It’s a perfect storm! Literacy, inquiry, service learning and technology come together in one lovely assessment:
Last week, the Magical Minds and I explored what it means to write a quality comment. We even taught the fourth graders about what we learned. As they were leaving our classroom, Ms. Terje asked if we might make some instructions that could be shared with others.
PERFECT! We were also learning about making quality instructions. We are writing instructions for our upcoming Light and Sound Exhibit (a summative assessment for our unit of inquiry). Creating instructions on how to write a quality comment would make for a fantastic formative assessment (a practice round of sorts).
I asked the Magical Minds, “what kind of instructions do you want to make?” I reminded them we could make a video, written instructions, or a photo explanation. I showed them Voicethread as a possible option. I was pretty sure they were going to do a video option, but then the idea of using Vokis came up. “Can we make our instructions using Vokis?” someone asks.
I have to admit, I don’t get it. These speaking, eye-rolling avatars are all over the place, and I just don’t get the appeal. But, these third graders sure do. I didn’t see anything wrong with this idea. Mr. Marcel, our technology teacher, had introduced them to this technology, and they seemed to think they could do it no problem. I conceded, on one condition – we do out prewriting/pre-thinking together in the classroom. This was my modeling moment.
Fifteen minutes later we are in the technology lab and they are making it happen. Vokis are shouting out explanations: “be specific,” “start a conversation,” “use conventions,” etc… The voices are played in slow-motion. They speak in different accents. There are a couple smiley faces, at least one alien, a dog and a vampire. And, all of them do a pretty good job of explaining how to write a quality comment.
For a rough version of our voki-spoken instructions, click here.