Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I was asked a couple of weeks ago to do a quick presentation on how to use photostory for a group of students taking a statistics class. I thought "hmm, wonder what's going on here"? So, I showed them how to create their story (mainly a 5-10 minute overview of the program) and told them to go for it! I walked around for a few minutes to see exactly what they were doing and I heard the following topics being passed around : Growth Hormones, Video Game Violence and, the oddest, Cheese. I figured I must not know much about statistics and I'd just wait and see what the final outcome was.
Over the next several days I had random questions like "Can I borrrow your microphone?" and "Why isn't this saving correctly?" but never totally got the overall idea of the project. I was getting excited to see what they were doing with this.
Today was the day to watch the movies they had created. I was excited as I had no idea what I was in for. I thought I'd go watch the first presentation and then head back to my office to finish up a few projects I was working on myself.
The first presentation started with the photostory itself and the topic was about growth hormones. The students had beautifully selected appropriate pictures featuring cows, music of "cotton eyed joe" and text explaining why growth hormones are used. Then the music changed, got a little slower and the photos changed to pictures of little girls. The text started explaining how hormones in meat effect menstruation cycles in girls. My eyes welled up a little and I knew I was hooked!
I ended up staying the whole period and thoroughly enjoyed watching everyone's project. And I was even intrigued by the one on how cheese relates to "#2"! And hey-it really doesn't cause constipation in everyone!
The best part of all this is how well it integrated with the statistics curriculum. Students were using terminology as if they truly understood it, used graphs to show the survey data they had collected and even commenting on what they learned and what they would have done differently a second time. I was very impressed with these projects and I look forward to seeing more in the future.
Getting Math to integrate technology like this has proved to be a challenge at all schools I have worked in, so it was extra special to see something like this work out so beautifully. I hope to be able to share a couple of these shows once I get permission from the students.

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