Literacy and numeracy have become major issues for concern in recent times. Several reports on these topics are in the public domain and in one report, “Incidental Inspection Findings 2010”, inspectors call for “urgent school improvements” and the provision of CPD (continuous professional development) for teachers to focus on the teaching of literacy and numeracy.
With this in mind I have looked at how ICT and related Web 2.0 tools can be used to bring added value to Literacy lessons in the classroom. I have looked at a number of these tools to see how they could be used to increase pupil engagement, to increase pupil creativity and to produce quality learning outcomes. One of the tools I have looked at is ZooBurst – a digital story telling tool that lets anyone create a 3D pop-up book. A basic free account allows a user to start creating a 3D pop-up book right away. There are Premium and School License accounts that provide additional advanced features that include sound integration, unlimited pages per book and classroom management features. An annual payment of $50 unlocks all of the Premium features including a virtual classroom space.
The online workspace is uncluttered and simple to navigate. Text is entered into a large text box and images can be added from a library of image files or uploaded by the user. Pupil work from an Art class could be scanned, uploaded and used in a 3D story leading to positive cross curricular integration. The end result is presented in an open book format and the objects on each page pop-up as a page is turned.
Pupils could use ZooBurst in collaborative groups, allowing for draft, editing and review over several English lessons before final presentation to their peer groups. I think ZooBurst will engage learners across a number of classes and more especially, pupils attending Learning Support.