Thursday, April 16, 2009

Probability Bar Graph Voicethread

This is a voicethread my students have been commenting on. The process was as follows:
  • Together, we filled out a 6 x 6 table showing all the possible combinations that can be rolled with two dice. We then created a bar graph showing the probability of rolling a 2, 3, 4 etc. all the way to 12. They discovered that the probability of rolling a 7 was much greater than rolling a 2 or a 12.
  • Students worked in pairs to roll two dice 50 times and tally the results.
  • They used the laptops to visit National Library of Virtual Manipulatives and created a bar graph showing their results.
  • I screencaptured their graphs using the PrtSc/SysReq button on the computers because their wasn't a screencapture program installed on all the computers.
  • I uploaded the pictures to which now has a feature where you can easily edit the pictures using picnik I cropped the screenshots down to show just the graphs.
  • I imported the pictures to Voicethread along with instructions on how students should comment.
  • Here's the SIOP lesson plan.
Students are choosing to comment using voice and text. I instructed them on how to choose their own "identity" icon before commenting although sometimes they are forgetting to do so. We began this process before spring break and before the blizzard so unfortunately we didn't finish then like I had planned. After the break, we worked on it again and honestly, I am disappointed with the results. I thought my instructions were explicit enough, but my students' comments seemed really surface-level and didn't reflect the deep level of understanding I was looking for. Other comments are very stilted and are read right from their worksheet without much thought to the meaning of the words they were saying.

Finally, I had major technical problems with Voicethread. First, my mics weren't working on any of my desktops. I tested them through the control panel and they worked fine. Then in Voicethread they didn't work. Then I did a test comment as a demonstration for my class and it worked on my laptop. When we went to the desktop later to listen to it on VT, it wasn't there. Other students have reported disappearing comments. It was so frustrating and brought everything to a standstill. I would like kids to go in and continue commenting, but I am bagging it at this point. Has anyone else experienced problems with VT? Voicethread is a tool with great potential and I was excited about using it, but I am really disappointed. We have another project happening next week where students will be publishing their work as a VoiceThread. I will publish it here and let you know how it turns out.

1 comment:

kathy said...

I am wanting to give VT a try, too. It is good to know in advance some things I might need to troubleshoot. Now that CSAP is over it seems that we have much more time for technology. I hope that next year, if not before, our classes can do some collaborating.