Saturday, March 3, 2012

Tech Class - Motivating Boy Writers

As a part of our province's professional teacher magazine, a new feature article will appear in each and every issue. The question: "How do we use technology to encourage and support our student learners."

In the first article "Tech Class" the OCT asked southwestern Ontario writer Gerry Blackwell to interview me on how I use writing and stop motion to motivate boy writers. Mr. Blackwell spent time at my Minds-On-Media station last fall and then conducted a follow-up telephone interview. Then Kevin Hewitt visited the classroom and spent the morning snapping professional shots of the kids in action with all means of technology.

On the day of the photo shoot, it dawned on me. The students really do have all manner of technology to assist in their learning. In one corner of the room sits what we call "The Mac at the Back", in another corner is a static animation station. There is a SMART board at the front and another computer attached to it. As well, we just crossed the 1to1 threshold a week or so back as all students, with school provided devices and BYOD, have their own device.

It just seems all so "natural" for the grade 6 students I teach every Day 2 to use technology. After all, technology support has been my vocation for the last 12 years or so. So why wouldn't it be a natural fit to use technology for all things in the classroom.

I'm a big believer in having students create an original artifact where none existed before. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

As Alan Luke has said, "Give the kids the gear, a webcam, a laptop and have them create".


  1. I loved this article in the magazine, and I love your focus on "creation" in the classroom. Just think what the students can do to demonstrate their learning in all subject areas. I've never made stop motion films before, but you've inspired me to find out more about this, and look at how these films can be used to support curriculum. I'm sure I'll have many questions for you as I continue to research and find out more about stop motion films.

    Thanks for the inspiration to try something new!

  2. Aviva,

    I think your phrase "demonstrate their learning" is key. And especially in all subject areas.

    I'm always looking to innovative ways for our students to create amazing content with the hope that we can inspire our students. It will be interesting to see what kinds of artifacts our students will be creating when they are in high school, college or university and whether we had any involvement in influencing them along the way.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment.