Voicethread and Learning with Digital Tools

I began my culminating project with the  ISTE Standards in mind.

My challenge was to make these goals meaningful to my students and to transform their learning through the use of technology.  Wielded with Voicethread as my digital tool, I decided to focus on the following standards:

1. Creativity and Innovation
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. Students:
a. apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
b. create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
2. Communication and Collaboration
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students:
a. interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
b. communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
5. Digital Citizenship
Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior. Students:
a. advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.
b. exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.
6. Technology Operations and Concepts
Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations. Students:
b. select and use applications effectively and productively.
d. transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies.

A lot of these ideas are far too abstract for my young etymologists…they are only 6 and 7 years old!

Nevertheless, they understood that they were using technology to consolidate and communicate their learning.  AND because we were using a website on the internet and because their voicethread was going to be added to our classroom blog, they understood that they had a global audience.  I can not tell you how much this motivated them to participate and also do their best!

It never ceases to amaze me what students can do when given a little bit of freedom to explore and experiment.  As I was conferencing with students, I found that some students had learned how to use the pen tool all by themselves.  They used the pen to circle and hi-light what they were talking about.  Before I knew it, some students were teaching others how to use the pen tool.  Some students went so far as to use it to write words like “pupa”, “nymph” , “abdomen” and “probiscus” while using their mouse.  This is pretty cool because our mini-lesson in writing workshop today was on using labeled diagrams in our nonfiction writing.  I love it when student apply their learning across content areas and especially when they use technology to do it!

Check it out:

Insect Life Cycles Voicethread

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~ by Vu Lam on April 23, 2010.

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