I popped in on a 6th Grade Spanish class led by Clarissa Leal
. Her students are using Google Sketchup
to design Islamic structures using similar characteristics they noted from their analysis of La Albambra.
6th grade studies Mecca for the first trimester: They read Habibi in English, learn Arabic counting games and melodies in Music, discuss The Crusades in Social Studies, construct geometric tesselations in Math, and examine the historical, political, and cultural significance of Islam in Social Studies (and throughout our integrated curriculum).
Unfortunately my Google Sketchup skills are weak, and I’m relying on the old “ask three people before you ask me” trick. I’m also modeling how to use the online help menu to answer questions. There are a couple of kids making hand-drawn models…
Yesterday, I worked with the 5th grade Spanish teacher, Nicole Haleen, to help her students search and cite online images for their Day of the Dead (Día de Los Muertos) altars. They built their altar in Inspiration, as it allowed them to quickly create tiers in order to populate with images and text. Their three tiers represented what the person they were commemorating liked to eat, drink, and do.
After gathering and citing all the images, kids were told to write brief descriptions (in Spanish) for why they chose each image for their altar. To record their voices in Inspiration, students highlighted each image, went up to Tools in the menu bar, scrolled down to Insert video or sound and then over to Record sound. For this recording step, students were told to grab a pair of our Logitech USB microphone headsets. We previously used a different Logitech model that was not as kid-friendly, and the earpieces kept snapping off. Having a microphone headset is a huge advantage as they drastically cut down on ambient noise. Students will probably need to change their input/output sound settings in System Preferences. They will also probably need frequent reminders to do this.
Nicole Haleen teaches Spanish to 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades at The School at Columbia University. She might be one of the most organized people I work with. For the 5th grade study of Day of the Dead, 5th graders made drawings, dioramas, paintings, and scultptures of calacas (skeletons) before creating a digital altar to represent a family member. They built their altar in Inspiration, as it allowed them to quickly create tiers in order to populate with images and text.
Nicole asked me to come in and remind the students how to properly search and cite online images. This is what we discussed:
- They signed a Respectful Use Policy at the beginning of the year reinforcing that they’d be using technology academically, respectfully, and responsibly.
- Try to choose “advanced image search” in Google and Flickr and other sites so that you locate only images labeled for reuse.
- Use Wikimedia to search media. Wikimedia is a sister project of Wikipedia. I showed the 5th graders Wikimedia’s Reuse guide where they specifically state, “almost all may be freely reused without individual permission according to the terms of the particular license under which it was contributed to the project, but some licenses may require that the original creator be attributed.”
- It is incredibly easy from any browser (Firefox, Chrome, less so in Safari) to copy the image and paste it into Inspiration. Control-click on the image and choose Copy image.
- It is just as easy from any browser to copy the URL simply by holding down the Control key while clicking on the image with the mouse. Different browsers say different things: Copy image URL, Copy image address, Copy image location…
- We talked about how if you don’t cite/attribute a photo, it means you took it yourself, you forgot to cite it, or you stole it.
- I reinforced that 5th grade is a great age to get into the habit of being responsible, respectful, ethical, moral, and purposeful with information. The expectation is they will continue to do this throughout 5th grade and beyond.
Nicole lists the following sites for locating images: