As I rounded the week at TCEA, I reflected on the power of video in the classroom. Video is engaging to our students; it is a format they are comfortable with; and there is little room for misunderstanding a concept when they can literally 'see' it on the screen. A blog post by Dr. Nathan Lang (also a former co-worker of mine at NASA DLN) called Student Video Creation: 5 ways to ensure it aligns with district-tier goals addresses how this can use Marzano's instructional strategy of identifying similarities and differences more clear. The post has great insight into how student created videos can lead students to effectively communicate their own learning in the classroom. I think it goes without saying that video can help students understanding of concepts in the classroom, as well as for teachers to use effectively to communicate their own ideas and lessons in a 'flipped' classroom. When I started working with video over 20 years ago, I knew then that it was going to be a powerful force in education. Today it is even more present. Being in an area hit by Hurricane Harvey, video helped convey the devastation, helped get the word our about heroes, and helped raised funds because we could hear and see from those affected. No matter who uses video and whatever the purpose, it can have a huge impact. Make it a part of your classroom and make a change for the better! #wevideo
TCEA has been another engaging adventure:) My first time not presenting in five years... My favorite sessions were learning more about BreakoutEDU. My forward thinking librarian had already ventured out and done this with her book club last year, but after seeing it in action, I wanted to know more . I heard the improvements, tutorials, and how to get/create games. I got to the early session early, and actually spoke with (and took a selfie...shameless I know) with one of the co-founders, Adam Bellow! The hardest part is designing the game, but as an educator - you get out what you put into it. More work designing the game, brings the best learning outcome for your students. Adam made a point of emphasizing that this game hits the 4Cs: collaboration, creativity, communication, and CRITICAL thinking. I can't wait to get my own box and start designing/ training for teachers using this gaming platform! #BreakoutEDU
This school year has been all about gamification in the classroom. During my teacher training days we look at ways that they can easily incorporate gaming in their classroom to engage the students. Everyone loves a little competition and now that Quizlet has added a 'live' feature students are able to have even more fun! https://quizlet.com/features/live
Quizlet added a new 'live' button you will see now after you have entered into a set of your 'cards'. The objective is to work with a team to get all the answers right. Here is how it is different from the others like Kahoot or Quizizzes....when students join the group to play (and you need at least 6 players), it will then assign them into teams (typically they are some type of animal name) thus no planning for the teacher required! When you start each team member will see the question and several answers on their device, HOWEVER, only one in the group will have the correct answer. What I love is that it forces the students to talk and discuss the answer choices and come to a decision as a group. If they pick the wrong choice, they have to start all over. When the first team correctly matches all the cards together, their animal appears on everyone's screen. The stats not only show how they did but gives you a summary of the least answered correctly card and the most correctly answered card. And here's the best part-- you can replay and shuffle the teams. In my experience it typically takes clear instructions and then at least two rounds before the students understand how it works. I think it works best when reviewing or introducing a concept. And if you already have a point system or badging in place-- you can award the teams! Try Quizlet.live!
I work in a Microsoft District -- which basically means that we rely heavily (but not solely) on Microsoft tools and platforms. My favorite one, besides the entire Office 365, is OneNote. With the onset of summer and our collaboration with curriculum we have started using OneNote, which is Microsoft's digital notebook. It does everything!!! There truly is not much it cannot do. And with Office 365, you can not only create a personal OneNote for your self, but there is a Staff Onenote and Class OneNote. See below for a breakdown of the features (including what you get from add ins, etc.
I mean seriously why would anyone NOT use OneNote??!
Well my apologies for not keeping up better with the site and the amazing tools I have discovered this year. Yes it is Leap Day, on the eve of March 1st before I am making a post in 2016. However in the spirit of the testing season, I want to spend this post looking at Go Formative. I was fortunate enough to be a part of the TechFAT team that presented at TCEA 2016 on some of the best formative assessment tools for the classroom. Formative allows anyone to turn a typical handout into an 'actual' interactive document that can be add to student learning through video examples, teacher notes, or simply the ability to submit answers electronically. Take a look at the video below.
So starting this school year, I have borrowed the concept of having a Tackky Thursday for edtech training on my campus. If you haven't Tackked lately, you should. It is an easy and effective way to communicate information, embed and share. Create a classroom blog with students or just allow the students to be creative. Use it to make newsletter for your class or school. Be as creative as you
Survival - the first week of school; that is what most teachers think as Friday if finally here! We survived the first week now we can settle in! In my district, we had to add to the mix password resets for grades 5-12. Necessary but seems to be at the worst possible, stressful time for most. Amid all the chaos of the week, I am reminded of needing to communicate more and #teachsmall . I am again encouraging our teachers to use Remind to communicate daily and often with students via text. Keeping with the teach small concept means it is the small things you do that matter most. Big learning can take place when the small pieces come together to foster a better relationship with your students and their parents. In this world of information, why not use it to your advantage and make it as easy as texting a reminder, a homework note, or words of praise and encouragement. I know I often want to write thank you letters and will eventually get around to possibly an email but sometimes a simple text goes a long way.
Stumbled across this today as my co-worker and I were watching a Google Zombie challenge-- and it looks promising for easy sharing of URLs. ShoutKey was created by someone that wanted to quickly share a link to others collaborating in small groups rather than trying to get an email, or write out the long URL--ShoutKey gives you a QR code or a common word as a hyperlink to share with a set expiration time. Works pretty well. I could see the benefit of using it with students collaborating and needing to quickly share a cool find.
Last fall I had the pleasure of presenting and attending TCCA for the first time. If you are in the Houston area, this is an AMAZING and FREE edtech professional development. Not only were the sessions great, but there was an Apple academy, lunch was provided and they had giveaways! Did I mention it was free! A must do so please check out the flyer below and register now! It is a great time!! I plan on going (and hopefully presenting) again!
I work with teachers and students as an education technology specialist for middle school and serve as the TXDLA K-12 Board Member. My goal is to share innovative and useful information for other educators, as well as catalog my personal finds along the way!