Book Creator

Using Book Creator in the Kindergarten Classroom (EDER 669.73)

by Katherine Campbell

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Using Book Creator
in the Kindergarten Classroom
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Week 1 Micro-Task
EDER 669.73
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Katherine Reilly-Campbell
Background
Next year, I will be teaching a Kindergarten class. For the first time in several years, I will be teaching an inclusive group of children (as opposed to a sheltered group of ELLs), with English L1 students and ELLs working together in one classroom. Because the grade level is new to me, I am hoping to incorporate technology that is beneficial for all learners, and is able to be adapted to provide additional support for my ELLs as needed. 
Our school division promotes MediaSmarts’ Use, Understand, Create: A Digital Literacy Framework for Canadian Schools as a guide for teachers interested in establishing the foundations of digital literacy in their classrooms. The three main principles of the framework – that students are able to use essential technical skills in order to engage with computers and the internet, that students understand “how digital media and applications can reflect, shape, enhance, or manipulate our perceptions, beliefs, and feelings”
(Hoechsmann & DeWaard, 2015), and that students create content and effectively communicate – are meant to supplement core curricular work across all grades from Kindergarten to grade 12.
Children in Kindergarten “are already active users of digital technologies”
(MediaSmarts, 2019) and the latest research studies indicate that “on- screen activities” are dominating preschoolers’ daily lives, (Dalte et al, 2017), which leads me to understand that at this age, children tend to use technology, but they have not yet had the opportunity to understand or create.  Therefore, I would like to explore digital story-telling as a means of moving my little learners from being passive consumers of technology to active producers.
Watch this video to learn more about preschool technology use
(NBC News, 2018)
Children in Kindergarten “are already active users of digital technologies”
(MediaSmarts, 2019) and the latest research studies indicate that “on- screen activities” are dominating preschoolers’ daily lives, (Dalte et al, 2017), which leads me to understand that at this age, children tend to use technology, but they have not yet had the opportunity to understand or create.  Therefore, I would like to explore digital story-telling as a means of moving my little learners from being passive consumers of technology to active producers.
Redefining Traditional Learning Tasks
A traditional beginning of year task for kindergarten classes at my new school is to create a class book inspired by the well-loved picture book Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes. The teacher takes pictures of each student’s feet in their new school shoes and then creates a lift-the-flap “guess who” page for each child. It’s a very cute project, but student participation is minimal. I thought that this activity could become so much more meaningful for my students if I redefine the task to become a multimedia project, with content created by the children.
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