Thursday, April 25, 2013

How to Leave Voice Comments in a Google Doc, and why you should

Last Wednesday I met Max and the world I knew it filled with hope and promise of technology growing in the direction I had hoped it would.  He introduced me to his drive app Voice Comments.

Voice comments allows you to leave a recording of your voice as a comment on a google drive document.

As a writing teacher I know that best feedback is person to person conferencing.  Our voices are much more data rich than our writing.  Tone can shift from reader to reader, but a recording of my voice is going to sound just like I sound.

Students need feedback to grow.  The writer's conference is transformational in a writer's development. This is proven by really great educational scientists(I'll post research in another post).  Voice recording feedback allows me to duplicate some of the important pieces of the writer's conference

Jennifer Roberts has been aspiring to provide her students with voice feedback and when she heard about this tool she created a screen cast of how to use Voice Comments step by step.  I am hoping we will be able to provide a link or embed of that HERE

Since we found Voice Comments, several teachers have been working with it and sharing their experiences on Twitter.

I was lucky enough to host a conversation between Jennifer Roberts, Ric Reyes, Troy Cockrum, and one of the Voice Comments Developers Maxwell Brodie.  The Full Google Hang out is below:

As connected educators we are eager to get our hands on new tools that address old challenges.  We are eager to talk to designers, we are eager to dream while others are listening.

Please use the comment box to talk about the challenges you face responding to student writing, and what tools you have found.  This is a conversation.

NOTES from the GHO

  1. The problems with written response

  1. Why voice response is valuable (not about saving time, about being more effective)

  1. What Voice Comment allows you to do

  1. Your experience with VC so far
    1. -How long it takes
Ric- Pretty simple after initial setup; faster than using iphone voice notes bc already in gDoc
    1. -How it is different than written response
Ric- When writing or typing, by essay #40, I’m all over the place. With VC, I don’t get hung up in the motor skills of it
    1. -Your learning curve
Ric- The highlighting took some getting used to; goes away as soon as you click elsewhere, but all of it shows at the end. Considering ways to use this feature. Lose some formatting from gDoc.

  1. Uses other than responding to Ss writing
         Kate- choral class singing   
SAM -nice formative assessment tool.
Ric- Maybe differentiating for low readers; modeling reading skills?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Why voice response is so effective, and how to do it in google drive

I like talking with students, out loud, about their writing because when I speak I can control the tone.  When I write my response I have no idea what the voice in their head sounds like, but 9 will give you 10 that the voice is full of the anxiety and self-doubt I always hear when I look at someone's response to my writing.
I was talking with Max, a key member of the team behind, an app that pairs voice comments with highlighting WITHIN GOOGLE DOCS, yes it is so cool I just started shouting.

Max sent me a link and I sent it out to the key members of last nights #PATUE chat on responding to student writing.  the response was great, read for yourself and check out the app.

Let me know what you think, let Max know too.  These developers need teacher's feedback.  We are the crossing guards at the intersection of pedagogy and technology. Here is a quick video where I try it out and it works

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Why Teachers Should Blog

It is quarter to 10 the night before the chat and I don't have the questions written yet. This is definitely too late to write a promo for the chat. I guess this page will just be a postscript. I believe in blogging. Writing is a transformative act and sharing it with others creates a community of ideas.
Last week's chat about blogging in teaching focused on the why and the what of blogging. I blog for myself, but with a clear sense of my audience, I hope. So I try to "be useful" this means when I could write abut may things, I choose the one that is about something I am learning, a tool I am understanding or questioning. (In this case I would choose not to write a long post about how understanding and questioning are related and cocreative endeavors).
Blogging isn't "for experts" I sometimes feel there is a perception that those blogging teachers think they have all the answers. It should be noted that this perception is itself evidence that the person has never read many teacher blogs. While there are conventional "enewsletter" class blogs many teachers blogs are thoughtful logs of challenging lessons, imperfect solutions and comments sharing positive suggestions. The blogging Ts know they don't have the answers, they are building a network of creative thinking problem solvers.
Blogging takes time, all good things do. Keep in mind that some very good blogs publish just a short post or two a week. Pick a topic and write 4 posts about it. Write a summary of ideas from a good chat you were in. Look at the writing you already do and the writing you know you should do, recast as much as possible as blog posts. Set a schedule and write for 10-15 minutes, don't over do it. Keep doing it. Set topics based on your interests and needs. I write about grades at the end of the quarter, course design in the summer, books we are reading in class.
#writeon- Writing changes worlds.

My EduPassion: High Engagement Learning and Teaching

When I think about what I want TO DO, I keep coming back to the moments in my own education when the world of writing was opened to me.
What I want to do is. . . empower students to use writing to change their lives. So I teach writing as best as I can to as many students as I can. Best case: I teach writing in an immersive camp-style informal education environment. And there are opportunities to be a transformative teacher of writing in so many contexts. I feel most at home with students from middle school through community college (a HUGE range) but writers have common needs, skills to develop.
I want to help other teachers also empower students, I want to share strategies and learn from a wide range of teacher friends. I want to help by sharing my experience and encouraging other teachers to empower students and write with the students.
Why the dog? I love this pug, her name is Pie. She looks like this when she is happy.