Student Voices Episode 1: Jessie

4/19/2008 09:14:00 am

I was talking to one of my students earlier this week while helping her review over the lunch hour. I found her comments so compelling I asked her (and later her parents) if I could record and publish her comments so other students could hear what she had to say. I've long thought students need to hear from other students how they best learn to help them all learn.

This is the first in what I hope will be a series of podcasts called Student Voices. I'm hoping to have one of these short conversations with a student published each week.

I was inspired by the powerful presentations done by my students on Monday at the Pan-Canadian Interactive Literacy Forum. Hearing how students talk powerful learning experiences in their own words fascinates me; I find it very compelling when I begin to doubt if "all this web 2.0 stuff" is worth mine and my students efforts. Listening to Jessie talk gave me a shot in the arm at a time when I really needed it.

In this episode Jessie, a grade 12 Applied Math student, shares how she uses her class blog to learn and describes her personal "tipping point" from being confused to understanding the class material very well. She also discusses the value of learning conversations and how sometimes being a "teacher" and sometimes a student helps her learn.

Please feel free to leave Jessie your comments here or on this post on her class blog. You can also find the archive of her most recent online work in her class blog.

(Download File 5.6Mb, 11 min. 40 sec.)


I cross posted this to all my class blogs. I'm thinking this might be a way to help build community between them and encourage cross commenting by students.

Photo Credit: Kids of conversation by flickr user Kris Hoet

You Might Also Like


  1. Anonymous22/4/08 11:24

    Dear Darren Kuropatwa,
    I found your ideas on how students learn from each other very interesting. I actually do agree that we students can learn a lot from the way we see each other learn. Though we all have our different ways, a lot of us will find many others who think and learn just like us. Since kids have such a big influence on each other, watching others can help us discover another way of learning. I also agree with Jessie about how sometimes teaching the things you know and sharing them out loud, can help you better understand what you have learned.

    I remember in my English class about how we had talked about how we enjoy having seminars and talking and sharing ideas out loud. We agreed that being able to speak your thoughts and have others respond is a great way to learn. It is also nice to just listen to what everyone else has to say, you can learn so much by just listening to people who think like you and at the same level.

    This is just like blogging to. In our class, we go and read a blog of someone else’s and then blog our reactions. Well I think that the idea of reading other people’s work is a good idea because you can learn a lot about how other people think and share how you feel about it with them. It is such a great way to communicate ideas.

  2. Hi Darren,
    I thought this was a wonderful podcast! It was insightful to hear how this student learned best and what impacted her learning. What an excellent way to talk about "learning" with your students, promote life long learning skills, and share with the larger educational community. I am sharing this with my math coordinators because it is exactly what we're talking about in our district - how to engage students and make learning meaningful for them. Thanks for sharing. I thoroughly enjoyed this and look forward to more.

  3. It is great to hear Jessie talk about the powerful learning that happens for her in groups. Collaboration and feeling both intellectually safe and challenged in group work are things we want all our students to experience. Great podcast. I'm inspired!

  4. Anonymous2/5/08 04:05

    Hi darren, your posts are really interesting. As an educator, I am inspired more to keep these modern technology in our classes.

    Thanks for the post.