23 Replies Latest reply on Jul 3, 2013 3:09 PM by srobinson

    STEM Snacks – Putting technology to work

    glen_w

      bunnyatwork_small.jpg

      Students in my Biology class used digital cameras to document their dissections. At the conclusion of our unit, students were to create a multimedia presentation. Selecting the multimedia tool was up to students. Students were going to share digital photographs with one another. We used jAlbum to create photo albums from the dissections photographs. The example below is from our Starfish Dissection photos. Students were able to go through the album and select images that would best work with their multimedia project.

      Technology_Images.jpg

      I've often considered the power of images. I know images can benefit more subjects than just science.

       

      This leads me to wonder...

      • Do your students use digital images to learn their subject better?
      • How do your students access their digital images?
      • What other software would create an image album similar to jAlbum?


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        • Re: STEM Snacks – Putting technology to work

          Yes, my students do use digital cameras to learn their subject better. Examples include geometry scavenger hunts with photographs rather than retrieved objects, reviewing field trips (such as to Westcave Preserve) through photos taken, and documenting science experiments. Here is the link to a wiki page that shows how one group used photos to document the evidence they gathered during a detective case: The Case of the Missing Bob (the Pony)

          Our wiki is private, so you will need to request access.

           

          Currently, the students are documenting their ecocolumns. I will provide a link next week.

           

          The students save their photos in folders on our netbooks/iPads and then upload to our wiki.

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            • Re: STEM Snacks – Putting technology to work
              glen_w

              Eric,

               

              I like the variety of curricula you use digital cameras in. My tech person uses DeepFreeze on our computers - thus the need to compile images on a server. I think it would be good for students to have access to their own images as easily as a folder on a netbook. I just requested access to your wiki and look forward to seeing what your students have put on the wiki.

            • Re: STEM Snacks – Putting technology to work
              mcsweej

              I teach History, and I have students use images to help  identify key terms and events, as well as analyze image as a primary source to tell them specific things about historic events. Typically, students find their images by conducting research on specific topics. History.com, discoveryed, library of congress and a variety of other sources to find their images. These sites are particularly good at including citations and being licensed for creative commons.I have also used digital cameras around the school to capture and digitize images that students have drawn. This is particularly handy in my virtual classroom. As far as albums are concerned, I am becoming a big fan of Voicethread, especially in exposing students to visual thinking strategies. This allows them to not only view the images, but comment on them, even use drawing tools to illustrate what they are saying and interact with other students about their thoughts of the images.

               

              Great topic!

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                • Re: STEM Snacks – Putting technology to work
                  glen_w

                  Jonathan,

                   

                  I appreciate your reminder of how images help students with visual thinking strategies Those who have not used Voicethread should check it out. I would hope more teachers recognize the use of a digital camera to document student learning.

                  • Re: STEM Snacks – Putting technology to work

                    Jonathan,

                     

                    I appreciate the variety of tools and strategies you use with your students. As an English language teacher, I use a lot of pictures too, but unlike you technology is not available. However I'm interested in what you call visual thinking. Can you or anyone else explain me what it is all about.?  How do you get your student to think and certainly share their ideas?

                     

                    Thanks for sharing!

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                      • Re: STEM Snacks – Putting technology to work
                        mcsweej

                        Basically, at the beginning of a new unit or topic, I will find photographs, artifacts or works of art that really demonstrate the concept we are about to delve into, and then I have students talk about what they see in the images in small groups, and report out. I know where I want them to end up, but I let them start in a class discussion with basic observations and then work into inferences and finally applying their background knowledge until they get to the historical significance of the image.

                         

                        I also have students in  my online class find images that represent both their key terms and their discussion board forums, and try to include images in projects to help demonstrate ideas.

                          • Re: STEM Snacks – Putting technology to work

                            Thank you for the valuable ideas you provide. I mostly appreciate setting students to find photographs or any other type of picture related to the concept or unit to be covered. As technology is not satisfactorily available to all my students, I plan to assign them the task long before we start studying the concept so as to enable everyone to get pictures I'll in the end select.

                            Taking into accounts their contribution to the course might be motiving. What do you think?

