Are you interested in having your students debate about current events with other students from around the country? KQED Do Now is a weekly activity for students to engage and respond to current issues using social media tools like Twitter. KQED aims to introduce 21st Century skills and add value to learning through the integration of relevant content and new media tools and technologies. Do Now gives students a chance to practice civic engagement and digital citizenship skills while they explore ways to connect topics in their classes to the present day.
If you are interesting in using Do Now with your students, here is a self-paced tutorial that will get you oriented and ready to implement. Give yourself about 1 hour to go through it. Also, if you are interested in participating in the KQED Do Now working group for Fall, 2013, email Matt Williams at email@example.com. Educators who participate in working groups will receive a small stipend.
Join KQED, SFMOMA, the Alameda County Office of Education, local artists and educators for the Integrated Learning Summer Institute, August 13-15, 2013 at Chabot Space and Science Center. All educators are welcome to register. Plenary speakers will include Spark-featured artists Favianna Rodriguez and Rhodessa Jones. The Integrated Learning institute is like summer camp for educators, set in a beautiful, natural environment with three days full of working with arts education experts and getting inspired to integrate the arts across all subjects.
KQED and SFMOMA will be presenting a three-part workshop during the institute about storytelling and exploring identity. Educators who sign up for this special session will create their own short film using personal symbolism to create a storyline. This professional development opportunity, related to using and making media in the classroom, is a perfect way to learn best practices for incorporating art and technology into CCSS curricula.
Sign up by the end of May for $50 off the registration fee, and select "Tracing Identity through Digital Media" as one of your mini-courses. We look forward to seeing you in August!
Nearly every student who is in school today will enter the workforce needing skills in media production. From social media to YouTube videos, many industries will require a knowledge of how to leverage online platforms. In the arts classroom, media production is a dynamic way for students to gain these technical skills, while also practicing aesthetic valuing, design thinking, communication, and creative writing. All of these skills can be cultivated through the use of media-making projects. For this reason, student media-making projects are an excellent way to introduce these 21st century proficiencies.
A good, basic-level media project to use with students is a narrated slideshow. The programs used to make one are relatively simple and students can either take their own photos or find properly licensed images on the web in addition to using their own voice to narrate the story. KQED has developed a new tool for educators to assist in the understanding of how to create a slideshow as well as the implementation of such a project in the classroom. Arts-focused slideshows can be used in visual and performing arts classes as a reporting, portfolio, or assessment tool, but they can also be used in other subjects, such as history and social studies, as a tool for understanding culture through art and artifacts.
This post was written by BAVC Factory Filmmaker Buffy Almendares, Sophie Bedecarré Ernst, and BAVC's Director of Next Gen Programs Ingrid Hu Dahl after presenting about the SFPL Digital Learning Lab initiative at the Digital Media and Learning Conference in Chicago.
On our plane ride to Chicago, the three of us had an opportunity to talk both about how the experience of the San Francisco Public Library Youth Advisory Board has shaped Buffy and Sophie’s previous perception of youth media organizations and about how they hope to incorporate their experiences into the future learning lab — which is scheduled to begin construction later this year.
The SFPL Youth Advisory board has nineteen members that span from high schools across the Bay area with a range of media experience and technical skills, including Buffy and Sophie, who represented the board at DML presenting alongside learning lab partners the California Academy of Sciences, KQED, and BAVC.
The partner team — which didn’t start with youth at the planning phase — has considerably grown to embrace youth leadership and decision-making, which Buffy and Sophie clearly showcased in our 90-minute group presentation on March 14, 2013.
Science media projects that enhance student learning and engagement offer limitless possibilities for creativity in learning subject matter. Below are just a few reasons to incorporate media making projects into the science curriculum:
Technology is engaging!
Media projects give students the opportunity to connect to real life to concepts learned in class.
Students develop relevant and important communication skills
Media making and science share necessary skills (synthesis, analysis and evaluation of information, and critical thinking collaboration)
Media is another (fun!) form of text that can be used to build literacy skills found in Common Core State Standards
As a science educator, where do you begin when first contemplating the development of media making projects for your students? Right here, of course! The online professional development module is a self-paced exploration of
the different types of science stories that students may tell
the different types of media projects you might consider introducing
the various tools, equipement and resources available for media making projects
By the end of the module you will have gone through the process of creating a well thought out plan for developing a media making project for science students. Enjoy!
In this installment of In the Classroom, Ms. Vasquez has selected the unit of study "things that roll (or do not roll)" and we see her students explore this theme in a variety of playful activities derived from their curiosity and desire to learn through play.
Although many Pre-K learning models emulate play, Ms. Vasquez argues that this approach can serve students at all grade levels where they become more active, following their curiosity and inquiry to perhaps stimulate a growth in academic achievement and an interest in becoming life long learners.
Today, science demands sophisticated skills not generally taught as part of standard science curricula. Ideally, science instructional strategies teach a body of knowledge and cultivate other abilities required for the practice of science. For example the scientific community values collaboration and teamwork, critical and focused observation, the use of technology for data collection, evaluation of information, and communication skills. All of these skills can be cultivated through the use of media making projects. For this reason, student media-making projects are an excellent way to introduce these 21st century proficiencies.
