Brian came to me after the 2nd Annual Director's Student Voice Forum. He really wanted to apply the differentiated / blended framework to gather insights and voices from the Grade 8 students that would be Ancaster High Students next year. The school really wished to engage their incoming students and to provide them with the platform to express their needs and concerns coming to high school in an inviting, inclusive and comfortable way.
I couldn't resist capturing this shot :-) My not so furry friends are always a big help....
I was creating the QR Codes for the topics and came across this amazing site called - it allows you to create QR Codes from images. I couldn't help but try it out with Ancaster High's logo. It really creates a beautiful design - and fully practical to boot. This one links to all of the topics on the Ancaster Royal Roar blog.
Ancaster Senior students prep the graffiti tables.
One of the more tedious aspects when preparing for a blended and differentiated student voice forum is the loading and charging of the devices. At this past year's Director's Forum we utilized VoiceThread to integrate video, audio, and text (beyond that offered in the blog posts). VoiceThread really does offer an all-in-one tool for the collection of in multi-modal ways. It worked quite well (we embedded the topics in each individual posts and students interacted them per topic). In recent months, however, our cracker jack 21st Century Learning Team has been working hard integrating a variety of tools into our D2L (Desire to Learn platform). Unfortunately VoiceThread wasn't quite working as it should so and I chatted and adapted on the fly. Mobile Podcaster is an absolutely brilliant app that allows for podcasts to be uploaded to a WordPress blog without the needs of a third party app (i.e. AudioBoo or Audacity) . The ability to record and upload a podcast with descriptive text as an individual post is absolute magic, esp. when working with so many students at any one given time. It also allows for the recordings to go directly to our self-hosted blog, on our servers, thus ensuring they are backed up and archived. I'm not even going to get into the amount of saved time :-) So, we opted for Mobile Podcaster, YouTube Capture (for video blogging) and QR Reader (for automatic access to blog posts and comments without fumbling with URLS). This has become our Student Voice application package!
Here is the bane of any device driven engagement....charging.
, principal of Ancaster Senior, did a wonderful job of prepping all of the devices and ensuring that all of the flyers, signage, and QR Codes were ready to go.
Everybody deserves so much credit for making this day come together. From the students and staff of Ancaster Senior to that of Ancaster High, this truly was a combined effort of awesome focused on our students and their !