                              • Re: STEM Snacks – Putting technology to work
                                glen_w

                                Laurent,

                                 

                                I have found that having students contributing to a course gets them more motivated to participate. Thank you for reminding us that technology is not available to all students. Most of my students do not have their own technology for such pictures. I must loan them cameras to use. Your idea of giving enough time is important. We look forward to hearing about your students use of cameras. Please share these stories with us.

                        • Re: STEM Snacks – Putting technology to work
                          staceylazarus

                          In our Law Academy class, they used iPads and Google Forms to conduct a safety check in the building. They used Skitch app to show what was a safety issue and then emailed them to the teacher's account for placement within Google Presentation.

                           

                          It was great not having paper!

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                          • Re: STEM Snacks – Putting technology to work
                            shanmangin

                            Our students use iPads to take photos of concepts being studied in class.  They can use any photo editing app (we like PicCollage) to share their photos.  Some teachers have made the activity more game-like by having students take 4 photos with a common theme (concept, vocabulary word), and then other students have to guess the theme.  Or, take 3 photos that show examples, and 1 non-example.  Guess which photo doesn't belong.

                             

                            If you wanted to extend the learning, they can upload their photo into a whiteboard app (like Screenchomp) and record an explanation or annotate on top of the photos.

                            • Re: STEM Snacks – Putting technology to work

                              Physical science is image rich and students are using a variety of means to obtain and share their images.  In a recent study on forms and transformation of energy students took pictures at home and used Photostory to share their images.  For nanotechnology students learned the concept of parts and whole by taking pictures and creating puzzles using an app.

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                              • Re: STEM Snacks – Putting technology to work

                                My 7th and 8th grade math students use a digital camera to record the growth of their GroBeasts (which expand in water), using a meter stick to establish dimensions. They make their data tables and graphs using an Excel spreadsheet. Then they use Windows Live Movie Maker to create a movie of their project and its conclusions. Using the technology, including the digital photos, makes students much more precise and careful. My students are really engaged with their projects much more than they were without the photos and movies, and as they prepare for and create their movie my students are much more aware that others will be evaluating their efforts and conclusions.

                                 

                                I also have students make a visual diary of what they have learned during the school year. This is an on-going project culminating in a movie or slide show project. Requiring students to take photos of math topics causes students to look at how math can be seen in the world around them, and they often they see things I never anticipated!

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                                  • Re: STEM Snacks – Putting technology to work
                                    glen_w

                                    Susan,

                                     

                                    The visual diary sounds a lot like your students create what I've previously called a digital portfolio. I think the idea of a visual diary seems less formidable. I can easily imagine how the use of these different tools in the projects leads to a more interesting and engaging final project. Thanks for providing us the details on the project plans. If you are allowed to share any of this student work, I'm sure everyone in the community would enjoy seeing them.

                                  • Re: STEM Snacks – Putting technology to work
                                    emansisy

                                    I'm a teacher of English language as a second language in Egypt.My students use Mobil phones and digital cameras to take  digital images to learn their subject better. They use these pictures to show some new vocabulary or structure. Every year students participate in a learning project :they take photos for every step of the project to present their work.

                                    They sometimes use PowerPoint photo album to create their albums.

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                                    • Re: STEM Snacks – Putting technology to work

                                      I teach a 6th grade eMINTS Math Classroom and we use images and small video clips almost daily.  Students can learn more from looking at and analyzing a photo or image than they can from direct instruction.  That old phrase "a picture speaks 1000 words" really does ring true.  Students can access their digital images through our network drive or they can search for them on the web.  I have used many different video editing programs within my classroom.  The one that we use the most, however is StudioVideo (unfortunately it is not free). 

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                                        • Re: STEM Snacks – Putting technology to work
                                          glen_w

                                          Melissa,

                                           

                                          I look forward to sharing your ideas for daily use of images and video clips with my school's math teachers. I hope they can engage students more with a picture that speaks a 1000 words. Can you provide us with an example or two of how you use these pictures in lessons? (As a non-math teacher, I'm trying to grasp how to include math in your searches and videos.)