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If you have read this blog in the past, you know that we are fans of Pear Deck, and so are our students! Pear Deck introduced their Flashcard Factory a few years ago, (read Garth's blog on it here) and it is a great review tool for students to illustrate and give examples of terms, or if you don't follow instructions like I do, have students define the term. During this process of remote teaching I have learned many things and the self paced Pear Deck Flashcard Factory has been the best one so far, and my students agree. They love doing this in class, they call it "playing Pear Deck". Not much beats having fun and learning at the same time!
Usually, the Flashcard Factory will pair students up so they can work together, but working and learning remotely can make that quite difficult to accomplish. With the help of @PearDeck, my students were able to work independently on their flashcards, illustrating and defining them on their own. You can set this up in a few minutes by following these seven steps.
Now you are ready to allow your students to have fun and learn at their own pace, remotely. Below is a gallery of some of the work that my students have submitted. I have found that the drawings are much better because they are taking their time working remotely and not rushing to fit them all in, in a 40 minute class. Enjoy the Experience, Everybody. -J. C.
I was very glad when they reached out to see if the presenters were willing to present and provide the video to them for an online conference. I was happy to do that. Anna Love, who is student teaching with me was very excited to present the first time at an educational conference, so I am glad we got the chance to do this. Then JC, Travis, and I presented a topic I was only going to present, so you will have to cut us some slack, as we could not be together to film, so we talk over each other a few times and you will hear the silent as we wait to see who will talk next. But the ideas are here. I hope you can find them useful and visit NEOTech next year!
Remote learning? What is that? Today is a weird day for me. I am a tech nerd. I have played with tech for years, taught tech at the graduate level, and set up a studio in my office for the next few weeks of remote learning. I like to try new things and always am looking to improve my craft. For almost ten years, I blogged a few times a week, but that ended a few years back. I was tired.
I had tried many new ideas in the classroom and need a break from writing about it. I have had kids blogging since 2009, writing their own textbook, building VR, websites, smore, sutoris, slideshow, music videos, RSA animations, interviewing experts around the world, KidTalks (Like TEDtalks) and so much more. Not to mention that I team taught over distance (130 miles) each day via the web/meets with another middle school in Ohio for four years.
However, this week is new. Going online. Not seeing my kids, not talking to them in the halls, not hearing the latest gossip, not solving all their problems. In fact, not feeling normal at all. Worried about my family and my friends, my students and their families. That is what we need to do at this point and we need to take a step back. I am not focused on "Teaching" kids, but providing them with educational opportunities to learn. So this week, I used a lot of tools to present my weeks worth of work, but the work is review--No new content and is not overwhelming to my students. So, what did I do. Well see for yourself-- The slide show says it all (youtube one slide two is live however, I have disabled some of the links for you).
In the end, people matter most! Stay safe and keep learning... Cheers, Garth
Many schools are google schools. For that reason, I would go with google meet. Zoom is "nicer" in many ways, but requires a download to run correctly for students. If possible, I want to keep downloads and extra steps to a minimum. Every new step is a chance for students to mix up the directions and makes your job and theirs harder. AND google added three new extensions yesterday to make it "closer" to Zoom. I would like to focus on that for this post.
1. Grid view:
a. Allows you to see many more people on your screen at once. Nice if you are trying to do a Face to face meet with students. Zoom had this option already, now google has it.
b. When your screen share, on grid you see a small screen share and anyone can click it to make it full screen or just see is small in the grid.
2. https://tactiq.io/ Homepage and then Extension
a. To be honest, we did not use this one, so I am unable to really talk about how it works or if it works well. However, you can check it out if you want a workspace for everyone in the meet, links to calendar invite and more (seems like a google doc sort of, but we will see).
3. NOD This is the game changer. It is the one Zoom had that google meets did not.
a. Lets student raise their hand!! (ONLY THE MEETING ORGANIZER CAN SEE THIS)
b. lets students show understanding, confused, like, etc.. Everyone can see these!
Zoom is an awesome product. I have used it many times, but for the world of remote learning these extensions have changed the game in favor of google hangouts (especially google schools). The real issue for me is will your school district "push" out the extensions for students (GRID AND NOD), if not, then I am not sure the game has changed. Let me know your thoughts. Garth
This project is made on tour creator. This student made podcasts to accompany her 360 VR tour as she went on 10 stops of a religious pilgrimage during the middle ages. She is role playing a peasant. This is best viewed in VR, but it works on the computer.
Tutorials I used to help them get started are found here. Students were told to start watching at 8:57 as they already have used Google Earth Projects and the tutorial compares the two.
This students parents gave me permission to post her work here. Enjoy....
When faced with the reality of teaching remotely exactly two weeks ago, many thoughts started flying around in my head as far as my classes are concerned. They were mostly about content I have yet to cover and cool techy things that I still wanted to share with my students. I basically had one day to prepare my students for the possibility of me teaching them from my house, which is almost 50 miles away. My chat with them was about how not much would change in our Social Studies class and we would try to progress as best as we could given the circumstances. The only thing that I "taught" them to prepare for this was the ins and outs of Google Meet. How to access, how to screenshare and the like. I asked them to be patient and flexible and made it clear that our ultimate goal was to keep learning, but their safety and well-being come first.
After a few 50 mile trips, and a Friday chat with my students (the day after the Governor announced that we would be shutting down) I gave up on trying anything new and focused on lessons that would be clear and as simple as possible to follow. (Now, I still may try some new tech tools with students that are interested and we can do so by using Google Meet and different screencasting tools.) If you have followed this blog or seen some of our presentations, you know that we are big on student choice and students owning their work. One of our presentations is about HyperQuests and Autonomous Mastery Learning, which is ironic, because every teacher in the state is going to have to use this method for the foreseeable future. My simple and clearly instructed activities has led me to build a HyperQuest using Google Slides. One slide for every day of the week and a few activities on each day. Each date is a link to Screencastify with me explaining what to do on video that accompanies the written directions. In these slides resides activities that we have done all year, again, nothing new. If teachers are having concerns on how to teach, imagine the concerns students are having on how they are going to learn. Again, the example below is my attempt to keep everything as simple and as clear as possible.
Not only am I concerned about how my students are going to progress in their learning of the Social Studies curriculum but also their well-being and state of mind through this terrible pandemic. That's also why I am trying to connect with them frequently on lighter terms, even though we are not required to. Here is where I am digging into my tech toolbag and pulling out a few tricks. Silly tricks also, but I like to have fun in my class so why stop now even if we can't see each other face to face. I created a "Pet Padlet" (see below) for them to post pictures of them with their pets. Not every student has a pet and I asked them to be creative if they didn't have one. Some have posted pictures of stuffed animals and even siblings! Another way to stay in touch is FlipGrid, which I will be posting to often and probably too often! More to come later! I know this may be challenging for many, but hang in there, and as best as you can...Enjoy the Experience!
This post is by Anna Love, who is student teaching in my room. This was to be presented at a conference, that was canceled, so here it is.
Badges are a creative way students can show evidence of their learning separate from the grade-obsessed culture our school system has found itself so attached to. There is a plethora of research as to why grades are an inadequate and harmful way to measure student learning. Grades create risk-adverse behavior, demoralization, and tell us little about a students actual capabilities. Most tragically, grades create an end goal of learning. According to our current system of measuring progress, once a student has accomplished an "A" or specific grade, they have conquered and mastered the topic. However, we know that learning is never-ending. It is a quest. It is a life long journey. There is no "end goal" in learning, except perhaps growth and development. (Check out this article to delve deeper into this topic.)
Badges are a way to remove this "end goal" on learning. They are a way to encourage students to pursue their own learning, at their own level, and to never stop progressing. They celebrate students for what they can do, not for what they cannot do. Badges are awarded based on level (apprentice, developer, trailblazer), soft-skills (such as empathy, collaboration, leadership), or content knowledge. They show progress, accomplishments, successes, and personal development. They encourage risk-taking, creativity, positive personal characteristics, and construction of personal knowledge. They can be shown off to fellow students, families, and teachers and linked to the work that earned them their badge. Most importantly, badges are a way to differentiate learning for students of all abilities.
