Saturday, May 31, 2008

Toondoo and more...

Year 8s have been exploring some new tools as they work out how their group wants to represent their learning and thinking about the novel we have been reading as a class. The novel Falling from Grace by Jane Godwin is a tensely written narrative told in two alternating first person excerpts. What Godwin does with language cries out to be visually represented. The students have been looking at Photostory 3, Voicethread, toondoo and making digital videos with the school camera and in some cases their mobile pones (with appropriate authorisation from me, as mobile phones are generally banned at school). They spent some time in their groups storyboarding what they wanted to represent and thinking of ways to do it. Then some lessons looking at the other computer-based ways of telling their bit of the story and later they spent some time filming. Some of the students are making plans to keep filming on the weekend. One group is making a movie trailer using photostory and even though unfinished I am loving how it is coming along.

Here is one of the toondoos that one group made. The students are willing to explore the tools and use more than one way of displaying their ideas. This particular toondoo had the students discussing animatedly how they saw Ted, and wat sort of character he was. Can we show a feeling about a character even if the way we represent him isn't how he was described/implied? It was a fantastic lesson for a Friday afternoon and I love how excited the students are about the novel.


  1. SoulCradler6:09 pm

    This looks great Jo. Visual representations are such a great way of demonstrating understanding of text. I'll have to read "Falling From Grace"

  2. This is something I really miss now - the opportunity to engage the students in great literature and multi-media. Interpreting text through other forms is a great way to demonstrate understandings.
    Sounds like lots of fun.

  3. This sounds like a wonderful project! There are enough tools out there that different students can find what is comfortable for them and use it. That kind of choice is always good! I hope you will be able to share more examples of the students' projects when they are done.

    I am not familiar with the book, but I certainly want to read it now.

  4. Thanks Jo
    Toondoo looks lots of fun and fairly easy to use - I'm sure my juniors would pick it up quickly. A different way into a text for sure.

  5. I am collecting examples of how educators are using Voicethread in their classroom or for professional development on a wiki at:

    My plan is to share these examples with other technology teachers who provide professional development in their schools.

    Feel free to add your own examples or links to resources. Thanks in advance,
    Colette Cassinelli

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  7. I think these are wonderful ways to represent understanding of a text. I've used Photo Story 3 and Movimaker to create digital stories in response to a text and have always found the kids have demonstrated incredible understanding of the complexities of plot with their efforts. Wonderful work Jo and I'm sure the kids appreciate your efforts to do something really interesting with them.

  8. Kim Pericles4:17 pm

    Thanks for sharing your students' work. I have used Toondoo in my class, Primary school, with some interesting cartoons created covering a couple of different subject areas. The students used it individually - playing around with it, not really exploring issues at any great depth. (yet :) )
    I'm thinking that using Toondoo in a group situation would encourage deeper discussion of ideas and themes. Is this what you have found?