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Engaging Students Through the Use of Photostory
By: Lisa Emerson and Alison Cornelius
Photostory is an easy to use software package where you can create movies. In five easy steps you have a movie ready to use in your classroom. You can import pictures, narrate, add music that is included in the software, or import your own music. This is a powerful, easy to use tool that will take your students education to the next level.
Photostory is a great technological tool for teachers and students to use in the classroom. Parents can also utilize this tool to continue the learning process at home. Photostory is a free download from Microsoft or it may have come on a CD that came with your computer. It is very easy to use, easy to install and loads quickly. Just go to the following site and follow the onscreen directions.
Using Photostory you can create slideshows using your own personal pictures or you can download pictures and clip art to use form the internet. You can edit the pictures using some of the tools that come with the software. You can crop, rotate, remove red-eye, add text, and other special features. Some of the best features photostory has to offer are music, slide transition and the ability to use your own voice.
Photostory is very easy to use and can be used with all grade levels. Students from grade two to grade twelve can create their own photostories. Students can even use it to create and present projects to the class. You can make it as elaborate as you want or as simply as you want. Photostory can be used with any content area. Some great ideas for students could be to make a presentation on a famous person, a place, or showing what they did over summer vacation. Teachers can use this great tool to get students hooked into a lesson. It can even make a social studies lesson come alive!
Last year, I taught Kindergarten and I utilized photostory in many ways throughout the school year. I really enjoyed using it as one of my reading centers because it was very easy for the students to use independently. I had created a photostory of sight words and one for the sounds of the alphabet. I had also created some photostories by reading books aloud so that the children could listen to them during their reading time or during any free time throughout the day. I found that this really helped my struggling readers and promoted fluency. At the end of the school year the kindergarten teachers got together and created a photostory of what the students had accomplished throughout the school year. We played it at the school graduation and gave parents the opportunity to download the photostory from a secure link on our website. It was a great idea and the parents will be able to download it to a disc and cherish those memories for a lifetime.
Next year, I plan to use photostory on the first day of school, to model rules and procedures for the students. I also have plans to use it in a math center displaying step by step instructions on how to solve a math problem, count money, and identify shapes.
In conclusion, photostory aids to all types of learners. It is fun, easy and has a direct impact on student achievement and developing their love for learning.