Back in August 2007 when Karen Montgomery suggested I share photos of my 3 year old daughter, Rachel, getting a new haircut on her Flickr group “Tell a Story in 5 Photos for Educators” as well as a VoiceThread digital story I never imagined it would be seen by so many people around the world. Another Missouri educator, Cindy Lane, brought to my attention this evening that this VoiceThread digital story has now been viewed over 15,000 times! Wow.
Although it doesn’t have the same “cute factor” and hasn’t had nearly as many views, my 10 year old son Alexander’s VoiceThread refection from our Washington DC trip last March for the COSN conference is the other VoiceThread digital story we’ve created on my account that continues to get regular comments from different people about every other week.
I end up deleting some of comments on both these VoiceThreads when commenters mainly doodle on the photos rather than provide meaningful feedback. I still have both of these open for unmoderated commenting. Of the hundreds of comments we’ve received on all our family-published VoiceThreads, we’ve only received a couple inappropriate or rude comments. On the few occasions I’ve contacted VoiceThread support staff about these issues, they have been VERY prompt to respond and exceptionally helpful.
It might go without saying (but I won’t let it in this post) that I fully support substantive conversations and discussions about issues in digital stories which students and our children create and share online. I am not just an advocate for “cute” uses of technology. I do perceive that modeling of potential and actual technology uses is very important, however, and I hope both of the above VoiceThread digital stories continue to further that goal in many classrooms and homes. The VoiceThread for Education wiki has an extensive collection of examples by students in different grade levels.
I dearly wish my own children were able to share the excitement and motivating power of online digital storytelling and educational networking with their classmates at the public school they attend here in Oklahoma. We’ve told their teachers about our family learning blog and forwarded one VoiceThread my eight year old made several weeks ago as part of her book study activities for Charlotte’s Web. These at-home digital publishing and sharing activities have been basically ignored by their teachers, not because they are unsupportive of their learning– quite the opposite– but rather because I think my children attend school in a learning culture which views digital publication, collaboration, and online sharing as irrelevant to the real focus of public education.
I could be wrong about this, of course, but that is my perception.
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On this day..
- iCamp January 15, 2014 in Manhattan, Kansas: iPad Day! - 2013
- Preparing for STEM Lessons on Coding with Hopscotch for iPad - 2013
- Karl Fisch at the 2011 Innovative Learning Institute - 2011
- This is a LOT of computer monitors! - 2010
- The iPad as a TV game controller - 2010
- Transforming Classroom Practice with 1:1 by Jenny Wojick, Andy Marks, Janet Parkerson, Virginia Glass and Kelly Goldberg - 2009
- Classroom Basics for 1:1 Computing by Shawn Massey and Wynn Draper-Bryant (Flint Community Schools, Michigan) - 2009
- 10 things you can do with a laptop (Gary Stager at eLearn09) - 2009
- Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats: Responding to the Challenge by Nancy Willard - 2008
- Nancy Willard on CyberSafety Issues: Notes from Safe and Healthy Schools 2008 Oklahoma - 2008