Audio Comments: Between Smiles and Regrets

It’s quarter to nine on a Tuesday night. I’m deep into my fourth cup of “lemon zinger” tea and I can feel an unknown sickness creeping into my bones, but at the moment I am down-right content as I have just finished my first ever set of “audio comments” for my entire 8th grade class.

When I drag them all in to iTunes I’m told they total up to over two hours of dialogue. I’m struck with delight and horror simultaneously! It gets me wondering… when I write my comments on a rubric or paper, does it take me just as long? Maybe, maybe not, but just re-listening to one audio file tells me I’m getting more bang for my buck. It would’ve taken me a solid five or more minutes to write the intricate explanations I’m providing to students orally regarding lab write-up nuances, density’s relationship to an objects composition, and how double checking the rubric before handing in an assignment next time will surely earn them a higher grade.

I’m already thinking of ways to improve this system next time to cut the comment time down without sacrificing the value. Perhaps some pre-made comments for the statements I repeated over and over again? The real question… how will the students react to the new format?

If I put them on the school’s iPods for review they’ll have no choice but to listen…

… and that beats writing all those notes and comments, only to watch them stuff the paper deep in their binder without a blink, never to be seen again!


About MrMusselman

K-5 Science Specialist for the Burlington Public Schools of Burlington, MA.
This entry was posted in Digital Tools, Professional Reflections. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Audio Comments: Between Smiles and Regrets

  1. solivo says:

    That’s one of my big frustrations — putting serious hours into grading and comments only to have students ignore them later. Makes you wonder where the real benefit is — in the final grade or in the process of creating. I like how you’re using the iPods to distribute your comments.

  2. Joseph says:

    Genius, Muss. They’ll love when they’re shuffling through songs, and get an explanation on the scientific method haha.

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