A good first-step media project to use with students is a narrated slideshow. The programs used to make one are relatively simple and students can either take their own photos or find properly licensed images on the web in addition to using their own voice to narrate the story. KQED has developed a new tool for educators to assist in the understanding of how to create a slideshow as well as the implementation of such a project in the science classroom.
KQED Education and Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) are working together to present a workshop at this year’s California Science Education Conference on October 19 - 21 in San Jose. We'll introduce open-ended, creative activities that explore K-2 students’ understanding of physical science and math concepts in structures they see everyday, such as buildings, playgrounds, and bridges. Workshop participants will use two and three-dimensional shapes to design, construct, test and evaluate their own structures.
We’ll introduce online PBS videos that explain the kinds of shapes used to build strong structures or what it takes to be a civil engineer. We'll also watch how Curious George solves a problem by constructing a toothpick bridge! By exploring the science of structures in the classroom, educators can keep young children’s fascination with building and construction alive.
Use this slideshow of different man-made structures as a way to introduce children to identifying geometric shapes all around them. Try the dowel design and toothpick/marshmallow activities from LHS’s ‘Build It! Festival’ guide to explore strength and stability. For more challenging activities check out PBS's Design Squad Nation's activities on structures. Finally, here is a list of children’s books that would go hand-in-hand with all of these lessons!
If you’re attending the conference this year, come join us on Friday afternoon at 1 pm for ‘Shapes, Strength, & Stability: Bringing Out the Builder in All of Us’.
Shifting gears is never easy. But California's adoption of the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) actually grants educators a good deal of flexibility and creative license in teaching students critical skills for the 21st Century. The introduction to the CCSS states:
"Just as media and technology are integrated in school and life in the twenty-first century, skills related to media (both critical analysis and production of media) are integrated throughout the standards." Continue reading »
Ellen Blinderman (right) guides Linnea Burnett on a geometry activity using pattern blocks.
As the Early Childhood Coordinator at Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) in Berkeley, Ellen Blinderman has been inspiring educators and students to love science, engineering, and math for the past 22 years, but describes herself as a ‘reluctant tech-user’.
Through a collaboration with KQED Education, Contra Costa County Office of Education and LHS, at a STEM workshop titled, ‘Shape, Strength, and Stability: Bringing Out the Builder in All of Us’, Ellen was able to explore the use of technology and creating media to enrich academic content.
During the workshop, educators had opportunities to design, construct, test, evaluate structures using two and three-dimensional shapes with various materials such as toothpicks, newspapers, and dowels. Using mobile devices to take snapshots of their findings, educators created a narrated slideshow using iMovie or MovieMaker to tell their story. Ellen explained, “We all became engineers and applied our knowledge of shape, strength,and stability to design and construct large structures out of newspaper dowels. This project gave teachers the opportunity to solve problems and work together as they discussed ideas and tried solutions, which are real life practices in STEM career fields. During this process, teachers also tapped into their creativity and imagination, which are vitally important in scientific and technological innovation.”
After successfully creating her first narrated slideshow, Ellen shares her perspective on using media and creating media in this brief interview.
Q:What was it like to create your first narrated slideshow? Ellen: It was fast and fun, but the best part was how empowering it was! Even though the slide show I made was very basic, I felt proud of myself for learning a new skill and creating a finished product. I appreciated the supportive learning environment. Nancy, from KQED, walked us through the steps of using iMovie, and helped with any questions that came up. I loved seeing all the different ways people chose to tell their stories, and was inspired by the unique talents and individual expression of each slideshow.
Q:How do you feel about using technology in your professional work? Ellen: I want to embrace more technology in my personal and professional life, but tend not to be motivated to figure it out on my own. I prefer a class or one-on-one instruction to encourage me through the learning process and provide tech support. I believe that as an educator, I need to develop my technology skills or I risk becoming a dinosaur.
Q:What benefit does media-making have in your work? Ellen:I love the idea of taking photos of my students throughout an investigation to tell the story of the group's collective learning adventure and to validate each child's contributions.
Q:You used a couple of videos from PBS LearningMedia to support science concepts. How has using media influenced your work? Ellen: At the workshop, I discovered what an amazing resource PBS Learning Media is! Teachers can find videos, photos, and classroom activities for any age group on a HUGE selection of subjects. As an early childhood science specialist, I am excited to incorporate PBS media (and media from other sources) into the curriculum at The Lawrence Hall of Science. I've become a big Curious George and Sid the Science Kid fan. I can use these programs to strengthen and enhance hands-on classroom experiences, using them to spark curiosity, promote scientific practices, and help students make connections between their experiences and the bigger world. With the tips and strategies I gained at the KQED workshop, I know how to go beyond having students simply passively watch videos, to keep them actively engaged and focused during the viewing.
All participants in the 2-day workshop were first-timers with creating narrated slideshows. All were successful and had a great time. Below is participating Kindergarten teacher, Lynn Alamillo’s narrated slideshow:
There was a buzz in the room even before the workshop started - an extra level of excitement filled the air. Congressman George Miller, Representing the 7th District in CA, stopped by for a visit. He briefly addressed the educators on the importance of STEM education and commended their commitment to strengthening their professional practice. His inspiring speech was a great way to start the workshop!