Today was the last day of school! (this was a really long, hard year… are children “changing” or is it me?)
ANYWHO… As promised in my last post, I have a few voice recordings from my students as they answered my question about “creating” life on Mars. In general, it went well. The transcripting is a different animal. I think perhaps, if we’d used the software more, it would have had time to learn our voices, and give me clearer transcripts. (some of them are hilariously transcribed).
The children tended to answer nervously, which I expected, and I graded them on how completely they considered the question. Again, they haven’t learned about atmosphere and cloud cover, etc., so I didn’t expect to hear a lot about how the water vapor and oxygen would change the atmosphere. Maybe I’ll let the 8th grade teachers know what I did this year, and in a couple of years, we’ll see if they remember and can respond to the same question again, adding the atmospheric information.
When I use this in the fall, I’ll have to make sure the students speak clearly, so I can understand all they are saying. I have a lot of mutterers, unfortunately. Overall, however, my pilot of the Google Voice software was a success. The kids LOVED it (you mean, I can do my homework by just calling you?), and I have the recording in my inbox read to be listened to and graded.
You can have the messages ring to your Google Talk account or to your cell phone. I opted for the cell phone. I just turned the ringer off and watched my phone light up every few minutes for a few days. I even got to explain it to another teacher while standing in line at a store! She said she was signing up ASAP!
So, without further ado, my 6th grade scientists, reflecting on what would happen if the ingredients for life were in place on Mars and we added plants. Enjoy!
What cool new tool will you use in the fall to make homework easy?