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8th Grade - Refugee stories from Creative Technology

Description

VoiceThread has enabled refugee communities to share stories about what it means to come to a new country to live. It examines, through childrens telling their stories, what it is like to start in a new school, in a new culture, in a totally new place. It gives children who add their own stories an opportunity to examine their own feelings, and realise that they are not alone. Feelings of isolation and marginalisation are lessened through the sharing of experiences in the web based video comment section of the stories.

This project was designed to accompany a children's opera called Kia Ora Khalid.

Process/Assignment

  • To share stories
  • To bring migrant communities together
  • To give students a voice
  • To create a learning resource for schools

Children's stories were used as a part of the writing process for the opera Kia Ora Khalid. We realised the importance of having these stories available for others to share. Refugee communities, government agencies, non-government organisations and schools were consulted during the planning of the refugee stories project.

A core group of children were videoed telling their stories and they were put up as starters for others to respond to.

The VoiceThread was then embedded into a wikispace site to allow community moderation and development of the learning resource which was made available to schools.

Challenges or setbacks

The easiest part of the project was setting up the VoiceThread and embedding it in the wiki, and the most difficult part was publicizing the VoiceThread and having people add to it.

Tools

WikiSpaces: http://refugeestories.wikispaces.com/

Tips

Take a sensitive approach to migrant children, allowing plenty of time for permission to have videos allowed to be posted on the Internet. Communication with teachers, students and their families.

Variations

One variation would be to allow students to add their own family photographs and interview their relatives for an oral history. Next time, I might incorporate the use of background music during the presentation. I have shared this Voicethread with my Save Ellis Island Ambassador peers. It will become part of our project for the Dodge Foundation as we look to integrate immigration experiences in the classroom. I can envision a series of history Voicethreads where the students portray people discussing the situation.

The VoiceThread