Friday, January 3, 2014

Using Tech tools to promote Academic Conversations and Student Voice

@picswithastory December 31st, 2013
Thanks to a MISA Grant, I am able to work with a group of English Department Heads and teachers from across six secondary schools in our Board.  Our focus is to improve Oral Communication: specifically, to promote student voice,  academic conversations, and metacognition in grade 9 applied English courses.  Because of a Board-wide technology initiative, we will have access to iPads for our project.

We began by isolating a few tech tools that might help us.  We narrowed it down to the following:
Today's Meet;
Educreations (similar to Doodlecast and Show Me);
Garage Band;


Though students don't actually speak when using this tool.  We chose this as a great entry point for all students to have a voice.  A teacher could draw upon the entries of shy students who rarely participate orally.   This is a risk-free way to begin to value the contributions of all students.

Educreations (or a similar Whiteboard app)

We decided upon educreations because we wanted to capture student conversation as it was happening.  We purposely selected the tool for its simplicity.  The idea here is that students are given prompts and are to use the tool to record their ideas and opinions.  Then, more importantly, students listen to themselves and assess their skills and set goals for next time.

Both of these tools have worked very effectively.  We have co-taught a lesson using a poem about homelessness as a springboard.  We will begin our next planning phase using both GarageBand and iMovie.


Garage Band

Though the perfect tool for music lovers and creators alike, the audio recording feature makes it an ideal tool for students to practice their speaking skills and reflect on them.  Click here for a previous post about using Garage Band for reading fluency.


The teachers believe that if students have a media product about which to speak, they may be more successful when presenting orally.   Students will use iMovie to practice speaking formally as their task will focus on an oral news report and an editorial.  The teachers also wanted students to present live, so they will be presenting their selected current event and introducing their iMovie.

I am very much looking forward to seeing the results of this planning and learning.

No comments:

Post a Comment