When Paraíso Colégio in Juazeiro do Norte, Brazil partnered with Digital Media Academy, Isabel Brito and Bruno Moreira taught The Power of Pictures: Digital Illustrations to their grade 3 class. Isabel and Bruno were interested in helping their students learn how effective pictures can be for conveying information and telling stories, and in helping their students learn new ways to express themselves through digital art.

Students practice creativity with STEAMAs a Microsoft Showcase School, classes at Paraíso Colégio were being taught online remotely through Microsoft Teams. Isabel and Bruno used interactive activities from the course to overcome barriers to class participation in the remote learning environment. Through this method of teaching, students were able to truly engage with the course content and discover how pictures can be a powerful tool for communication.

By teaching the tools and techniques used to illustrate pictures, students learned a new way to express their imaginations. The students all created their own visual interpretations of stories, and at the same time increased their technical skills.

Introducing students to new, digital tools on their computers, smartphones, and tablets, students were able to gain new-found confidence in their creative abilities. Students gained not only self-assurance in their technical ability, but confidence in themselves and their ability to speak up during class discussions.

Students programming at Paraíso Colégio

Isabel and Bruno found that by allowing students to use their imaginations and express themselves creatively, students were able to engage with the virtual classroom more effectively. Students that were normally more hesitant to participate in class discussions were more eager to jump in and voice their ideas. Those students found that they could more easily contribute new ideas to the class and that there was value in engaging in the discussions.

Isabel and Bruno are eager to return to the classroom and teach The Power of Pictures: Digital Illustrations again, along with more Digital Media Academy courses in the future to continue to help their students find their voice while learning new 21st-century applied technology skills.

They were used to using just crayons and colored pencils on paper, and now they are using their computers and their cell phones and creating art... It was a new way to practice their imaginations.

- Isabel Brito and Bruno Moreira, Paraíso Colégio.