Teacher Feature #34 – Holiday Thoughts

Application or Web App, Bits and Bytes, Food for Thought, LwICT, Teacher Feature No Comments »

Today, K-12 students are on their winter break in Manitoba. Tomorrow, many of our students’ families will celebrate Christmas. As a result, a good number of our youngsters will return to school, in the new year, having received gifts which employ the latest technology.

What impact does such technologically-enhanced gifts have on our students and, more importantly, what impact will it have on our teaching?

Teacher Feature #34 - Marc Prensky - 400x300
Teacher Feature #34 – Marc Prensky – December, 2013

I suggest that there are two actions that all teachers can take.

First, we reduce asking factual questions that can easily be found through a simple Google search. Rather we must challenge our students to use higher order thinking skills (HOTS) and, where possible, encourage them to complete activities and projects in a collaborative manner.

Secondly, we must focus on teaching students digital citizenship and how to protect their digital footprint.

For example, one of my favourite research activities demonstrates how creative teachers can challenge students in new ways. Gretchen Offutt, a grade 5 teacher in Bellingham, Washington, designed this innovative research project for her students. I contacted Gretchen and asked for her permission to share her creative activity in the December 2001 issue of my “Bits and Bytes” online newsletter.  The article was entitled “HOW TO … engage your students in meaningful research”.  Twelve years later, this innovative project still has extreme relevance for today’s teacher.

Rather than ask her students purely factual questions such as:

  • “In what year did Ferdinand Magellan sail though the “Straits of Magellan?”
  • “Off what continent is this passageway located?”; and
  • “What were the names of Christopher Columbus’ three ships?”

Gretchen challenged each student to use higher order thinking skills and teamwork to research and defend:

  • “Under which captain, be it Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, or Sir Francis Drake, would you have preferred to serve and why?”

Thankfully Gretchen shared this amazing resource with her students and other educators by creating an Internet web page called “Explorers Homeport”. Although these links might be rather slow, I can assure you that they are well-worth any delay for readers to experience this well-crafted and thought-out research activity.

The fact that my “Bits and Bytes” online newsletter and Gretchen Offutt’s “Explorers Homeport” are no longer available for perusal from our respective school district’s servers, leads us into the second action of teaching students “digital citizenship”.

Many Manitoba educators, who are infusing “Literacy with ICT” into their classrooms, find it easier to focus on the five “Big Ideas” within the Cognitive Domain. For example, “Plan and Question”, “Gather and Make Sense”, Produce to Show Understanding”, “Communicate”, and “Reflect” are all steps that teachers employ when teaching using the Inquiry process.

However, it is my feeling, that teachers find it more difficult to deal with the four “Big Ideas” within the Affective Domain. True, “Collaboration”, and “Motivation and Confidence” can be introduced and practiced in most classrooms. However, “Social Implication” and, in particular, “Ethics and Responsibility” are two areas that may not be dealt with sufficiently.

Yet, with the increased access to technology that students have outside school, they need to be taught how to use it in a responsible way. Although Flickr, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube are blocked in many of our schools, students need to be taught or modeled on how to use such social media in responsible ways. I feel that students need to know how to maintain their privacy and how to protect and preserve a positive digital footprint.  After all, once a photo or login name, which is associated with one of our students, is shared or created on the Internet, it is there forever!

As I wrote this month’s “Teacher Feature”, I certainly learned first-hand how this “publishing forever” concept could damage one’s reputation.  Although I’m sure both Gretchen and I are proud to share what we have uploaded or created on the Internet, this may not be true of all our students. For example, it has been 12 years since Gretchen created her “Explorers Homeport” and my last issue of “Bits and Bytes” was uploaded to the world-wide-web in June, 2007. However, if today one was to attempt to link to either of the original Internet addresses (URL), one would get an error message stating “The page you requested no longer exists” or “Server not found”. For a student who may have uploaded an inappropriate photo or had perhaps made some caustic remarks online, s/he might be extremely happy if the original indiscretion could no longer be located where it was shared online. However, more than likely that picture or comment has been transferred or shared on other servers and it cannot be totally removed. Even if it has been deleted from the original site, and has not been replicated elsewhere, the Internet archiving “Wayback Machine” may bring it “back to life”.

