Friday, 15 February 2013

Young Children and Their Cameras

Young students take beautiful photos. Each time I am involved in a photography project with the children in our kindergarten I am amazed. Their perspective, the way they frame shots, the way they seek out the beauty in the everyday. They have a natural talent.

How this project started:
Our K1 students started a Unit of Inquiry exploring living and nonliving things in our environment. The very first thing the teachers did was to collect students initial thoughts on what it means to be living (is our house living because we live in it?...lots of interesting understanding to explore) and then we headed out into our school environment, outside and inside, and took photos of things that we thought were both living and nonliving.

Linking it to expectations:
From the NETS:
- students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology
- students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively

From our UWC Learning Principles:
- learners collaborate
- learners feel secure and supported
- learners construct meaning by seeing patterns and making connections
- learners understand the purpose of the learning

From our UWC Profile:
- Creative and Innovative: Students think creatively to produce original works

Can we say photography, or expressing ourselves through intentionally taken photographs, is a language that children naturally speak? I think we can.

The child
is made of one hundred. 
The child has
A hundred languages
A hundred hands
A hundred thoughts
A hundred ways of thinking
of playing of speaking.
A hundred, always a hundred
ways of listening
of marveling of loving 
Loris Malaguzzi

Some photos from our K1s

Close, Closer and Even More Closer 



Living Things and Nonliving Things

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Hello, hojoki!

Spurred on by a conversation with a teacher about how tedious it can be looking into hundreds of folders to see if students have turned in homework or not, I've been looking for ways to see how this process can be made a little more efficient and I've found a tool called hojoki (via Katie Day via Noah Katz).
Hojoki is basically an aggregator for much of your digital "stuff" into one searchable, filterable feed.

So let's say that you've got files sharde with colleagues in Dropbox, Calendar updates from the all your school divisions, a shared Google Drive folder with each of your students where they turn in work, and student blogs that you follow.

Hojoki can connect to each of these services (Dropbox, Google Calendar, Google Drive, and Google Reader) and create a feed of updates as they happen.

What's really useful is that you can see everything in your feed, or filter by app (only Google Drive for example), or filter by user. This would allow you to see all of the items a particular student has shared organised by most recent to least recent.

Here's an intro to hojoki: