Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Its always a challenge to work on a project that relies on creating a project with others that will be completed by someone else who has to ask another group for their participation in order to complete the project.  Huh?

It creates a bit of a tangled web of planners, participants and producers that looks something like this chart. http://popplet.com/app/Popplet_Alpha.swf?page_id=3135521&em=1

Photo By Me
Photo By Me

The ship was feeling a little crowded and seemed to be drifting at sea from time to time in search of land.   But, I think it has finally righted itself and we are headed for open water.  We’ve passed through the Straits of Longterm Digital Storage Solutions, made it through the Doldrums of Spring Break and Conferences and are entering the Seas of Productivity.

The students have been working on developing their recording and storytelling skills along the way through a series of assignments adapted from the Out Of Eden Learning project that my colleague Andy has been using in his 6th grade classes, the #HearMyHome project, that I stumbled upon on Twitter and had hoped to have our classes participate in but didn’t find the time, and of course our own amazing imaginations.

As you can see below, students have started sharing some of their work as a way to introduce themselves to our audience.
//padlet.com/embed/hq7mtzxqkxs3

The process has been a bit of a struggle as we’ve been waiting on our IT department to set up some server space to ensure long term storage for our content.  You see, I realised as this project got underway for the second year, that all of the audio from last year’s interviews was linked to individual student’s Google accounts.  Rookie mistake.  I’m in the process of downloading all of the audio and making copies of their documents so that parts don’t begin to disappear as students leave and their accounts are disabled.

It has been a bigger challenge than it seems it should be to develop not only a storage solution, but a work flow that makes sense as well.  We went through several different scenarios that would have required uploads, changing of ownerships and multiple account managements.  I’m all for helping students develop their tech skills, but with each step that is added to the process the chances of something going wrong increases.  We needed a way to create URLs to link images and audio to our site and to the maps that we are creating.

As you will find if you start clicking around on the map, some students found ways to embed their info and images and others just added a link. We want to develop a little more consistency, and now that we have a storage solution, I think we can. Eventually this map will include layers of audio and photo content created by the students about their own communities.

We start recording interviews next week and that’s when the real work begins. I’m excited.