For me, the “Wayback Machine” is a useful tool to retrieve information that I may have published several years ago. For example, in my last post, I couldn’t remember when Rod Brown and I first came up with the idea to create a “Let’s Get Connected” contest. However, each June, I created an index of the topics and information shared in my newsletter during the previous school year. So I simply entered the following URL, for a specific June issue, into the “WayBack Machine”:


The “Wayback Machine”, without my knowledge, archived “snapshots” of my newsletter “12 times between January 1, 2003 and October 4, 2006.” I simply had to click on a black bar on the timeline (e.g. the last bar in 2003) and click on any blue circled date (e.g. August 3, 2003) to view much of my newsletter contents together with links to additional resources.

Students need to be taught that there exists applications like the “Wayback Machine” that can use to highlight indiscretions that one may have thought were deleted.

In summary, teachers need to create authentic learning activities which engage students using technology to which they have access. In addition, such learning must better prepare students to be responsible online digital citizens.

Take care & keep smiling :-)

Larger Image: Brian Metcalfe’s Teacher Feature “photostream”

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Are eight-letter words twice as offensive?

Bits and Bytes, DS106, ETMOOC, Reflection 4 Comments »

What does one do when time is a critical factor and one is challenged to accomplish two different tasks in two different environments? Well … some might get uptight and vent their frustration, by swearing, using profane, “four-letter words”.

In my case, I chose to focus on common elements that satisfy the needs for both entities. Let me explain. I’m currently enrolled in two different massive, open online courses or MOOCs. This year, I am returning to Digital Storytelling – DS106 and thanks to information shared in this learning community, I signed up for Educational Technology & Media. Both of these MOOCs have certain unique expectations.

For example, in today’s  DS106 “The Daily Create” (#374) assignment, I was asked to “Take a picture of your favorite thing in the world to do, however simple or complex.” At the same time, ETMOOC facilitators are asking participants to “Tell us a little bit about yourself – perhaps, where you’re from, what you do, or what you want to be when you grow up – and let us know what you’d like to gain from #etmooc?”

My challenge is to try to meet both of these tasks without uttering any “four-letter words”. Perhaps one might assume that since I have twice the challenges, from the demands of two different MOOCs, my favourite “four-letter words” should increase or double in character length. That is indeed true. In fact, my favourite pastimes can be best described by the “eight-letter word “learning” followed by its slightly shorter, but equally important task of “sharing”. I trust that these two words are demonstrated in the following picture where I glean information from books, magazines and the Internet and share my findings in my educational blog called “Life-Long-Learners”.

Learning & Sharing

[DS106 – TDC #374: My favourite pastime – Learning & Sharing]

Although I am a retired K-12 educator, I’m still passionate about learning. About a year ago, a good friend and innovative educator, Darren Kuropatwa, suggested that I should sign up for the DS106 MOOC. He felt that the innovative learning style, where one can choose his/her own assignments, would challenge and engage me. Darren felt that I would use my blog posts to reflect on what, and how, I learned and share my journey with others. Furthermore, he knew that I would make connections with other like-minded participants and, through mutually supportive blog comments and tweets, extend my Personal Learning Network (PLN).

When I returned to DS106 this year, Ben Rimes (a talented Michigan educator whom I have never met face-to-face) shared in a blog post that he was about to sign up for #ETMOOC. So when another learning opportunity presented itself, be it in a somewhat serendipitous manner, I signed up.

As a former Mathematics/Computer Science teacher, I was always sharing resources with colleagues throughout our school division and our province. When I became an Education Technology Consultant for the Winnipeg School Division, I decided that the best way to help K-12 teachers and their students harness the power of technology was through a monthly educational newsletter. For 23 years I wrote and edited “Bits and Bytes” whose focus was “to provide educators with tips and techniques to help them integrate technology to enhance learning in K-12 classrooms”.

I believe that my philosophy about sharing and the importance of belonging to a PLN can best be summarized in my previous post, and video, entitled “My PLN: A Teacher’s Treasure”.

One of my favourite quotes, that I re-mixed in my first “Teacher Feature” is by Margaret Fuller, who stated “If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.” I think that as professional educators, we should strive to share our knowledge with others. Today, the Internet makes it so much easier.

In closing, I’ll end with the following two, “four-letter words”:

Take care :-)

Larger Images are available on Brian Metcalfe’s Flickr photostream at:

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Get Animated in the New Year

Activity, Bits and Bytes, DS106, How To, Professional Development 4 Comments »

Creating animated GIFs can be an engaging educational exercise. Students can be challenged to use a computer to draw a series of related, progressive images that, when blended together, create animation.

