It’s not every day that I get excited about asking my students to give me feedback on whether my pedagogical approach is ‘working for them’. This time was different. We have been working feverishly this year to learn as many communication methods as possible. This includes low fi and plugged in options. The question was simple. “Does having choice in a classroom matter?”. I followed that up with “what would you like to tell your next teacher?”. Then I allowed complete free reign of how they answered that question. The SOLE stations were buzzing, the mini recording studios were in hot demand, the iPad card was empty and pencils were being sharpened.
I sat back and almost started to worry about what I was going to receive with something so open ended. When a student told me he was using Scratch to code a response I was at first puzzled. But I trusted my instinct and said go for it. I watched as every kid in the room was happily getting to work. Work spaces were being respected. Washroom sign-outs were non-existent. I strolled and peeked and mostly smiled.
Students were so excited to airdrop a final product to me. The cool piece is that I was collecting their responses for some B.Ed students to consider under the tutelage of an energetic colleague at Ottawa University. The audience was in the back of the students’ minds and was driving their work.
I gathered the many responses and created two ways to consider the collective voice. The first was made with Spark Page (cool app alert!). This is a peaceful way to stroll through images and words at your own pace. Videos cannot be easily uploaded, however, so I created a movie version using Shadow Puppet – a hands down class favourite app. I wish the soundtrack music lasted for the entirety of the video, but I suppose most student made videos aren’t as long as mine.
My experiment paid off and I’m so pleased. It’s a starting point. Students can handle choice. And now they know that too.
SHADOW PUPPET – with audio and video