Random Thoughts

When it all goes right

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When technology all works, it can do some amazing things. Yes, there are hills and valleys to the use of technology, but when technology allows students to engage in the learning process and create some simply amazing projects….I still shake my head in awe when I see what happens when we can guide them in the process. When we get out of their way and allow them to learn and create on their own.

This VoiceThread is from our IB art class. The teacher has been doing some great things with art and technology. Her latest activity has students talking about their art work on VoiceThread. Now if only we could find another art class to come and leave comments the circle would be complete.

Next a 9th grade science class has been working on reporting their lab findings in a different format. The best part about this project was when I was helping the students download their video I said, “Yeah, I think we’ll upload these to YouTube.” The looks on the kids faces was priceless and one group even said, “We’ve got to do a good job now, I want a good rating.” Motivation comes in different ways. 😉

This is technology embedded into the classroom. This is technology the way I love watching it being used. In a way that just fits what is already being done. Could these have been done in another way? Sure. But would they have engaged students as much as they did? Probably not. This is there medium, this is there world and when we engage them in the learning process in their world, they get excited, they want to preform, they want to learn!

[tags]sas, embedded technology[/tags]

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I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.


  1. Great! (If only my science classes did the same)

    I love the comment, “We’ve got to do a good job now, I want a good rating.”

    This isn’t an old idea, that making students’ work more public inspires better work. (eg. student writing for newspapers) However, this new media certainly makes it far more accessible.

  2. Jeff,
    You’ve shared excellent examples of using the free tools to spotlight engaged learning. Very powerful.
    Allows us to use your examples to demonstrate the possibilities when we provide professional development. Thanks for the ideas! (another excellent example of the versatility of Voice Thread!)

  3. Awesome and inspiring! It is always encouraging to see examples like these out there. The possiblities with our students are endless and this goes to show that they respond well to this type of learning. Re-affirming what we already know, but it is always nice to get a reminder!

  4. I am about to begin a project using Voice Thread but never would have thought of using it the way your art teacher has. I did show it to our IB Art teacher, however, and seeing the excitement on her face after glancing at a few of the IB Art 1 slides makes my day!


  5. I love the video. It’s a great way for the students to invest in the experiment. I’m sure it’s going to get a lot of play from the students. The art VoiceThreads are great too. I’m going to show it to the school’s art teacher. I’ll have to explain the ability to add comments to her. Maybe we can get our kids to leave some comments after Thanksgiving.

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  7. Jeff – thanks for sharing these. Such simple applications but powerful projects. One technical question – do you get parents to signoff permission to allow these videos on YouTube and other projects on the web? How do you handle that at SAS?

  8. Page/Jeff: You need to get parents to signoff permission to allow these videos on YouTube and other projects on the web if your website is directed at children (under 13 years of age) and it collects information “that would allow someone to identify or contact the child,” — for example, names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and similar information –
    according to Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Check out this blog entry from Nolo’s Rich Stim (he explains it in more detail) http://blogs.nolo.com/intellectualproperty/2008/02/22/dad-whats-a-cookie-complying-with-coppa/

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