Twenty-five years ago the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) was created to display images using less than 256 colours. Long before applications such as Flash, iMovie, Photo Story 3, Voki, YouTube or Xtranormal were developed, the only way moving images could be displayed on a web page was through the creation of an animated GIF.

  2013 animated NEW YEAR
[An animated GIF welcoming readers to the New Year]

I admit that I thought I was fairly familiar with the way in which animated GIFs were created. In fact, in October 2000, I wrote a rather detailed article about the process entitled “Get Animated … with Ulead’s GIF Animator Lite Edition”. Students were eager to use Microsoft Paint to create a series of progressive images that were assembled into an animated GIF.

I still remember a major time-saving tip that Don Bellamy, a talented graphic artist, shared with me. The gist of his recommendation was:

To save time when creating animated GIFs, always start with the finished slide/image and work backwards. You can erase components while creating new slides in reverse, faster than you can draw new slide additions working in the forward manner.

The animated growing flower GIF, at right, is composed of five different slides or images. Without Don’s influence, I would have begun the animation process by creating the first slide/image of the pot. Animated RoseNext I would have added the sprouting plant component and saved it as the second slide or image. Successive slides would have included leaves growing off the stem in both directions culminating with the flower bloom as the fifth and last image. However, I found it to be much easier and faster to start with the finished image of the blossoming flower which was saved as slide 5. Then I worked backwards erasing, in turn, the flower (slide 4); left leaf (slide 3); right leaf (slide 2); sprout (slide 1) leaving only the flower pot. When these slides were reassembled (in the forward, numerical progression) using the “GIF Animator” Windows freeware, the result was the animated rose that you see displayed.

Likewise the final slide, in the above New Year’s welcoming animated message, was created with the complete message. The “working backward”  procedure used was to:

  • Complete the final message – saved as “ani-NewYears-40.jpg” (with its arbitrarily high-numbered file name)
  • Erase final exclamation mark – save resulting image as “ani-NewYears-39.jpg”
  • Erase “adventure” – save resulting image as “ani-NewYears-38.jpg”
  • Continue the process, erasing one word at a time, while saving the resulting image with its next lower file number
  • Erase the large red “0”, as the second last image, and save the image as “ani-NewYears-20.jpg”
  • Erase the large red “2” and save the resulting blank yellow rectangle (with the lowest slide/image number as “ani-NewYears-19.jpg”

The resulting 20 “ani-NewYears-##” images were imported into the GIF Animator software, and like all animated GIF creation software, were imported in ascending order of numerical slide/images from lowest file number (with the least detailed display) to the highest file number which displays the final, complete illustration. One can modify the exposure time of each slide/image in the animation software and when the final GIF is assembled, it can be opened in any browser to view the animation effect. This was the animated GIF process of which I was familiar.

Animation in the 21st Century
Now, we fast forward about 12 years where I am re-introduced to animated GIFs in an on-line  Digital Storytelling “DS106” course. Right away, I realized that my knowledge of how to create animated GIFs had not kept up-to-date. As instructors, Jim Groom and Alan Levine, challenged us by not only creating animated GIFs from images but also by creating animated images from movies, television, and home videos. Not to be outdone, other DS106 instructors and students went wild demonstrating their “animated” creativity. In fact, as I explored the animated GIFs from DS106 this past Summer and Fall terms, I began to feel the excitement to signup for another DS106 session which officially starts January 14, 2013. In order that you can experience the creativity and positive learning environment fostered through DS106, I encourage you to explore the links, blog posts, and comments shared by the following amazing individuals:

However, the best part about the creativity demonstrated by these “GIF masters” is that, as part of the DS106 learning community, they shared the processes they went through to accomplish their animation. I think that as educators we need to ask our students to reflect and share the processes/hangups that they encounter when learning. It can definitely be a window into their comprehension and, better yet, provide us with important feedback into out teaching.

Take care & keep smiling :-)

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‘Excel’lent Maths Problem Solving Puzzles

Activity, Bits and Bytes, Freebie, Tutorial No Comments »

When I taught middle years Mathematics, I found myself intrigued by the different ways students solved puzzles. Classic puzzles, such as the following problem, use letters to represent numbers which can be displayed as simple calculation problems in disguise. One must replace each letter by a single 0 to 9 digit. The same digit must be used to represent the same letter. So, if you believe that 4 is being used to represent the letter A, then 4 must be used for all A’s in the same problem. Of course, one must use a different digit for different letters. After one substitutes all the letters for the numbers, a perfectly valid calculation problem will result.

