Innovation #26

As I was working through this weeks learning path I came across a section that discussed a report which described a collection of 150 ICT-based innovations that are considered to be the “greatest potential to advance teaching and learning.” For this post, I decided to focus on one of these innovations a little more closely.

What is it?

Innovation #24 from the Decoding Learning Data Spreadsheet uses an app called GarageBand (available on IPhone/IPad devices as well as Mac computers) and is an audio recording tool. This app was originally created for the purpose of making and recording music, however, can be integrated into an educational environment as a means of supporting learners with reading fluency. This video provides a demonstration of the app within a classroom context.

The innovation provides a visual representation of speech (soundwaves and voice tone for example) as well as an opportunity for the learner and teacher to discuss what the student is doing well and what the student might need to do differently, such as focussing on reading characteristics.

How might it be used?

The clip highlighted how this innovation could be used in a literacy learning based context and is presented in a guided reading session. This is a fantastic example of how ICT and Pedagogy work hand in hand.

In the video the student is asked to select a passage to read from a book of their choice, followed by a discussion between student and teacher highlighting the reading goals for the session, with particular focus on attending to how punctuation marks direct a readers’ intonation, giving clues about what is happening in the text and helping the reader achieve greater fluency in oral reading.

A guided reading session commences and the learner records herself (using GarageBand) reading the selected passage, followed by a reflection session where both the teacher and student answer the same questions regarding how the student went during the reading.

The student reads the text again, implementing any suggestions that were made in the reflection process, before stating the learning goals for the next guided reading session.

Why does it help student learning?

This innovation allows learners to hear themselves as a reader. Brian Cambournes (1988) Seven Condition of Learning provides further insight as to why.

  • Immersion – it immerses students senses. Students are able to see and hear what they are reading and how they sound while reading. This makes the task more personal, meaningful and relevant as they reflect on their reading session.
  • Modelling – It requires students to explicitly demonstrate what it is they have learned through a multi-sensory approach.
  • Approximation – As seen in the video, the learning experience of the student was slightly beyond her current abilities first demonstrated. The innovation allows the student to hear herself and so she is able to think of and implement some strategies that may assist her in the next reading. By hearing herself she is able to address areas that might need more attention, such as expression for example.
  • Reflection/feedback – students are asked to be reflective and to self-monitor continuously throughout the guided reading process. This innovation allows for student and teacher feedback that also provides evidence and examples (at the click of a button) that relate directly to the student. It is a more personal way of student reflection and evaluation. This innovation also allows for an audio record (concrete evidence) that can be kept on file throughout the year and is easily accessible and can be used as a means of demonstrating students growth and improvement over time.
  • Responsibility – to a degrees this innovation gives students a sense of responsibility. Something simple like pressing the record button, makes them feel in charge of their learning. through reflections, students also become responsible for their learning goals and improvements.
  • It motivates students.

What can you use from this example?

Literacy is something all primary educators must engage in with their students and so the example above could most definitely be implemented, particularly for guided reading sessions. This technology based application allows the learner to reflect and become critical thinkers in what they need to work on next. This innovation uses technology to construct how the learner learns and so is a very useful device.


The learning possibilities with this innovation are endless, and for this reasons it is definitely and ICT I would love to integrate into my personal pedagogical toolkit.

I will finish by saying:

There is an abundant amount of ICT based resources out in the world, some better than others. What the key concept here is, ICT and Pedagogy can be and is useful in the classroom context. It’s all in how you use it that will determine successful learning.


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