As I type this, my Year 8 French students are working intensely on making comic strips by taking pictures within our virtual 3D world, which we call "Booralie Island". Now they're making comic strips. I'll paste the comics in amongst this text that I am typing.
COMIC 1, by Sarita, Danielle, and Rebekah
We're going to post the comics at http://nbcsfrench.wikispaces.com
COMIC 2, by Connor, Joel and Ethan
I'd like to think that teachers who would otherwise use the textbook, might direct their students to check out our own special comics. I'd like to think that students will find it interesting to see the work produced by their peers in other places - perhaps it will give them a sense of connection with other French students. Also, it's a heck of a lot of fun. The fact I can find 3 minutes to type this shows they are intensely 'into' the activity. I can hear, right now, students discussing their camera angles for the comic shots! Students are asking for virtual money to buy virtual clothing in the virtual clothing shop to wear for the shots!
Comic 3, by Lee, Daniel D and Daniel MB
It's the sort of activity where, if you're not careful, the students will spend hours and hours getting distracted. I've been very careful to get them moving - keep the comics simple, but let's get them done here and now and have them posted by the end of the lesson. It's now 10 minutes after the end of the lesson, and I am about to publish this blog post and the comics below. This is crucial - I can't sustain uses of technology that take hours of my time. 10 minutes, I can handle!
AHHH We didn't all finish! Out of 6 groups of students, 3 groups finished on time - not a bad start considering I had to teach them how to position the camera in the virtual world, how to take screen shots, add speech bubbles, resize pictures etc. The frenetic pace to the class worked well because the students worked efficiently.
Next time we'll aim higher!
If you have 20 seconds, leave a quick comment and say which city/country you’re from – I’ll show the comments to the students. (I showed them the comments on the lolcatz blog post – you just can’t beat the effect it has on our class perspective!)