To read more about badges, and gamification of learning, check out these articles;
Not complete, but started....
Tutorial how how to make Badges using https://badge.design/
We are presenting
Wednesday in A216 Empowering and Creating student Legacy with electronic portfolios at 3:30-4:30
Thursday in B232 HyperQuests: Creating Engaging Experiences for Students at 8:00-9:00
Thursday in B246 Engaging Students in a Globally Connected Classroom at 1:00-2:00
Thursday in A210 Ramping up your Formative Assessment! Make it FUN! at 2;15-3:15
Ramping up your Formative Assessment: Make it FUN!
This year I am blessed to have an outstanding student teacher. Her name is Anna Love. She left school for semester break to visit her family in Cincinnati, before school was out. While she was gone the student's build VR using Thinklink 360 on ancient Roman buildings.
When she got back from the Holiday break, she checked out the student work. She wrote a post for her personal blog. Since I have written about Thinklink 360 before on TFT, I asked if I could post her ideas. She said yes!
From Anna Love:
One of my biggest frustrations as a classroom teacher is the classroom. Four walls enclose a space that is supposed to be limitless. Chairs bolted to desks cramp children's legs and force them to sit still. If lucky, a window gives a glimpse of the real world outside. Oftentimes, rules require students to ask permission to sit, to stand, and to speak within these four walls.
While a classroom's physical structure is oftentimes necessary to cultivate an effective teaching environment, it is restrictive. No matter how many brightly colored posters, maps of the world, and photos from afar cover the walls, the classroom is not the real world. True learning happens in the real world. So how can we bring the real world into our classrooms?
Although the obvious answer is to plan more field trips, this is often not viable for many schools. Field trips are expensive, a hassle to plan, and near impossible to get approved. As a social studies teacher, my heart aches to bring my students to the distant lands we are discussing. Children can read about the birth of democracy in Ancient Greece, but nothing compares to standing at the Pnyx, where citizens took the first step towards putting government in the hands of the people. We can read text about Rome's great achievements, but it is far more impactful to stand on the streets laid 2,000+ years ago. Whatever your curriculum, i'd bet all social studies teachers wish they could make history come alive for their students in a tangible way, and to bring them to the physical places they study day in and day out.
During my winter break, I left my student teaching position at Beachwood Middle School to visit family prior to the students' last day before the holidays. It was during my hiatus that I saw a tweet from my mentor teacher, Garth Holman.
If VR in the classroom wasn't impressive enough, I suddenly realized that this VR wasn't a special program bought or created by the department or Mr. Holman. The students had created the VR themselves. They had created virtual replications of places they had previously only read or heard about. They were the authors of their own learning and now had the world at their fingertips. They had brought the real world into their own classroom.
"Are you impressed with your own work?" Mr. Holman asked a student as she swiveled her head around the room, VR goggles pressed to her face, giggling as she "walked" through her creation of the Colosseum. She clearly was impressed, as was I. More importantly, the students' were cultivating skills necessary to thrive in the 21st century. Learning is no longer about consuming information, memorizing facts, and passing tests. It is a lifelong process that demands the learner to create and to cultivate. Student-created VR is an exciting new tool to bring learning to life in the classroom.
I will add a new post in a few days with examples of the student work and a tutorial or two, if you are interested.
Google earth has been around for a long time. However, last month they added a really net new feature (you could do it before, by using TourBuilder and importing a file into google earth). They add what they are calling projects.
I first read about projects on twitter. Within two days, Ms. Love (student teacher and I) had redone our plans, tested the software and turned the kids loss. They were to asked to identify 9 places that have led to the creations of our democracy and to explain American representative democracy. We were amazed at what they created. They took us from the ancient world to our modern society--one student took us to Mt. Rushmore to explain the executive branch.
We picked two from the over 100 to share here. Parents have given me permission to share these video's, links and use the photo's of these outstanding projects. In the next few days, I will post a tutorial on how to use Google Earth Projects with your students.
WeVideo they made as extras for the project (these are in the tour, but you have to click blue links in text).
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Click direct links to open google earth (has to be running Chrome) and it will open each project.