What a great little tool! I first came across the easispeak microphones during the Learning At School 09 conference in February where Garry introduced me to it at the Sitech stand. A purchase soon followed and I have continued to be delighted at the ease of use and possibilities uncovered in capturing sound files.
The first time I used it was to capture student voice. Passing the microphone over to the group, the children worked out very quickly how it worked. Other than showing them where the on/off switch was, no further instructions were needed. The portability, independence and ability to record, replay, add to and delete are great options. The 7 & 8 year old students were delighted to work all this out and then teach me.
One of the group, Andrew was a reticent speaker. He tended to hold back, leaving the talking to others. He had a lot to contribute but found it difficult to organise his thoughts and have them flow into the conversation. Passing the microphone around the group really illustrated the impact. Students recorded, palyed back, assessed and moved on. You could see the group rehearsing, analysing and thinking! When it came to Andrew's turn he took his time. People waited. Andrew's eyes were closed as he rehearsed, thought quielty and then aloud before he turned on the record button. He recorded, pressed play, listened, repeated the recording adding and clarifying and then passed on the microphone when he was happy.
The other problem, now eliminated when capturing any student voice, has been background noise. A microphone attached to a computer has to cope with whatever else is happening within the room and as you know this is not always conducive to great recording conditions! The independence, ease of use and portability of the easispeak solves this issue.
The microphone has impacted to improve these situations straight away.
- We can take the microphone with us where ever we go - on our walks, on class trips or to a quiet space when we need to record.
- The ability to rehearse, play back, delete and redo adds to content and clarity.
- Passing the microphone easily from one person to the next and having the users hold it in our own hands allows us all to predict our turn and prepare, increases ownership and responsibility, and improves participation and contribution.
Once the recordings were done, the black cap was removed to show the USB connection and voila! in a very short time the podcasts were uploaded and inserted via the computer. What a great little tool. So simple, versatile and transeferrable!
The microphones are now being used in all our cluster schools. They are being used -
- By both teachers and students to capture reflections on their learning.
- By students to record and playback their writing.
- In the process of transforming narrative writing into plays, cartoons, animations and movies
- To record student questions
- As a record of oral language
- By staff and students as they record interviews with visiting speakers, experts
- By students to record their times tables
- On class walks and trips to capture special places, sounds and observations. e.g. Hamilton Zoo
We are only limited by our imaginations. How else is this tool being used to enhance learning for you or your students?