Sharing the Planet – VoiceThread Style
Once again I asked for assistance from my PLN to connect with to help my grade 1 class engage with others and share their learning. To unlock their potential to learn with and from others. The last time I did this a few months ago @mramidon answered the call with a cartographer at the ready for a skype call. Indonesia connecting with the USA.
This time around it was a different tool, but the same goal. To reach out and learn with others. The grade 1 chose VoiceThread after looking at other tools such as Glogster, Bitstrips and Prezi to name a few. They loved the thought of other kids watching their work and making comments on it, giving their feedback and possibly asking more questions. So I showed the class how I use Twitter to connect. I sent out a tweet asking if anyone was interested in connecting, commenting on our hard work. The VoiceThreads were 5 weeks worth of inquiry and research. Now this was the presentation.The Voicethreads were the vehicle that showcased our learning about sharing the planet. In about 10 minutes I had a few responses. The first was @sducharme. A librarian from Hungary who had an eager grade 1 class willing to participate. The other was #pypchat fellow member @dwyerteacher from Japan. Three continents, hours of learning, numerous learners – one goal. The presentations were not long, but the kids did everything right down to inserting the photos, resizing, borders and font style all within the context of their investigations. This was their work from the start. Our central idea: The earth is shared by organisms for a variety of reasons. I must say that even though most children chose ‘bugs’ to investigate, they could have chosen any living thing, even plants. It was their call and they chose something to investigate that interested them. In my class, we are pretty explicit with our Inquiry Cycle model. Discussing and discovering where we are at different stages of investigations. We learn within a Visual Thinking framework. My grade 1 are pretty used to this.
The end result was pretty neat. They kids themselves learned a lot by the comments form an authentic audience. Parents even got into the act to and made a few posts. We then held a ‘Voicethread Grade 1 Oscar Ceremony’ where we invited community members. They choose who would be invited and made invitations, wrote a blogpost in our class blog and sent email invites to the Head of School and other faculty members that helped our investigations. The wanted to share their knowledge with the Kindergarten class, their reasoning- because they will need to know about this next year when they come to grade 1. My grade 1 class felt empowered as learners.
Check out one of our VoiceThreads here:
The felt empowered as communicators. They are empowered as learners making connections through their own investigations and interest. Unlocking their potential of learning connections.