Course 5 Final Project: Stick Figures in Motion

The final project for course 5 has been a difficult one to get through.  Trying anything new in the first year of a new one to one iPad program was going bring up some unforeseen problems. I should have known better, but instead of just dove head first into the deep end.  However, I was excited by the possibilities that the iPads offered to my art program and I wanted to take advantage of them

The first problem I encountered was that it was very difficult to do an animation project if you do not have iPads.  Despite the tech departments best efforts, the classroom teachers in grade 4 did not get their class sets of iPads until the late in the first week of October.  The problem seemed to be that Apple would not allow our school to bulk buy all the apps that they wanted to put on each grade levels iPads.  It took weeks to work this out and more time to install all the apps.

The second problem that I ran into was how would the students send me their work.  Our school has a policy where students in grade 4 or lower are not allowed to have a separate school based email account.  First they gave each student in a class the same email address. However, this resulted in Gmail viewing these emails as spam and they were not sent to me.  Next, the school divided each classes into 2 groups and then gave each group an email address.  Again this did not work as Gmail read these as spam.  Yesterday, they tried sending the attached images from the same email addresses, but to an address in the same domain (I think I understood this correctly)  Anyways, it worked and I can now get all of my students work off the iPads and sent to me.

The last problem was that we had to use art time to try and work out the emailing issues.  This led to the kids missing art studio time and as a result we have run out of time to finish everything I wanted to do on this project.  I am going to have to leave out the sharing of their animations using Voice Thread and having the students posting their animations on to the school YouTube account.  I may do that by myself.

However, overall the project has been very well received by the students and they have been fully engaged during class time when they are working on their animations.  I fully plan on doing this again next year and hopefully, now that I have some of the bugs worked out things should go smoother.

Lastly, if anyone out there has tried this project as well please let me know how it went.

*The American in School In Japan utilizes Curriculum Mapping with Rubicon ATLAS.   The following unit is written in the ATLAS form.
* The Art program at ASIJ has limited contact with the elementary school students.  Due to this limited contact, Art only gives an effort grade.

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4 responses to “Course 5 Final Project: Stick Figures in Motion

  1. I can really identify with your struggles. It is hard to predict all of the technical difficulties that can show up. I have had a similar problem with the sharing of files. The 4th grade students at our school are each writing a page of a book about the history of books and libraries. They are writing it in pages, but they can only access their work and student log-in while at school. Some have had to do work at home to finish up in time and so I have had to ask the parents to email a copy to me, so I can put it on a memory stick, log into the student account and add it to their documents folder.

    Now, we are nearing completion and we would like the students to submit their work to me so that I can compile all of the pages into the iBooks Author format. The students should be able to use my drop box, but after checking with the tech department to make sure that it would work, when we attempted it from the student machines…. in class…. it did not work. Sigh.

    Technology saves so much time, except when it wastes so much time. We will figure out a way to do this, but you’re right; the first time through with tech-related lesson plans is always the most difficult.

    Your project looks very intriguing and engaging. I’m sure that it will get better and better with each passing year.

  2. Garry Leroy Baker

    Congratulations on your students’ projects. I admire your perseverance in the face of technical obstacles. A few years ago my teaching mantra became, “Next year.” My goal is always to learn from this year and work to make the next time better.

    Do you have a way to share what you have learned with other teachers at your school? It sounded like your students enjoyed the project and overcoming the initial technology and timing issues should make similar projects possible at other grade levels. I would use this in my AP European History class when teaching Renaissance or Baroque art, for example. Students could diagram the characteristics of each art movement right on the page and access or share later. Thanks for the teaching idea!

  3. HI,

    My plan all along was to share this among the different grade 4 classes at our school using Voice Thread. However we have simply just run out of time and I need to move on. My hope though, was that somebody from somewhere in the world would try this project out as well and the kids could share their work with schools in other countries. I do plan to share this on one of our school PACT days and hopefully get some feedback on what the kids accomplished and some new ideas as to how to push this project further along. Thanks for your input. I would be interesting to share with you next year on this.

  4. Well done for persevering Carl! This was challenging, you (at least according to your blog posts) you stayed positive and were able to accomplish your goals. You might not have been able to do everything you set out to do, but as you said, trying something completely new in the first year of a 1:1 initiative is always challenging. Now you have the experience, along with the clear vision, to really make this project a success in future years. Well done!

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