How to Integrate Web Tools into Student-Led Projects

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThread user, Craig Kemp.
My name is Craig Kemp, a kiwi boy living in Singapore. I am Head of ICT & Learning Innovation at an International School here in Singapore. I am proud to classify myself as a globally connected educator. I love twitter and blogging. My guest blog today is based around some practical experience I have had in the classroom utilising VoiceThread as a tool to support student led projects, in particular PBL (problem based learning).
  I am a huge fan of PBL and I use it frequently in my classroom. My role has changed over the past few years and now sees me in a mentor/coaching role for staff members across K-8. My role now is to supply teachers with innovative and engaging ideas that are easy to use and actually save the teacher time (the most important factor for any educator).   A recent example that I am going to focus on today was working with Grade 3 Students and Staff on a Space related project. Not only did we work incredibly hard to globally connect these students with space related experts from all over the world but we integrated many webtools to support their learning. One of the most powerful being VoiceThread.

After some core teaching, inquiry based learning and student led discussions, students had the opportunity to use their own guiding question to seek and extend their learning. Students used VoiceThread to post their question and send links via social media, to parents, to other classes, and to other staff members to collect their ideas.




One student was investigating how space suits protect human beings while in space. We put her question and link out via social media and in an email to the above mentioned contacts and within 24 hours she was able to check out her VoiceThread wall and collate the 20+ responses to her questions which included links to videos, a voice message from an astronaut, an offer to connect to a space suit company in USA plus much more. In an instant she was hooked. She took her student led project above and beyond expectations thanks to the amazing collaborative tool that is VoiceThread.   I look forward to sharing more examples of how I use VoiceThread across my school over the coming months. In particular my use of it in the Mathematics classroom – here is an example of how I used VoiceThread with Year 6 students to assess their knowledge of a Mathematics strategy back in 2011 –   Craig Kemp is the Head of ICT and Learning Innovation at Avondale Grammar School. Stay connected with him via Twitter and his blog.