Voice Comments in GDocs

No Voice; but oh! the silence sank like music on my heart.
 ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 – 1834)

A group of five educators and myself went to the North Bay CUE  conference in Napa over the weekend.

LCMSD @ NorthBay CUE

It was a good day and I attended sessions on multimedia presentations, QR codes, and EdModo.  However as so often is the case at these conferences … our group was most blown away by something that had nothing to do with our sessions*.

Indeed it came up in a side conversation – adding voice comments in GoogleDocs.  What a great way to give students feedback!  Its quick, its easy, it allows students to hear your voice in the feedback and, i believe, more students will listen and think about the feedback you are giving them**

Here’s a great tutorial in less than three minutes by J. Roberts:

Voice Comments in Docs Tutorial


* EdCamp!!  This is why this model is so popular!  We hope to see, share, and learn both with and from at EdCamp Marin – August 1, Ross School

**just a theory of mine … it always broke my heart when students flipped through the hours of my work in written feedback.

great cyber-bullying video

When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)

Just last month i was wandering through the blogosphere reading some music blogs that interest me.  I was astounded by the comments that people were making, they were so severe.  Protected by anonymity it seems people aren’t really nice to each other.  I was disturbed by the fact that kys was an abbreviation that was thrown around like it was nothing.  Oh, you didn’t know either – kill yourself.  Disturbing.  In the same week my senior students reflected on this tragic article, to summarize their responses in a word:  harsh.

The importance of this new writing vehicle that we are a part of can not be understated and the direct instruction and consideration of commenting is something i believe has a place within the modern classroom.  A friend sent me this video this morning, which i found astoundingly powerful and will use to launch a lesson very soon:


Student Blog prompts:
What do you consider to be cyber bullying?  Can you share a time where you felt as though you were bullied online?  Can you think of an instance where perhaps your actions could have been considered bullying?  How did these experiences make you feel?  why?  What should you do if you feel that you are being bullied?