What’s been going on with “What is Habitat?”

George, Burrowing Owl Imprint Day 1

George, Burrowing Owl Imprint Day 1

So What is Habitat?  and what’s been going on with the VoiceThread project these last few days?

The kids have left some amazing responses. I’m impressed. I can see them making connections between the content I’ve presented and what they’ve been learning in class, like adaptation and current events. The main discussion today centred on needs versus wants, and on people’s ability to adapt versus their willingness to adapt. This is higher level stuff. I wish I had not responded so fully to the first few clips. Argg. But I’m learning too, not only about teaching using VT, but also about Burrowing Owls and habitat. I’ve heard it said often that the more you teach something the more you know it, and this is true.

Anyway, I was amazed at how in-charge-of-their-learning they’ve become. While I was listening to the VT, going from frame to frame, getting a sense of the bigger message, a new voicethread popped up. It’s Saturday people! These kids don’t have to engage in this project. I don’t think it’s homework to them. They are kids motivated to learn. I am really impressed. I’m anxious to get Janet, the Director of Saskatchewan Burrowing Owl Interpretive Centre, involved in the conversations. She has so much to offer.

But I need to share about their amazing teacher, Bill:
Last Thursday morning, this was in my in-box. “Hey Cori, so we might have a problem! (Digital resilience, though. We’re not giving up.)”

Turns out the VT could only be viewed. Bill and his students could not leave comments on the VT. Via email Bill talked me through getting the VT ready to go. Not a big deal? Think about what Bill was doing Thursday morning. He was in class, teaching middle-years kids and he was also  getting his sub-notes ready because he’s off to Denmark to learn more ways to teach outside the box.

Bill said that when he gets back he would share how he fixed the VT. (I think I’m more curious to learn how he managed to multi-task with such kindness). If I’ve learned anything from Bill, it’s the need to keep plugging, the idea of digital resiliency. I decided, on my own, to try to figure out what he’d done to get the VT working. Here’s what I think Bill did: I think Bill transferred “ownership” of my VT from my account to his account by making himself an editor. The VT is still on my account but it shows up that he created the VT. This is a nifty little VT trick, and I’ll be anxious to ask him if this is how he helped me on Thursday.

As well, I think I might try doing the same kind of run-through with the VT my daughter and her friends made using my two existing VT accounts so that I can get a feel for this fancy trick. Anyway, after Bill had the VT account all set up, I purchased a Pro-educator account. Then I had to delete the original VT so his students would not get mixed up when they were looking for the VT. The moment when I pressed delete was really the only true nerve racking moment of the whole morning!

So was all of Bill’s assistance last Thursday simply No Big Deal? How can I say thanks enough for all his kindness, effort and opportunities to learn these last few weeks? This is a teacher, I think, who cares most about the learning of those around him. ~

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1 Comment

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One response to “What’s been going on with “What is Habitat?”

  1. saasc

    The students engagement with the VT amazes me. I checked back today to listen to the new comments and there are 74 comments, 109 views. One of the students, CanadiangirlES08, has this insight, “I think that humans have also decided who is to stay and who is to go… Does an animal’s importance in an ecosystem depend if we do or don’t destroy their habitat?”

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