Low-Tech Options for Teaching Multiliteracies

Not every school has 1:1 access; but soon, I imagine they will. According to a 2014 National Study on Mobile Technology, 71% of districts surveyed reported that at least a quarter of their schools had adopted technology. Additionally, 82% of school districts were highly interested in implementing or expanding a district-wide 1:1 program within the next 2 years (it’s 2016 now, so I wonder what percentage actually were able to implement one?

My point is that not every kid has the access we wish they did. That’s okay, because we as teachers already know how important it is to be flexible and troubleshoot. IMG_5575 (1)

I am finishing my unit on reading graphic novels with American Born Chinese and wanted my students to apply their technical knowledge of graphic novels while sharing their classmates’ stories of being an “other.” Once the graphic stories were told and designed, I posted several throughout the room, asked students to pair up and identify the following
elements on their classmate’s poster.

  • emanata
  • gutter
  • splash
  • panel
  • voice over
  • speech bubbles
  • panel transitions
  • non-linear time sequence
  • camera angles
    • long shot
    • close up
    • birds eye
    • eye level
  • foreground ,midground, and background

This was a fantastic activity to review what they have learned throughout this unit, not only the technical elements, but also elements of narrative writing (in various mediums).

Next year when my district goes 1:1, I will do this same activity, but use the technology available. Instead of using poster paper, they will use a digital comic creator app such as Comic Life, Bitstrips, StoryboardThat, ToonDoo, or PowToon (I am sure there are others, these are just ones I am familiar with.).

Then, they will import that image into ThingLink, an interactive image creator, share their image with their classmates, and create targets to identify the different elements.

Each activity, whether the low-tech option or the “high”-tech one, will take about the same amount of time for students to complete, which is also an important consideration to make.

Just wanted to share how I can turn something low-tech into a “high”-tech version utilizing the digital learning tools available to me. I would love to hear your thoughts on this, or any other activity you do to transition from low-tech to “high”-tech!


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