Friday, January 20, 2012

Using technology to explore Who We Are

Our Pre-Kindergarten students don't come to the computer lab for lessons and they only have one desktop computer in each classroom, so finding a way of using technology with them is a challenge at times.  At our meeting yesterday the teachers asked if I could find a way of helping them create a "moving wall" of images (with sounds) on the classroom wall to bring the outside world into the classroom as the students explore the central idea of their Who We Are unit of inquiry:
We explore and connect to our environment through our senses
The aim is that children will have the sights and sounds of different places projected onto the classroom wall and that they can interact with what they see and hear as they play.   The teachers had some ideas of what they wanted to be able to do, and they wanted my help to do these.   Initially they thought the best way to create this environment would be to download movies from YouTube and loop them.

As I listened to what they wanted, it seemed there was a much simpler solution - Infinite Looper and I then set about finding some movies with sights and sounds that might interest the children and support their central idea.  I like the way that Infinite Looper has a slider so that it's possible to select the only those parts of the movies that we want to loop.  I looked for scenes from different places (for example I found street scenes of San Francisco and Dakar, Senegal) and also natural scenes such as sunsets or just a running stream.  I'm excited to see how this ideas works when the students actually start to play in front of these "moving walls".

Below are the links to the scenes we are going to explore:
San Francisco Scenes, Sights and Sounds
Relaxing City Sounds - the image stays the same, but students will be able to hear the different sounds
Street Sounds and Sights of Dakar, Senegal - we loop this after 3.35
Cars - no real need to loop this as it lasts an hour
Perfect sunset

Another of the teachers' ideas is also to use a modified version of the "I See ... I Think ... I Wonder" Visible Thinking Routine.  They are going to try to do "I Hear .... I Think .... I Wonder" with the students.  We are going to explore some websites where there are audio files which we can download into an iTunes playlist for the students to listen to.  More about this in an upcoming post.

Photo Credit:  Beko by Tanakawho AttributionNoncommercial 

1 comment:

  1. I never heard of the Visible Thinking Routine 'til now! That gave me an idea for a webcam project I was already planning. I blogged about it here:
    and I mentioned your post! The power of a PLN - thanks for sharing!