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Voicethread – collaborative questioning May 15, 2008

Posted by davidit in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

It has taken a bit of effort to organise, but I think that the end result is worth it. The latest buzz tool to go around the blogsphere is Voicethread. For those of you who have yet to discover the delights of this programme, you need to see my tutorial on the ‘How to…‘ page of this blog.

Today I decided that it was time that my blog practiced what I preach and have decided to make this space my own Grand Central Station (personally I would prefer to call it Paddington, for obvious reasons but that is not the location of the well known metaphor) for all of my initiatives, including the video tutorials that I create for my cluster. I digress.

Over the last few weeks i have been setting up with two classes here on the Supertanker and with two classes at Woodford Junior School in Plymouth, a questioning initiative. It works like this. We have sent head and shoulder photos of each other and they are now displays on our respective class walls. We have exchanged names but the names and the photos do not correlate. Each child has been paired with a random student from the other school. Their job now, through careful observation of all the photographs and careful questioning, is to work out who their partner is. The questions posed have to be answered by the partner and the word picture built up will then help, through reasoning, the students to identify each other. As this process continues the students will glean additional information and this additional information will be included into a combined Inkscape artwork that the children will shuttle backwards and forwards to each other as they work on the same work in opposite time zones.

On Tuesday I worked with both sets of students in New Zealand and in England. Already the project is highlighting all kinds of assumptions that students make about those around them. As the students in the UK were recording their questions to us and listening to their own partners questions to them a whole raft of challenges to the accepted norm arose. The first was names and how to pronounce some of them, the second was accent or dialect, more and more of these little issues will arrive. We started to explore these issues last year with our “My world through your eyes” initiative. Trying to explain to Kiwi kids what a pastie was or what or where Bodmin was, was an interesting exercise as was Tip Top Corner and Te Kuiti to the UK students! We all make assumptions about our immediate environs and those that are not privvy to that local knowledge listen to what might as well be gibberish as it has no connections to their own collective consciousness.

Helen and I are quite excited about this latest collaborative project. The questions and responses are being collated on our voicethread, check out the initial efforts of the students this week:

Meadowbank / Woodford Voicethread



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