Google Voice Homework

I don't think I've ever posted a detailed lesson plan on my blog, but I can't think of another way to show how I'm using Google Voice in the classroom.

[A note on Google Voice: You can't just sign up. You have to request access. I got an invite within a week. I don't have invites to give away, they don't do that.]
Lesson Plan: AVID Interviews

Objective: To have students become fluent in the use of rubrics and continue demonstrating mastery of higher level questions (Costa) and higher level answers.

Essential Question: How can you answer a higher level question without directly stating the question in the answer?

Activity: Interview yourself (this is our first interview project) using the AVID interview questions. Write out your 5-10 second answer on your paper as if you were talking. Follow the rubric to ensure that you are doing it correctly. When you've answered the questions, practice your answers out loud with a partner to make sure you aren't just reading.

[In class, we listened to the interview that I recorded on Google Voice. They were very harsh graders. They told me that it didn't sound like I had practiced. But, they did a good job with the rubric.]

The homework is to call my Google Voice, record their interview answers and hang up. I told them that can call anytime because it won't ring any of my phones, it will go directly to the voice mail. They thought it would be fun to call at 3:00 in the morning. I gave them until 8:00 am on Monday to record.
One other note, some students said they don't have access to a phone. I told them that they could use any phone (cell, land line, pay phone, library phone or school phone) and if they couldn't find a phone, I'd set them up at school on Monday.

Our follow-up to this will be to listen to select inteviews with permission in class and use the rubric to score each other. Once that is done, we'll do another interview with a partner that will be recorded to Google Voice.

It would be great to pull cell phones into the is conversation. If I could have them partner up with someone with a cell phone on speaker phone, we could record right in the classroom. That would be awesome. We could also use it on our college visits to quickly interview students on campus about college. That would be awesome.

The last thing I want to say is that the technology is not the focus. Our end product could easily have been presenting in class or videotaping the final answers. The focus is on the writing, questioning, and rubrics. I hope that the technology makes it more interesting but I know they are learning the questioning, rubrics and writing through the process.

Okay, that's a bit of a rambling post, but, hopefully, it will give my faithful readers an idea about Google Voice in the classroom.