With any great technological success in kindergarten, sharing is an absolute must! My class and I just experienced the use of purposeful technology in our classroom using two apps: Sonic Pics and Pic Collage.
We are continuing our unit entitled “The Colours God Creates” and have been talking lots about our skin colour, eye colour, and hair colour. To practice their oral French language skills, I wanted to have the students create a slide show as a whole class show casing their different hair colour and eye colour. We had been practicing the sentence structure (“Mme Kathleen a les yeux verts”) for many days.
As per usual, the start of this plan was a disaster. I experimented with Explain Everything, and it seemed to work well. The students could insert a photo of their eye colour onto their slide, type their text at the bottom, and record their voice. This did not go as planned. Each time we used the app, it crashed, lost our photos, and had difficulties saving their work. I managed to push through and save the afternoon class’ work about their eye colour, but the morning class’ work was totally lost. The afternoon class watched their slide show with glee and delight, their eyes shining as they listened to their voices boom through the speakers and their pictures show up on the interactive white board. The morning class’ posture slumped down and they looked up at me with shocked and sad little faces as I told them all of their work was lost. It was pretty much the saddest sight ever. “HAVE NO FEAR!” I said. “We are STILL going to use the iPad to make a slide show about our hair colour!” They squealed with delight. “And this time, we will use TWO apps, not just one!” This seemed to make up for the bad news I had just broken to them.
After I threw Explain Everything out the window, I KNEW I wanted to use Sonic Pics to create our slide show. I had used it before. It was simple, and exported well. The only problem was that I couldn’t add text, or so I thought. Therefore, we used Pic Collage to accomplish the goals that Sonic Pics couldn’t quite meet. We inserted a photo of the students’ hair colour, then the student got to choose a font to use for their sentence. Of course, some students could type the whole thing, others I had to give them the letters to use, and others I needed to type the whole thing for them. After they had finished, the students resized the photo and the text to look aesthetically pleasing, and they exported the photo to the camera roll.
Of course I had to cross out the names, but here is how their photos looked after they were finished.
The next day, I quickly dropped all the photos into Sonic Pics, and I had the project ready to record in minutes. Here is how the set up looks in the app after all the photo have been dropped in.
Sonic pics divides projects, and recordings, which is nice in case you need to add any more photos before you start to record. Here is how my screen looked when I had the first student with me, ready to record their voice.
Instead of that “play” button at the bottom of the photo, there will be a red button that tells you the student is ready to record. I pressed the button, the student recorded their voice, I pressed pause, swiped to the next student, and just kept going from there. After you are finished, the recording saves nicely, and is easily exportable in many different ways. I export my videos to YouTube, and set the privacy settings to “unlisted”. That way, only individuals with the link can view the video, and parents can send the link to other family members to watch.
I can’t post a link to the final product yet, because the slide show had my students’ names in it, and I must ask permission from my parents to post this type of work on public sites. As soon as I have permission, I will post the link to our final video.
This was a great digital citizenship activity for my students. After my morning class lost their work, we talked about how we wouldn’t be able to post it on the Internet anyways because it had photos of our faces. It was a great chance to talk to them about how they are still learning how to use the Internet safely, and that it is not ok for them to post pictures of themselves online at such a young age. These activities reinforced our two mantras about technology in the classroom: “Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t!” and “When we are working with technology, we have to have lots of patience.”