Thursday, October 21, 2010

Are You Flippin?

I have this really smart friend who, somehow, is always able to push me to go one step further.  We recently had a conversation about our research on cyber - bullying.  During that conversation we were discussing how student voice needs to be heard more often in educational research. 

Today I pulled out the flips to record my students working (like to call it experiencing) on their e-portfolios.  My students - 3rd graders - have limited technological knowledge, but always amaze me by what they learn while 'playing'.  They are still in the phase of initial set-up of their e-portfolios, and are working to figure out how their web 2.0 tool is going to work for them.  Before setting off to work they shared a few tips & tricks with each other & then went off to experience. 

What does this have to do with including student voice in research?  As I was setting the flips up, I re-ran that conversation in my brain.  Immediately, I made a decision.  I decided to rope my students into my research.  I paused their experience & rallied them around the idea of being my research assistants.  They'll record, review the video, choose the clips to use, & possibly string them together.  How can I, with good conscience, 'make' them do my research?  EASY!
  1. Plenty of camera time will diminish that 'hi, mom' reaction.
  2. They will learn the skills of cinematographer, editor, producer, director.
  3. They will observe themselves as learners which will naturally lead to reflection.
  4. They will be determining importance, considering audience & purpose (reading & writing skills)!
  5. Their feedback will certainly help the direction of my research.
 I'm really looking forward to seeing how this goes!