Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Listen up and you shall hear....

As we in some of the northern states come into the home stretch, and call this 2010-2011 school year to a close, I was looking for a way to keep it interesting, challenging and purposeful right to the end, June 24, 2011. In Maine, as I am sure in other rural states, we drive long distances just to  be with family and friends. The time we spend on the road can be considered a consumer of free time or better yet, time that could be spent doing other things.

This past weekend, although it was a beautiful day for a drive, I had a just a few end of the school year projects I needed to complete! Not wanting to succumb to any more stress than I had to, I was brainstorming with myself about how I could change up my end of the school year summary to students and parents while I was driving.

I thought about using my dragon dictate app and “Tap and Dictate” but that would mean me speaking, the app transforming speech to text, and parents and students would be reading long messages from me. Then, I wondered if I could record my voice into a memo, and send the voice memo to my students and parents. They would hear the excitement in my voice, some kudos for a great year, hopefully a challenge for the summer, and a comment that I would look forward to seeing them in the fall.

It worked! By the end of my 4 hour round trip, I was nearly done with my unique end of the year summaries about my students. I was nearly done with another task from my to do list. I will bet this is the first time my parents and students will have a voice message in their email from a teacher. Oh, it was fairly easy, I pushed the record button and put the phone down and just talked like someone was in the car with me.  If you are looking for a stress free way to sum up your school year, try a voice memo.( Or a welcome message for next fall!) It will be easy on the listeners as well.

I just went back and listened to my end of the school year messages. I sent a couple test messages and received positive responses from parents. What a nice way to end my year!
coakes photo
Turn your audio into mp3's to make sure other computers can read the format.
PS. Here is the feedback I have received.

Message 1 from a parent:
I loved your voice message to Chris!  What a great way to encourage and motivate a student :-)
I had a thought of playing Mad Libs with both of my kids as soon as I heard you say this area still needs help, adverbs, adjectives etc...
Thank you so much for being there for Chris!  You are an amazing gift to us and I wish you a nice, relaxing, and healthy summer :-)
Message 2 from a parent:
Well that was certainly an interesting way to get a report.  Very nice.  I appreciate everything you have done for Ashley this  year and I am glad that you get to continue working with her next year as well.

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