Thursday, April 29, 2010

2K VoiceThread: Part 2

"I can develop age-appropriate behavior for social involvement as responsible citizens contributing to my community."
Grade 7 Social Studies Learner Outcome

At Camilla School, cross-age learning occurs year round to promote community building. Such activities are mutually beneficial to both younger and older students; resulting in both academic and social gains. For our teenage students, it is an opportunity to model their skills and knowledge for their younger peers. Mr. Paustian’s Grade 7 class provided a wonderful finish to our 2K Ted Harrison project. In Assessment for Learning, descriptive feedback is an important strategy that supports improvement. To provide responses for the 2K VoiceThreads, each 7P student first listened and viewed a presentation with care. After taking notes of key words, they then created responses to express their connections and opinions. Finally, they shared their fine comments using audio, text, and or doodling. The 2K students were delighted with the thoughtful feedback. A huge “THANKS!” goes to Mr. Paustian and his class for taking the time to do extra from their busy schedule. What a great example of student contribution and leadership made possible by VoiceThread!

Ms. Kwan

Sunday, April 18, 2010

2K Ted Harrison Project: An Inuit Study

2K has just completed a technology infused project combining original digital artwork in the styling of Ted Harrison, social studies research, language arts writing skills and their recorded voice. For an introduction to the VoiceThread Web 2.0 tool, please visit the following link:
Introduction to VoiceThread

To view a full screen version of this VoiceThread and read visitor comments posted for 2K through the tool, please visit the following link:
2K Ted Harrison Project

Sturgeon School Division has been promoting research-based instructional practices to improve student learning. One area of focus is Assessment for Learning (AfL). In this process, both students and teachers worked together to achieve targeted learning outcomes. This AfL learning journey was infused by the wonders of technology.

This Ted Harrison Project provided the students a purposeful opportunity to share their learning with local and global friends. The students were guided by the Big Question: How do (did) the Inuit adapt to the Arctic? An introduction was made using a previous VoiceThread project. Our class was fueled with enthusiasm. After each child had decided on a topic of interest to address, we studied the remarkable artwork of Ted Harrison on the Internet. The experience was magnified by the use of our Promethean board. Noting the patterns, our class established criteria as to what their art should target:

We analyzed and discussed how best to apply our KidPix skills to create the visuals. While the children experimented with the KidPix drawing tools for appropriate effects, they collected information relevant to their presentation. By assessing examples of grade level VoiceThreads, they determined the criteria for their content and presentation. In AfL, these powerful conversations enable students to understand “quality” and their own capacity to improve. Essentially, the children’s choice and voice scripted the teaching. The on-going references to where “we’re at” and “where we’re going” uncovered instructional needs. When students are involved in the assessment process, they take on ownership of their learning and progress.

Ms. Kwan

Ted Harrison is a Canadian treasure who is an author, artist and teacher. Harrison's work is displayed in art galleries and private collections worldwide. He is also well-known for his best selling illustrative books including The Cremation of Sam McGee. For further biographical information and illustrative examples, visit the following websites:
Ted Harrison Painting Paradise
Official Ted Harrison Website

Grade 2 students created original digital artwork using Kidpix software. This drawing software allows students the flexibility to define their pictures using a variety of art mediums such as a paint brush, pencil, marker, crayons and a colour fill bucket. Students outlined the template of their picture first using a pencil, carefully mapping out the landscape background. It was imperative to the success of the picture that all lines were connected so the colours filling in each section would not spill out into neighbouring landscape sections. The foreground details were the next part of the drawing process. Once pencil sketches were completed, students choose vibrant colours to fill in their artwork in the styling of Ted Harrison. Part of the instructions outlined to students was to create multiple pieces of artwork and then choose which picture would best represent their written text. Once each picture was uploaded to the VoiceThread tool, students recorded their voice with the help an external microphone. Each student was asked to evaluate the quality of their recording, remembering that a clear, articulate voice was needed to capture the listening attention of blog visitors.

Enjoy the VoiceThread!

Ms. Tonhauser

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sweet Search

Sweet Search is a new search engine passed along to me via a blog visitor who first heard about the resource through a webcast on EdTechTalk. Sweet Search is an engine that is designed for students through the expertise of research professionals, teachers and librarians. It searches approximately 35,000 researched and approved websites, whereby drastically cutting down the number of search hits students would encounter through the major search engines. This kind of search engine is a welcome addition in information literacy learning as educators continuously strive to help students receive the most relevant and credible information possible in their learning environment.

Ms. Tonhauser

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Digital Citizenship

One of the focuses we continue to address in education is digital citizenship, Internet safety and cyber ethics.

“Digital Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool; it is a way to prepare students/technology users for a society full of technology.” (Digital Citizenship, 2010).

Many online websites have developed specific resources for teachers, students and parents. The Internet is an exciting tool full of infinite resources, information, education and entertainment. However, students need guidance and direction of how best to appropriately explore the Internet and become responsible, safe digital citizens.

Get Web Wise
The Government of Alberta created this website to educate parents, teens and children on Internet safety.

Be Web Aware
Be Web Aware was developed by the Media Awareness Network, Microsoft Canada and Bell as a national Internet safety program.

We’re On To You
This provincial site is sponsored by Alberta and Children Youth Services.

NetSmartz has created resources for educators, parents/guardians, teens and kids.

This site was developed to help online users make informed choices and decisions using the Internet.

SafeKids provides tips for social networking, Internet safety, cell phone use, and cyberbullying.

An Internet safety website for students, teachers and parents full of resources and interactive activities.

OnGuard, Online
This site provides tips and multimedia resources on how to protect your personal information when using the Internet.

Ms. Tonhauser

Digital Citizenship, (2010). Digital Citizenship: Using Technology Appropriately. Retrieved from