excited when I had one of my teachers ask me to assist with a Photo Story project. It was going to be my job to demonstrate and teach this class how to use Photo Story. So I came in and did my demonstration and thought the students would begin working on the projects. Turns out I was wrong...the students had not saved images, crafted a organizer, written scripts, etc. Because of this, I have had to hijack this project and take it over. We are making the best out of it, but it could be so much more. The lesson to be learned...you gotta have a plan!

When beginning a multimedia project, there are several items that need to be considered.

1. Some sort of organizer is a must - An organizer can be as simple as post it notes, a graphic organizer, or a flow chart. Organizers can be done on paper, a whiteboard, SMART Notebook, Word, etc. The method of organizing does not matter...students just need a support structure to use for their digital movie.

2. Copyright free/friendly resources - When making a Photo Story, students need to gather their images before beginning the project. This should be tied to their work on the graphic organizer. This is also a great opportunity to teach students about copyright and how it applies to them. Here is a list of copyright free/friendly resources that you can use.

Stock.xchng  http://www.sxc.hu/
Public-domain-photos  http://www.public-domain-photos.com/
Open photos  http://openphoto.net/

3. The sharing of resources - Most classrooms are not equipped with a 1-1 student to computer ratio so there needs to be a plan. Teachers need to consider the amount of time needed for the project, what will the other students be doing while their peers are working on the computers, what do you do if a student finishes early, and how will you support the students who need assistance. 

All of these things seems pretty basic but they all need to be considered to have a successful project. Without the preparation, you will have a project like I encountered. Movie projects take time and require the necessary preparation. 

When planned and implemented properly, this is technology that actually works!

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