In learning about multimedia sharing, my first learning stop was at the VoiceThread site. I am very excited about this learning tool. I could see its value in viewing archival photos in particular. Since I have established a Caswell Homes Project wiki in which one of the stories is about a streetcar, I could see the potential in embedding a streetcar picture in this wiki. Then visitors could add their recollections to the photograph using Voice Thread. I need to explore a little more how to use the telephone to record voice. Some people with a contribution to make may not have a microphone hooked up to their computer. I guess they could always type a comment as well. I could see that this VoiceThread would have many benefits in a classroom setting. It could give students a way to engage with each others work while also allowing parents the opportunity to see artwork and photography created at school. Even students in the younger grades could draw pictures of themselves and their families. Then they could record their thoughts or even type a few sentences to talk about their life.
In the city of Saskatoon, we have the Western Development Museum. They have an excellent website. They have partnerships with both of the school systems in the city and have done joint learning projects in the past. What if they created a set of 25 pictures (that's just an arbitrary number) of important artifacts in their museum. They could invite their volunteers to record their recollections of using those items. Since the museum is set in 1913 (around the time the streetcars first started running in Saskatoon), many of those my Mom's age would have used the museum artifacts when they were younger. Quite a few years back, when my grade 5 class worked with a group of seniors, we took a field trip together to the Western Development Museum. Each senior took his or her student(s) on a personal guided tour of the museum. It was an amazing day. I am concerned that we are losing those important stories of the past. VoiceThread will give people a way to tell those stories. However, as I mentioned in an earlier post, those born digital may need to assist the digital novices in order for those stories to be told.
I'm sure there are senior citizens who would love the opportunity to share their pictures and their stories with our students. We have only to invite them.
(Black and white photo is of my Dad, Don Sanders, during World War Two. He passed away May 8, 2009 at the age of 86.
Other photo is of Mrs. Sylvia Birnie (see my blog post of July 23, 2009 re Sylvia Birnie, My Leading Lady for a bit of her extraordinary story) with the grade 5 student who was her partner in the Generations Can Connect Project.)
The Loser's Club
1 month ago