iInquire… iLearn… iCreate… iShare: Stage 1 students create digital stories

An image of Ian McLean, teacher librarian at Penrith Public School
Image: Ian McLean, teacher librarian, at Penrith Public School

[Note: PhotoPeach must be treated with the same caution as YouTube. Please be mindful of Child Protection issues and preview all slideshows (and their public access comments) before using them with students. A teacher’s user name and password is required to access this Web 2.0 facility via the NSW DET portal. Students could collaborate on joint activities, negotiating with each other during structured talking and listening sessions. Photographs and captions are uploaded with teacher supervision, rather than encouraging individual student access.]

The learning context

Here is a quick, annotated tour of Penrith Public School’s most recent adventures with digital stories: nursery rhymes presented via PhotoPeach, a free Web 2.0 facility that offers automatic transitions between images, easy editing of captions, and an eclectic array of copyright free music. PhotoPeach is extremely user friendly.

Collaborative opportunities

The students played director, the teacher facilitated the action, and the teacher librarian was cinematographer. Background stage sets were quickly created using the Picture gallery of our library’s SMART Notebook software, providing an impromptu opportunity for brainstorming appropriate terms to find the essential pictorial elements! In Circle Time (talking and listening), another class brainstormed new captions for the uploaded digital photographs on PhotoPeach.

Everyone proudly shares ownership of the resulting slideshows. When you look at the final products – each a wonderful merging of the collective brains and negotiating powers of three Stage 1 classes – it’s hard to believe that the total time commitment was only three X 45 minute lessons, about 10 minutes of photo uploading and another 10 minutes of editorial tweaking. As a result, we now have several new online resources that are:

  • used by our other Stage 1 and Early Stage 1 classes
  • read and re-read (and re-read) by the classes who jointly constructed them
  • viewed as models for research presentations by Stages 2 and 3 students
  • shared at home with parents and community members
  • shared by students at other schools.

The Baa, Baa, Black Sheep slideshow has been viewed in schools from Taree West (in NSW) to the International School of Brussels. It received 450 hits in its first weekend online. That figure is larger than both our school’s population and the distribution numbers of our school newsletter.

Learning is fun!

It is amazing how many English K-6 syllabus Stage 1 outcomes were achieved through this engaging learning.

V1 Enjoys creating a range of spoken and written texts.

TS1.1 Communicates with an increasing range of people for a variety of purposes on both familiar and introduced topics in spontaneous and structured classroom activities.

WS1.9 Plans, reviews and produces a small range of simple literary and factual texts for a variety of purposes on familiar topics for known readers.

WS1.12 Produces texts ... using computer technology.

Three Stage 1 students share their learning journeys making the Baa, Baa, Black Sheep slideshow

Keywords: digital stories; drama; collaboration; Year 1; Year 2

How to cite this article: McLean, I. 2011, ‘iInquire… iLearn… iCreate… iShare: Stage 1 students create digital stories’, Scan 30(2)

Return to top of page Back to top