We didn’t plan this in advance, but each of our children ended up publishing (with help) a media file tonight after dinner. Our eight year old attended a theater camp for the past two weeks in Texas which culminated in two performances of “Schoolhouse Rocks Jr.” and recorded a VoiceThread about her experiences. She also sang excerpts from several of the songs, which was a real treat! Our four year old saved some of her money (80 cents) from doing work around the house in the past few months to make a donation to a mission trip to Uganda, and recorded a two minute audio message which also included some attempts to sing a Ugandan song she learned. Our ten year old started a two minute stopmotion movie today at our church’s fine arts camp, and completed the project this evening using Frames software and uploaded it to YouTube. An evening media triple play of web publishing for our three kids is definitely a first! I’m sure as they get older and more media saavy, this won’t be such a novelty.

My experiences talking and working with each of my children this summer have reinforced how important it is to “strike when the iron is hot” in terms of recording thoughts, ideas and memories. Our brains truly are wired to remember “the gist” of experiences rather than verbatim transcripts, and if we don’t record things soon after they take place (or right when we are experiencing them) it is difficult (or impossible) to recall them fully. Our 4 year old remembered some of the words to the Ugandan song she learned, but just a few, and had already forgotten about her chores and how she earned her money that she donated. My 10 year old, who recently setup his own video podcast and blog site about string figures, had trouble remembering some new string figures he learned from David Titus the previous day. Short term memory! Even when our children do engaging, hands-on things for which they have a high level of intrinsic motivation to learn and remember, it’s VERY difficult for them to remember things just a few days or weeks later!

I hope at some point my children will be able to attend schools here in Oklahoma where they are encouraged and supported in their regular publishing of thoughts, ideas, and media products just as they are at home. If such a school exists in my state, I have not found it yet. We are still looking.

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  • http://www.xrl.us/lane CIndy Lane

    Home schooling a possibility?

  • http://www.wesfryer.com Wesley Fryer

    We’ve considered it, but not at this point. I am very committed to public schools… We are going to keep our options open tho.

  • http://nnorris.edublogs.org Nadine N

    OK…I’m jealous….I know my kids are surly teenagers now, but even when they were younger, they would have never put together such cool stuff!

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