This blog is quite special to me because it’s about a student of mine who had a horrible accident in a taxi last year as he and a friend were returning from a party late in early morning hours. The two boys were 11th graders at the time of the accident: Bank survived with major injuries but has recovered mostly, about 90% back to normal. However, Korn, was in a coma and has had multiple surgeries and is now paralyzed on his left side. Korn returned to school at the beginning of this semester and he has made steady progress using his left side of his body and with speech. Korn went from being an athletic, funny, crazy, smart, popular boy to being in a wheelchair with no privacy: he needs full-time care and has two assistants (his “nanny” and an educational assistant) with him while at school.
Korn is on a special schedule at school and he is in my Study Skills and English Skills classes and I work with sometimes in Psychology. So, as part of an assignment for Psychology, the students were asked to make a timeline of their lives and incorporate some of the major psychologists (Erik Erikson, Piaget, Freud) in terms of stages of development. Since Korn has speech issues and can’t use his left hand, I thought it would be a good idea to use Voicethread to help him create his timeline (some students made picture books while others made digital books). Of course, I didn’t expect it to be so time-consuming!
Some of the issues we had were with the school’s firewall that kept not playing the webcam recording or the voice recording that we attached/saved to each picture. Since the whole point of using Voicethread was to have Korn create a timeline just using his voice and pics, and to practice his speech (understanding his speech is sometimes difficult), which would hopefully make him become aware of areas where he could improve, we had to practice repeatedly to make sure it was audible and understood by viewers. Here, I asked our school’s speech therapist, who was working with him already, to assist him in articulation of certain words.
As you can see, the product came out well I think for the following reasons: (1) Korn had great pics from when he was a toddler to his middle school years to most recently, and (2) his great, fun attitude came across well using Voicethread.
Korn’s timeline for Psychology: http://voicethread.com/share/2499542/