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Using Google Voice to assess student learning

Posted on January 4th, 2013

About a month ago I attended a BER workshop about using mobile tech to enhance student learning. One thing I walked away from this training with is the idea of having students respond using video/audio instead of writing.

An aside: I can hear my English Dept peers already crabbing that we need to have students do more writing rather than less. My anticipated response will be: They do more writing in my classroom than they do math in yours.

I’ve tried this and have had some success but smartphone access is still a problem for some students. Others are using a data plan that adds charges for data uploads. (so they tell me).

I found that Google Voice allows me to set up a voice mailbox and it transcribes most messages.

I’m trying it out to see how it works.

I’ll  follow up with a later post.

Student Driven Education

Posted on September 1st, 2012

This tweet:

got a reaction out of me. My own children are self motivated students who are becoming wide read and very intelligent young adults. Part of this is because they take demanding courses where teachers are dictating what they will learn. Left to their own choices, they would not know what to read and what to study. They would stay inside their own interests and not be exposed to a more expansive world. This is analogous to their preschool days where they had to try foods different from what they ate at home.

I agree that once people gain a base from which to grow, formal education holds little interest and can be limiting. However I am a firm believer that US secondary education needs a canon to follow. Will the CCSS achieve this? Maybe. It depends on how the system is implemented. Teachers in my SU spent a couple of days formally looking at the content area standards during the before school inservice days. What I walked away from this with is that it will require a lot of time, resources and collaboration.

Looking at the content area standards and then following Keith Devlin’s posts about the MOOC he is running this fall I’m seeing that even the CCSS isn’t going to be the fix. He writes that the paradigm shift from HS mathematics to mathematics students have to do at the university level is really wide. I’m going to participate in his MOOC just to see what he is talking about. I’m hoping I can get a couple of my HS students to also work through the course. I know this is a choice and not a dictated path my students must follow, but Prof Devlin thinks the transition is necessary.

I guess I’m talked out. If anyone reads this, I’m sorry for the disjointed rant.


Home | Scribophile, the online writing group for serious writers

Posted on July 8th, 2012

Social networking for writers.

Home | Scribophile, the online writing group for serious writers.

One of the best writing experiences I’ve ever had was taking a writers workshop at SMC <link> prior to starting my MEd. A group of about 10 people who did not really want to be there on Saturday mornings. We had an assignment each week to write and revise and more importantly provide feedback on other peoples’ work. This Scribophile site seems to be in a similar vein.

This morning I’ve read a couple of pieces of work and looked at the critiques others have left. This is something I might make the time to participate in.