Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Phillips Anime/Manga Club, KC Boyd, Librarian, Phillips High School

When the Chromebooks arrived in my Library Media Center, the students were extremely excited.  Many of the students had persuaded their family members to purchase these devices instead of the more pricier iPad over the last year.  In addition, some of the students also had the experience of using the devices in Music and AP History classes so this made the introduction to the device easy.  

The first group I used the Chromebooks with was not a traditional class, it was actually an after school club.  The Phillips Anime/Manga Club began earlier this year and I agreed to sponsor the 14 students that are in the club.  Their first assignment:  Google Slideshow describing the club.  When students want to begin a new club at Phillips, they must secure a sponsor and then give a formal presentation to the principal justifying the need/interest.  Once the principal approved the club, the students expanded the slideshow and created the ‘Action Plan’ that was presented to all of the students in the club.   

There were many lunch period meetings in the Library Media Center and they developed the content and language for the presentation on their own.  You can view the slideshow here:  https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Oq3ubrRFG5I9MTGeEsumGAlS4h_4WvWQhYv8XVbUQZU/pub?start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000.  The Vice-President surprised me and  revised the slideshow and flipped it into a Prezi using the Chromebooks.  His explaination was he wanted to attract more students and using Prezi was more visually stimulating than slides and he could include the music that is associated with the genre.  Also, he felt that using Google Slides was easier for the ‘old people’ (my principal and I) to read and understand as opposed to using a Prezi.

The next order of business was to create a Anime/Manga Club website.  The students used the Chromebooks and created a free Weebly site.  Once again, students came to the Library Media Center during lunch periods and after school to work on the website.  Here’s a sampling of their work, it’s not quite finished but they are almost there:   http://phillipsanimemangaclub.weebly.com/ .  The students developed the website on their own and received approval from me as they moved through each step.  One main area that I wanted to see present on the website is a portal for recommended reads.  The students complained that I don’t have many of the books in my collection that they are interested in.  My attitude is I can use this as a platform to advocate for funding for the books from my administration.  Stay tuned…..we’ll see!

Overall, the initial rollout was good.  The only snag was when students didn’t log out of their account.  This is why numbering the Chromebooks are important, it helps maintain order and track down the last student in the building that used that particular device.  The beauty of this is I’m seeing a different side to students that I have know for the last three years.  Anime/Manga is their life and passion.  This group is my loudest group in the Library Media Center during lunch periods because they debate the content of the various AMV’s that are on the web.   Have I had to put them out of the Library Media Center for their behavior, you bet but they keep coming back!  Moreover, the Chromebooks are excellent devices for them to use.  They are easy to handle, portable, small and can be used in their laps or at the tables.  I’ve even seen students curled up in corners and laying on the floor using the devices.  My challenge is to identify a good app that will give them the flexibility of creating their own AMV’s and drawings.  The ultimate goal is these AMV’s will appear in episodes of ‘Behind the Paws’ and during monthly assemblies.

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