Voices as Stories from the Heart

Ever hang out with people who dream up things that make your head spin? While lots of people come up with over-the-top ideas, it’s rare that these come to fruition with powerful lasting impacts. I was fortunate enough to have been a part of a listening circle to see this one unfold. Imagine the months of work in fine tuning the idea to match the goals, engaging in heartfelt conversations and inviting participation at many levels. Finally the day arrives and something unexpected happens. Social media takes over and amplifies the story in such a way that the world notices.

Inspired by Canadian heroes Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip,  Sheila Gourlay (Parkcrest Elementary, Burnaby, BC) and Carlene Montgomery (Chaffey-Burke Elementary, Burnaby, BC) launched a project that encompassed 3 goals: honour Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip, raise money for cancer research and celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. Two schools, 700+ students, one song (Ahead By A Century) and hours of rehearsals, their voices unite across cyberspace. This one video (below and on the sidebar) says it all. You can also find their story on A Kids’ Guide to Canada celebrating Canada 150.
What did the students learn? “Even though they’re young, they  can aim towards something bigger than themselves and make a difference.”

The story doesn’t end here. Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip have just been named to the Order of Canada.

 

Technologies Amplifies and Changes the Way We Create

Is it “technologies amplifies our ideas and changes the way we create”? Or is it the other way around or both in tandem?

Last week our district came together for Pro-D. Aptly named “District Day”,

maker centers

it’s a day dedicated to learning and exploring together – meeting and connecting with friends and colleagues from other schools. Certainly it’s a day of “connectedness” where the buzz of excitement is palpable, exploration and new ideas are plentiful and teachers sharing their passions are the norm. While I must admit that this is an exhausting day but one of the most extremely worthwhile days ever! I always come away rejuvenated and filled with possibilities. It’s a sparkly time.

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Connecting Voice

Today Kevin via #CLMOOC’s daily connect asked us to consider adding a recording. It was from an older session where podcasting was the goal. The result was there were not many takers. He posed it again this year and offered vocaroo as a quick way to record. I started thinking as it resonated with the idea of “voice” and “choice”. Why weren’t there takers? Certainly it couldn’t have been the tool as there can be no simpler online tool. I wonder if it goes deeper. I’m reminded of an activity I did with students – no matter the age the results upon hearing their voices was always laughter or in some cases, absolute horror. It was how their voices sounded that was affecting them. Singers are taught to listen to themselves and others. But we aren’t, so listening to ourselves is a new experience. It’s something to take into consideration when we ask our students to record themselves reading a passage or practicing a speech. We may want to connect the term “voice” as an instrument, with the ability to adjust with practice how it sounds. If I stuck with this analogy, then the content we speak are the musical scores leaping off pages.

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Add Layers to Images to Create New

Have you hunted high and low for the perfect image to use? Besides trying to photograph the image there are many options with varying levels of complexity that can be taken. I lean towards simple, yet with a small bit of complexity.next

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