Although some students might approach the problem using a “brute-force” method in which guesswork was employed, I was fascinated by those who approached the problem logically or employed a variety of strategies. I found that it was wise to provide my students with an opportunity to share with the class what assumptions were made and what strategies were used. For example, most would try to solve the above puzzle as shown in its subtraction format. However, some students found this puzzle easier to solve when the problem was rewritten in its corresponding addition format. Such “working backwards” is an effective strategy for solving problems and one that works well in this case. In addition, unlike most mathematical problems where there is only one correct answer, I encouraged students to see if they were able to find more than one series of letter substitutions that would solve each particular puzzle problem.

Excel Spreadsheet Format:
In the January, 2001 issue of “Bits and Bytes”, I wrote an article entitled “Spreadsheets: A Problem Solving Puzzle Creator“. This extensive article, provided the reader with insights into how I designed the spreadsheet component using Microsoft “Works” to create problems such as the above. Recently, I decided to improve and upgrade these same six problems so that they could be used by those readers using the 2007 (or later versions) of Microsoft Office. Educators may download a single Excel 2007 workbook which contains each of the six puzzles as individual worksheets at the end of this blog post.

Word Document Format:
As an educator, I wanted to provide students with an opportunity to identify the hunches and strategies that they used when attempting to solve these problem/puzzles. In order to facilitate this important documentation step, I created a Word document containing each puzzle as an embedded spreadsheet followed by a “What I/we learned” portion at the bottom of the page where students could list the various steps and strategies they took in solving a particular problem. The individual six Word problem/puzzles can be downloaded as “freebies” at the end of this article.

Suggested Lesson Steps:
I would use the following Word puzzle activities in the following manner:

1.  Divide up the classroom into teams consisting of two or three students of similar abilities. I believe that the collaborative interaction in the team approach, as well as a reflective “What I/we learned?” nature of this project gives the best results for learning. Since the puzzles are arranged in order by relative difficulty, I would assign particular puzzles to challenge teams while providing a “best-fit” scenario.

2. Make a backup of all Word document puzzles (and keep them in a safe place) in case student puzzles get saved over the originals.

3. Transfer a copy of each Word document puzzle to a computer server drive location to which the students have access.

4. Open the first Word Puzzle #1 (ONE + ONE = TWO) on a workstation and project the image onto a screen so the entire class can see how the activity will work.

5. Demonstrate where team members will enter their names at the top of the document and stress that student teams must frequently save their progress using a file name format and drive location with which they are familiar.

6. Stress the need to document the team strategies and hunches and have students in class suggest why certain letters can take on certain values. For the initial demonstration, I would only choose values for E within the range 1-4 so that there is no need to carry over a 1 to the adjacent column. You might ask students if E could take on the value of 5 and to explain their rational to support their decision. Likewise, why can E not equal zero?

7. Before attempting to activate the spreadsheet component, enter a few of the class suggestions in the “What I/we learned” area at the bottom of the page and save the Word document (using the agreed upon location and file name convention). Possible sample comments can be viewed by clicking on the image near the end of this article.

8. Demonstrate how the embedded spreadsheet is activated by double-clicking within the yellow frame. Inform students that one will know that the spreadsheet is activated when the Excel column letters and row numbers appear along the top and left hand edge.

9. When the embedded spreadsheet is activated, one can position the mouse over the red-coloured “DIRECTIONS” link to review the puzzle-solving process.

10. Using the suggestions and the strategies listed by the students, enter a value for E in the “Guess & Test Area” and observe the changes in the “Results Area”. Remind students that the <Enter> key must be pressed after inserting any value into the “Guess & Test Area”.

11. Students must regularly update and enter strategies at the bottom of the Word document by deactivating the spreadsheet. To do so, one must click outside the yellow framed embedded spreadsheet. When the spreadsheet column letters and row numbers disappear, one is now in the Word document format.

If the information in the yellow frame becomes lost or distorted, immediately click the "Undo Object" (reverse arrow button) or enter the "Ctrl-Z" keystroke combination to recover.

WARNING: Sometimes when one returns to the Word document, the yellow frame disappears or is not completely displayed. If this happens, students must immediately click on the “Undo Object” (the “reverse arrow”) button or enter the <Ctrl-Z> keystroke combination. This “undo” step will always recover the original Word document display with the complete yellow framed puzzle/problem and team comments at the bottom.

