Sunday, March 4, 2012

Which One Appeals to You Most?

For our Digital Learning Day challenge to try something new, I decided to have my 8th grade students create a Voki and then share them with a high school Social Media class in another city whose teacher I had connected with through our Business Education List-serv. To create a little excitement, I offered it out as a contest to my students explaining that the high school class would pick the Voki that met the requirements and appealed to them the most.

We were just beginning our unit on Photo Editing and I like to begin that unit with a discussion on the ethics of editing a photo that results in altering the truth. In the past, I would have my students write an email to a co-worker explaining the possible outcomes and consequences of altering the truth through photo editing, and persuading them not to do it. Using a Voki to communicate this message seemed like an engaging, yet still practical way to accomplish the same purpose. 

The students had a great time using Voki. Although they were all over thirteen, could create their own account, and I had notified all the parents we were using this website, I found out that we did not need to have an account to create a Voki (although they still need to be over thirteen). Once the Vokis were created, I sent all the links to the other teacher. He did a great job of using a Google Form to have his students answer questions about the effectiveness of the Voki, and then choose their favorite. I did all my grading prior to receiving these comments as I only wanted the high schoolers to provide authentic feedback to my students - an opinion other than mine as to the effectiveness of their message. Additionally, I hoped that the topic we covered added to the high school student's awareness of the ethics involved with photo editing. 

My students were eager to find out what the high school students thought of their Vokis and who the winner was. It was a neat experience for me to connect with another teacher and bounce ideas off of him, and we ended up being able to share some great resources on ethics with each other. In the end, both classes of students and both teachers gained from this experience. 


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