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Using digital stories to improve student literacy

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Duration: 2:19

Irongate School teacher Natasha Jacobs and students from her Year 5/6 class share their learning journey. To develop their understanding of story structure students retell Māori myths. Students explain how they create a storywheel that is then digitised and supported with audio narration. Natasha reflects on the opportunities provided for student learning while students share how using technology has made a difference to their learning.

We were learning, our unit topic was Māori myths and legends and we decided to do a storywheel about a legend that we wanted to do.

We were learning how to read better, read a story and understand what we were reading about.

We had to write on a piece of paper eight different sequences in our short, in our own sentences about the story.

To start with we just were producing the story wheels, which was a Sheena Cameron idea that we got from her reading professional development. They had like a storyboard, sort of an idea and they planned out their eight segments of writing.

We took a photo of it and imported it onto the computer.

Because initially it was just a literacy focus so we kind of extended it when we saw that there was a need for it and then they used the EasiSpeaks to record the retelling that they’d done of each of the eight pictures.

It’s made me better at writing ‘cos I know how to retell stories now.

We listened to the computer to see if our, to see if we spoke clearly on the microphones.

Then they had to listen to what they’d recorded, decide whether that was going to be good enough for an audience or not and re-record it. So we kind of moved into oral language as well which wasn’t initially a focus but it had to become one. They hyperlinked onto Word to add their sound recordings. In my sharing with Marion about what we were doing she said, oh you know that would be really awesome if you could make that and we could use it in our reading programme. So then I took that idea back to the class and we talked about, you know striving for accuracy for an even bigger audience than just ourselves so it gave us a more authentic audience as well. You know working on the computers is fun and they love that and it engages them but it’s higher than that. It’s not just about the computer it’s about the audience.

Tags: English, Primary, Student inquiry, Self-regulated learning, Collaborative tools, Writing, Digital stories