Going further

There really should be pushback from yesterday’s post “What does the fox say?“.  As I write this post, it’s only about an hour old so the day is young.  This pair of posts was indeed planned to be this way.

It’s not that the SoundTouch app or Google’s implementation of animal sounds are problematic.  In fact, they are both excellent products of creative coding and I think are great examples to share with others who seek to engage with young learners.  If I didn’t, they wouldn’t have made this blog.

The challenge, as I wrote it, was that I showed how to use the two of them at the simplest possible level.  If you’re a regular reader here, you know that I haven’t bought into the theories that some are so happy to demonstrate as “research” when, in fact, no research has been done.

I boil the use of technology down to two things that it affords:

  • technology lets you do things differently
  • technology lets you do different things

Clearly, the simplest use of the two fit into the first category.  Teaching animal sounds is a staple (I’m so inclined to use “stable” but I know my editors would scream) in education and have been done in many ways since the first class ever.  You could sit a child down in front of either app and they’ll take it from there for a few minutes.  Then, they get bored and go looking for something else.  They might even try to mimic the sounds; a former superintendent used to call it “barking at the screen”.

If this was all that you expected from applications such as these, it becomes different to justify just why money should be spent on buying technology.

Or, you can do different things.  That’s where both of these applications shine.

As noted in the post yesterday, SoundTouch has been a favourite for three young learners around here.  Some of the things that we’ve done with it.

  • named an animal and then gone looking for it in the app
  • chosen a few pictures of an animal and then talked about why we liked one over the others
  • translated the animal names into French (thank you Grade 10)
  • looked in the background of the image for other things
  • tried to identify times where we’ve seen the animals/objects in real life (thank you Colasanti’s)
  • done a screen capture and then brought the image into a photo editor to make a good picture better with lines and different colours
  • choose a name for the animal and explain why
  • and I’m sure that we’ve done more.  I wish that I’d kept a diary.

It’s a wonderful example of just how technology can be used different ways in the classroom, often limited only by time and imagination.

4 thoughts on “Going further

  1. Doug, your screenshot idea made me think about taking a screenshot and putting it into a screencasting app. What a great way to either share more about the animal or even have children tell their own animal story. I think that this post highlights well that an app is only limited by what we (adults and children) choose to do with it … and there are so many possibilities. I’m curious to hear what others have to say.

    Aviva

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  2. These are excellent ideas! You could also make up songs …for example, when I read that question, “What does the fox say?” the tune is irrevocably in my head all day – making up songs using other animal noises would be fun,creative, funny and get rid of the oooo-oooo-ooo soundtrack!

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