Engaging primary students across the curriculum
Engaging younger students with an intuitive tool
Alison Leaver is an ICT teaching assistant from Spaldwick Community Primary School in Cambridgeshire, UK.
In July 2011, she went with several of her young pupils to the E2BN trade showto see new education technologies. They soon found Moviestorm, and were attracted by the graphics and the chance to play with the software. Though our demonstrators were used to taking teachers through the application, the youngsters immediately took the controls and pretty soon a few of them had made their first movies. We burned their movies to disc, and they took them back to the school to show to their friends and teachers, along with some free trial copies of the software.
When Alison saw their movies, she was amazed that they could have been so productive in such a short period.
“I was initially worried they’d spent the entire show making movies with Moviestorm instead of doing the tasks they had been assigned,” she recalls. To her astonishment, they informed her that their movies only took ten minutes each, and they did them all in their lunch times.
It wasn’t just the quality of the movies that surprised her. It was her pupils’ insistence that their school start to use Moviestorm. “They didn’t just want to play with Moviestorm. They wanted to use it at school. They started telling me what we could do with Moviestorm. They had ideas of their own, which was so refreshing. My pupils wanted to learn more by using Moviestorm, and that was terrific!”
Moviestorm recently visited Spaldwick Primary, and we asked the pupils what they liked most about Moviestorm.
10 year old Morgan said, “I liked how it was so easy to use. After I left the show, the more I thought about using it, the more I wanted it at school. The combinations of what I can do with it are endless.”
Two more pupils who tried Moviestorm at E2BN, Emma (10) and Lauren (11), were equally enthusiastic about using it in school. Lauren told us, “I really like the animation. It looks very realistic and the graphics are excellent.” Emma, who already has some experience with some web-based animation suites like Movie Planner, told us she now prefers to use Moviestorm. “It’s so great! Much better than other programs I have used. I feel like I can do anything with it.”
Their interest wasn’t just about using Moviestorm for fun. The pupils also had big ideas about how they could be taught with it and use it for their school work.
“Our teachers could make movies with it that had them talking to us in them, telling us what our homework is,” suggested one pupil. “That would be cool,” smiled Emma. “We have recently been studying a lot of history and it would be really good if we could create history movies and present them to the class.”
“Nobody just teaches ICT anymore. When teaching anything computer based you have to be very specific in that. Moviestorm is a piece of software that expands far beyond that,” said Alison. “Children these days have opportunities, and they have access to a range of ICT facilities that provide them with the tools to create. Each term learning ages decrease by almost a full year and Moviestorm adapts to that. It pushes the children in a positive way. It’s a creation tool that expands on what the children know and how they learn.”
In closing, Alison echoed what her young pupils told us earlier in the day. “The best thing about Moviestorm is that the children want to use it to learn about other subjects such as history and geography. It makes them want to learn and be creative.”
Thank you to Alison Leaver and the pupils of Spaldwick Primary School.