12. Remind students to take turns so that different team members alternate tasks between entering strategies and hunches at the bottom of the Word document and activating the spreadsheet component to enter another letter value to observe the results and progress.

13. Continue with the demonstration on Puzzle #1 until the spreadsheet feedback area finally displays “CORRECT!”

14. Return to the Word document (using the Undo process) to re-draw the Word document and finish entering any additional strategies or hunches that the class agrees upon. Remind the class that it is important that students not only document strategies that worked but also hunches that need more refinement. Stress that we often learn more from our failures than our successes.

15. Invite students to suggest whether Puzzle #1 can have other solutions. Discuss such possibilities, without demonstration, particularly if you wish to use this puzzle with a team as an easier entry into this activity.

16. Save the Word document, one last time, and demonstrate how you wish this completed Word puzzle file to be submitted to the teacher.

17. Now ask the students to arrange themselves into the teams that you have chosen and advise each team which puzzle is their responsibility. Select a particular member of each team to open their assigned Word document puzzle.

18. Instruct another team member to enter their team or individual names at the top of the Word document puzzle and save this named document in an appropriate location using their student names as a file identifier.

19. If one of your teams is working on Puzzle #1 (which was used during the demonstration) tell these team members that they have to find a different solution than the one that was demonstrated.

20. Direct team members to examine their puzzle (in the word processing format) and discuss any beginning steps or strategies that they think might be used to help solve the puzzle. Have a new team member type their initial strategies/thoughts  in the “What I/we learned” area at the bottom and save their team Word puzzle document before proceeding.

21. Ask a new team member, to start the puzzle by double-clicking within the yellow frame to activate the embedded spreadsheet. Remind the teams that the spreadsheet is “activated” when the Excel column letters and row numbers appear along the top and left side boundaries.

22. If necessary, team members can move the mouse over the red-coloured “DIRECTIONS” link, when the spreadsheet is activated.

23. Have each student, in turn, enter a value in the “Guess & Test Area” and observe the results in the “Results Area”.

24. Frequently remind teams, to return to update their strategies at the bottom of the Word document. To do so, one must click outside the yellow frame to deactivate the spreadsheet. Once the spreadsheet column letters and row numbers disappear, one may update the strategies and hunches at the bottom of the Word document. Remind students that if they return to the Word format (where no Excel column or row indicators are displayed) and the yellow frame spreadsheet does not display properly, one must immediately click the “Undo Object” (reverse arrow) or enter the <Ctrl-Z> keystroke combination to recover the Word document without any distortion.

25. Have students alternate between activating the spreadsheet, entering the next number, observing the results, returning to the Word document (using the “Undo” process to re-draw the Word document) and refining or typing in the new hunch or strategy to be tested.

26. Once the problem/puzzle feedback indicates that the team is “CORRECT!”, have the team complete the “What I/we learned … Area”, save the final version of the Word document, and transfer the resulting Word document to the teacher.

27. After finding their first solution, suggest that student teams, re-open the same puzzle, repeat the same steps to see if they can find more than one solution to their particular problem or to determine if their solution unique.

28. This problem solving activity could be used again by ensuring that different puzzles were assigned to different teams.


Sample Team Word Document

< Click the above image to view the display in a larger format. >

Freebie Downloads:

Take care & keep smiling :-)

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Reflect, Review, and Rap

Activity, Bits and Bytes, Freebie, LwICT, Tutorial 1 Comment »

At this time of year, many educators are looking for review projects or activities that will really engage their students. In addition, many teachers know that using technology can help students review concepts in all subjects as well as meet the descriptors that are identified in Manitoba Education’s Literacy with Information and Communication Technology (LwICT) developmental continuum.

I thought that I might challenge students to demonstrate, through the LwICT “Produce to Show Understanding” Big Idea that they really understand a particular concept or unit of study. However, rather than write the traditional essay or report, I want students to exercise their brain and use the Audacity (open source, free audio editor and recorder) application to create personal “review song” lyrics. In order to demonstrate this process, I decided to summarize and review Manitoba Education’s LwICT Across the Curriculum by creating a poem set to music. On-line readers can hear my “ICT-Rap” and view the lyrics by clicking on the appropriate hyper-links. I am sure that with the basic steps below, students will be soon generating exceptional musical compositions as a review mechanism.

