George Lucas Educational Foundation

Free Online Resources Engage Elementary Kids (Tech2Learn Series)

Fifth-grade teacher Nicole Dalesio keeps her class motivated to learn by encouraging them to create multimedia presentations and projects using technology tools on the Web. 
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Free Online Resources Engage Elementary Kids (Transcript)

Teacher: As a K-5 teacher, we understand that it's really important to integrate the curriculum as much as possible. So if you're doing a lesson in the computer lab, if it's combining some of the reading skills, writing skills, language art skills, or their knowledge about a certain subject area, I think that it makes learning a lot more meaningful.

Teacher: A few years ago, the District had to do a lot of cutbacks on tech spending. And I started to see that there was an advantage of using the cloud-based, or free web apps. And anybody who has a computer or internet, they can access them, not only from school, but at home, so my goal is to get them so excited that they go home and continue on with their learning. For example, they can do their digital art, or digital drawings in programs such as Sumo Paint, or Psycho Paint inside of Google Docs, Google Drawing, PhotoSketch, SketchUp. Those are just a few choices that I give them.

Student: This is a list of different applications that you can use to like make music or do art. It's just a variety of them that Ms. Dalesio put together.

Teacher: And then we also take advantage of a lot of the free software that comes built into our Apple computers, so we utilize iLife a lot for our photo and video editing inside of iMovie, or in iPhoto. And we also use things like Garage Band and iTunes for them to do their audio recordings or create music.

Teacher: You know, you get your ingredients together in the folder, and then when you mix them together, this is what you're doing in iMovie. And then when you export it out, it's sort of like you're baking the cake.

Teacher: I gave them several choices on the assignment that they had to do. And all of them had to use iMovie. The first one was to make a life story with pictures from their childhood under three minutes. And another one was that they could do a poem. And another choice was that they could create a tutorial explaining a concept that they had learned, they knew how to do, such as a math concept. And then the other one was that they could do a personal narrative or other fictional story that they had written, and turn that into video in under 90 seconds.

Teacher: And what's your project about?

Student: I did this personal narrative, and I wanted to express [inaudible] Pismo Beach.

Teacher: Oh, okay, so you did the story about Pismo Beach.

Student: Yeah.

Teacher: Where are the photos that you're going to use for that project?

Student: They're on the server and in the iMovie folder.

Teacher: Okay, perfect. So you already transferred them over from home?

Student: Yeah.

Student: Well, we have to make like a movie project. So you kind of have a topic, and with your topic you speak into a microphone, and then you draw pictures to go with what you're saying.

Student: Sad is the color of dark blue. Sad sounds like sobbing and deep misery. Sad feels as heavy as sharp bricks. Sad smells like tears on a damp pillow.

Student: When I go in the lab and do like an iMovie project. And I'm just going to do one of these poems in here. And I'm going to-- there's this thing called "Kid Pics." I'm going to like load it on, like into little like sections. Put it all together, and I'm going to put music in the background, and I'm probably going to talk about it, too, a little bit.

Student: And then look at your audio, and you put it in iTunes.

Student: So go to this. Put all your--

Student: They're in order.

Student: No, but put them all together.

Teacher: If you create an environment where they can collaborate with each other, then they get better ideas with each other, but also they help each other to finish their projects.

Student: My story is about basketball. Right now I'm working on adjusting how long each photo is going to take, and seeing where I need to place the photos.

Teacher: You've got the writing skills and the reading skills and the speaking skills and the technology skills collaborating with each other. Organization skills all put together.

Student: Right here.

Student: We both were doing tutorials. We got the audio first recorded outside. And then we took a screen recording of what we were doing on like this painting website. And we like just filmed what we were going to show on the tutorial. Then on iMovie we put the video and mixed it with the audio. And cut off some portions of audio or clipped some portions of video for it to kind of match up.

Student: Cool technique, huh? Okay, now we can try something a little bit harder. How about, I guess, 25 times 25.

Teacher: How many people got their iMovie projects uploaded and on their digital portfolios?

Teacher: And then the next thing would be able to share it with other people. I think it makes it all the more meaningful in terms of if they think that somebody else might see it, you know, you have the whole concept of the authentic audience. Another important concept that I want students to know is that it's not just me teaching them. We're all here to teach each other. And each one of us is, you know, a citizen in this class, and I want them to participate and contribute to their learning. So definitely want to encourage them to be sharing and to collaborate with others and to always be a lifelong learner.

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  • Producer: Zachary Fink
  • Producer / Director: Stephen Brown
  • Director of Photography: Vanessa Carr
  • Editor: Matthew Beighley
  • Title Sequence: Randy Murray Productions
  • Digital Media Curator: Amy Erin Borovoy
  • Executive Producers: Erin Crysdale & David Markus
  • Thanks: Chris Fitzgerald Walsh, for help finding the teacher profiled in this episode.

Produced in partnership with the Teaching Channel.

This 2012 work by The George Lucas Educational Foundation & Teaching Channel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Creative Commons License

Tech2Learn Video Series

Our new video series goes inside the classrooms of educators who use technology tools in their lessons every day. Learn from their challenges, celebrate their successes, and share their resources in every episode.

This series is a co-production with the Teaching Channel.

Additional Resources and Tools from Mrs. Dalesio

Visit the Tech2Learn series page to see more resources.

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