18 April 2016

European Geography

Today we are sharing the work of a group of Pre-Service Teachers at URJC who have let us know of their e-project based on video production.

They are Víctor, Inma, Ana, Lola, Natalia and Elena, students of the Master in Bilingual education in Primary School at Rey Juan Carlos University. This week they have been working in groups and they have done different activities in their ICT class.

This is the description of their own learning process, in first person, as Ana, their spokeswoman, has literally introduced it:

'First of all let me explain to you that all of us created a CLIL-e-project. Once we had it, we were allocated in different groups according to the topic. In this way, our group is about Geography.

Even though our topic was Geography we had really different themes within this topic so we thought about one common learning outcome and we all agreed that it could be “to learn about the physical and political features and some of the most distinguishing representations of the European countries”.  The  final activity of our project consists of presenting the candidature of one European country.  We would divide our students in pairs  and will assign them a European country to work on. Then, students would have to  investigate about it (about the weather, animals, mountain ranges, rivers…)  and finally create an Infographic, (you can see an example here: https://magic.piktochart.com/output/12668493-norway#.Vwd4fexYnM0.blogger)

So we created our story board using StoryboardThat to express the process that we will follow to explain this activity to our students.

We would like to recommend that you use this fantastic tool if you have the chance since it offers many possibilities. You can choose the length by choosing the number of vignettes. You can choose among a wide range of scenes (you can choose among the typical ones such as the school scenes but you can also choose castles, islands...), characters (you can even change their emotions and create angry and sad characters.) and text tables. Therefore, you can adapt your stories for any purpose. For instance, we could use it in our class to introduce one topic in a more visual and fun way.

However, we found out some things that from our humble opinion could be improved. For instance, we did not like the fact that the work you do is not automatically saved. Therefore, you have to be saving it all the time. Even though the page reminds you to save, it would be fantastic if it could be done automatically.

It would also be very nice if SoryboardThat could have an option to record voices, that would be awesome. Our students could practice their speaking skills, writing, computer skills and also their creativity when creating their comic!

Furthermore, students could create their own stories about any topic of the curriculum (for example we could ask them to create a story in which they had to include information about Egypt or any topic they are studying). In this way not only would they work one subjects but also they would put in practice and would improve their ICT skills!

Of course these kinds of tools are fantastic to communicate with children with special needs. Sometimes, they find it difficult to understand abstract languages and concepts, and this tool makes  the process of communication easier. We can also use this comic for the routines: think about first grade of Primary School, at the beginning they find it difficult to get used to the routines of Primary, we could help them to remember them all by creating comics around the class (For example, before going to the playground take your snack, make a line and keep in silence).

Here you are the link of our final comic: https://www.storyboardthat.com/storyboards/elena_ictclil/the-olympic-games2

Made with Storyboard That

Once we created our Story Board we started working in our video.  Thanks to the Storyboard that we had created previously we did not have any problem with the video as we already knew what we were going to say. To make the video we used IMovie with the support of an Ipad. We would really like to recommend that you use this tool as well  if you have the opportunity because it is really easy and intuitive. You can do many things with it, for example adding music to your videos, images, cropping your videos. Definitely this tool was fantastic to accomplish  this challenge! As it is so easy to use you can even use it with your children in your class! Just imagine the results presenting their candidatures for the Olympic Games.... they would enjoy this activity as much as we did and they would be practising their speaking skills and learning new things without realising!'

You can see their video here:

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