Wednesday morning was especially unique. Normally, Stephen Hurley goes into the voicEd studios and I connect to him via an internet connection and we run the radio version of This Week in Ontario Edublogs.
We’ve talked about this concept for a while and we finally put a plan into motion. We wanted to do the show live from an Ontario classroom. The only question was who and where.
Cameron Steltman’s class has been featured on the regular version of the show a few times and, when I ran the idea by Cameron, he was in. So, we pursued things and finally put the plan into motion. We’d be going live at 9:30.
Now, if I was going to drive to the school, I’d have to leave here in the middle of the night so Stephen and his family offered me an overnight accommodation so that we could get an early start. An added benefit was that I got to join Stephen and Derek Rhodenizer for the launch of their new show looking at a news stories in education.
I arrived at John T. Tuck Public School ahead of Stephen and had a great conversation about the blog with Cameron. As we talked, I was making notes and decided to change the format of our show. I had all kinds of ideas for questions for the class and for individual students.
We didn’t quite get started at 9:30 – the announcements went a bit long and the students were working on a mathematics challenge but we did manage to start at 9:45. And, unlike the challenges that we had at Minds on Media where things didn’t record properly, everything did. The students were amazing. Each of them had a Chromebook in front of them (except for one young lady who brought her own MacBook Pro), we had an operator for the computer attached to the data projector, and we were live. The principal was kind enough to drop in and see this wonderful group of students in action..
I knew that it was going to be a success when we led off with the opening song – the theme from Hawaii Five-O and the whole class was dancing in their seats!
I had my questions, a portable microphone with a cable that let me get just about everywhere in the classroom and we were off.
What makes the blogging experience different in this class is that there is only one blog. Mr. Steltman writes a post as provocation and the students all respond to this via comment. The topic this time was Character Crossovers! where the students borrowed a character from a classmate and brought that character into their own story. The academics behind it was an opportunity for the students to use quotation marks correctly.
It made for a great conversation and I managed to get a bit from everyone in the class who had a signed parental permission form to be involved.
You can hear the show here.