The basic steps begin with finding a freeware background music track which can be, optionally, loaded into Audacity. One can then play this background loop while using a microphone to record the lyrics to your song. Although one can spend more time experimenting with the various effects in Audacity, one can simply save the lyrics and background musical loop as a blended MP3 file and celebrate your learning.

1. I went to the “loops” section of the Flash Kit web site at: http://www.flashkit.com/loops/

2. I searched for “free loops” and scrolled down the resulting pages and listened to the various samples by pressing the “play” button in the Flashtrak Console.

3. Once I found a free loop, that I thought would provide my song with an appropriate background, I downloaded it in an MP3 format. For example, on-line readers can click on “What_You_Gonna_do” to hear the free loop created by PlayaJayCee. I downloaded this MP3 background loop as the start of my ICT rap.

4. Next I started Audacity. I clicked on Audacity’s File > Open menu items and navigated to the folder where I had previously stored my “What_You_Gonna_do” MP3 loop. When this 8 beat loop is opened in Audacity, it appears on the top track with a 10 second duration. Next, one has to repeat the background loop to accommodate the number of verses in the “review song”. To do so, click the Edit > Select > All menu items to highlight the entire loop and the click Edit > Copy to store the loop in memory. Next one must place the cursor at the end of the selection and press the Edit > Paste menu items to extend the background audio track. The instructions in this previous sentence must be repeated as necessary to accommodate the lyrics or verses that are to be included. The newer version of Audacity (1.2.6) has a special “Play” feature as shown. One can hold down the <Shift> key while pressing the “Play” button to have the loop or song automatically repeat. However, one cannot record any additional narration while this “Shift/Play” button is depressed or in “loop play” mode.

5. Now press the File > Save Project As menu items and store this “work in progress” file (e.g. audio-track.aup) in an appropriate folder as an Audacity’s AUP program file.

6. At this point you will want to create lyrics or a series of verses which summarize the project or concept that you are reviewing. I find that because my background audio track is an 8 beat loop, I type my lyrics into Word making certain that the words adhere to this 8 beat timing structure. Save and print up the lyrics for the up-coming “voice over” narration portion.

7. Next we need to set a preference in Audacity. Click on the Edit > Preferences menu items. On the Audacity Preferences display, click the “Audio I/O” tab, and click to place a checkmark to the left of “Play other tracks while recording new one”. Click the “OK” button to proceed.

8. Insert the microphone into the computer and position your lyrics printed page so that you can begin the “voice over” narration. Press the left-most “Skip to Start” button to make certain that the cursor is positioned at the start of the background loop. Press the reddish “Record” button and begin listening to the background loop. Let the loop play though once before adding you own lyrics to the mix. You will note that your “voice over” narration automatically is displayed as an additional audio track below the loop background music. Adjust the speaker and microphone sliders, immediately located below Audacity’s buttons, as appropriate.

9. Press the File > Save Project As menu terms and store this “work in progress” in an appropriate folder with “version number” filenames ending in V1.AUP, V2.AUP, V3.AUP (e.g. History-Review-V1.AUP) to keep track of various attempts.

10. Undoubtedly you will not be able to record your entire “review song” at one sitting. Make certain that you save any “work in progress” as an Audacity project as noted above. Later, when you return to work, start Audacity. Select the File > Open menu items, navigate to the appropriate folder where you last stored your Audacity AUP project file, select it and click the “Open” button.

11. If you have time, you can explore the various effects that can be applied to your “review song”.  Audacity has an extensive “Help” file and the addtitional resources identified at the end of this article may be helpful as well.

12. When satisfied that the creation is finished, save the project one last time. Before exiting, make certain that one selects the File > Export as MP3 menu items and save the “review song” in a compressed MP3 format which will automatically blend all the tracks together.

12. After all students have played their “review songs” for their peers, provide a process where all students’ review projects can be accessed and listened to for studying purposes. Students who are aural learners may benefit from their colleagues’ “review songs” and find such a depository of audio files quite helpful.

13. Lastly, I encourage you, the reader, to provide feedback to this article by sharing your experience using Audacity to produce a “review song” as another mechanism for students to demonstrate understanding of a concept or unit of study.

Take care & keep smiling :-)


Credit: This blog entry is an updated version of an earlier article entitled “An ICT Christmas gift with lots of rappin’” which was first published in my “Bits and Bytes” educational newsletter in December, 2006.


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