Summary of Learning (Finale)

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Photo Credit: Rachel.Adams Flickr via Compfight cc

You can scroll directly to the bottom of this blog if you want to watch the Summary of Learning first!  🙂

The picture above is meant to represent the mixed feelings I have about being finished this class and finished my Masters. While I am happy to return attention back to my gr. 3 classroom and continue to experiment with all the interesting things I have been learning, it is with some hesitation that I step away from the University.  I have enjoyed the past twenty-seven months of learning time.

The first thing I did to prepare for this final project  (Summary of Learning), was to decide on the format – which I did very early on.  Pecha Kucha is a presentation style that I learned in my very first Masters class.  I wanted to do it again as my very final Masters project.  Every week during this course I kept a journal of what I was experiencing in EC&I 834. I included things I was reading about, online tools I was trying, as well as insights gained from my own blogging experience.  I also wrote about information gathered from reading my colleagues blogs, and from trying out different digital tools my classmates were experimenting with.

After I gathered all the information, I picked the most valuable pieces to include in my Pecha Kucha project.  I used only pictures that were Creative Commons (taken from the website – Compfight). I made the slides first using Powerpoint and added in the timing so that each of the 20 slides would run for 20 seconds:

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Photo Credit: juan tan kwon Flickr via Compfight cc

Then I set up my cell phone on a tripod to record myself (after I had rehearsed the timing of my 20 slides).

Here is a link to the script I used:    http://bit.ly/2nY2obl

For the video recording – I used a green screen on the wall and added some powerful photography lights:

 

After creating the green screen video, I saved it to my desktop, along with the other Powerpoint video. Then using software called VSDC Free Video Editor, I combined the two files:

This video editing software was fairly easy to use and it allowed for the video overlay of the green screen video on top of the Powerpoint video.

I then uploaded this video to You Tube.

And voila…

My Summary of Learning for ECI 834 (April 2017)

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Final Overview of Course Prototype and Feedback Response

Our Course Prototype Assignment (Exploring Saskatchewan Through Art)  can be found at: https://exploringskart.wordpress.com/

Course Profile:     https://exploringskart.wordpress.com/course-profile/

Rationale:       https://exploringskart.wordpress.com/rationale/

My Module:     https://exploringskart.wordpress.com/category/module-1/

Parent FAQ:    https://exploringskart.wordpress.com/category/module-1/

The three teacher contributors were Ellen, Sam, and myself.

Overview of Creation Process:

I am very pleased with the final product for our course prototype. Way back in January, in a blog post, (Planning to Use Seesaw for the Course Prototype), I explored the idea of using Seesaw for students to be able to demonstrate their learning. I was initially inspired to do this because Ellen said she is using it in her classroom and it works well. Also, Nicole and Amy had identified it as being something they thought would work well for their prototype with grade 2 students. We were planning a prototype for grade 3, so it seemed a good fit.

 

The following week in my blog post, on February 5th (Lots of Decisions to Make),  I was experimenting with using Screencast-O-matic.  In the back of my mind I wanted to try to figure out how to make a ‘flipped’ classroom lesson like the ones I had been hearing about. In that same post, I was searching and trying to decide which platform to use.

On February 11th,  my blog post (Print, Audio or Video – What’s Your Preference?) was mainly focused on Bates and his encouragement for teachers to try and discover what works best for students in terms of preference: audio, text, or video.  This topic really made an impact on me and so after giving it a lot of thought, I knew that it was important to include all three options within my module.

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It was in that same post (Print, Audio, or Video – What’s Your Preference?) that I watched an inspiring Ted Talk with Salman Khan where he talked about how the ‘flipped classroom’ first came to be.  That was it – I was hooked. I loved the idea of students having access to a lesson before hand and being able to watch it over and over in the convenience of their own home, in their own time. So, I decided I wanted to have at least one ‘flipped classroom’ lesson in my module for the prototype.

The March 6th post (A Plethora of Choices) was where I am quoted as having decided with my group that we would be using Google Classroom as our platform of choice. It is also the same post where I discovered Wheel Decide as a fun way to gather formative assessment, and the age appropriate self assessment below (from Teachers Take Out):

Free Self Assessment

In the blog post I created on March 18th called Openness, I found a really excellent Powerpoint presentation that outlined all the great reasons to use Seesaw:

In a post only two short weeks ago, called There is Light, I revealed that our group had changed our platform.  Even though it was late to be making that decision, our layout on the Google Classroom platform was simply not turning out the way we wanted it to look.  I felt a little disappointed after having spent way too many hours pouring over the tips in a book called 50 Things You Can Do With Google Classroom by Alice Keeler.  When we agreed to switch our prototype platform to WordPress, I was optimistic because of the skills and success I have developed over the course of two ‘Courobrandt’ classes (Alec and Katia).  We made that ‘leap of faith’ decision quickly, and never looked back. For all the many reasons why we thought WordPress would be a better choice, we were not disappointed.   As I said in this There is Light post: I am most happy with the visual appearance.  I am a visual person myself, and am drawn in by color and beauty.  I think many students are visual learners as well and will be enticed by the interesting colorful pictures on the site we have created.

In the weeks following, my course Module really began to take shape.  I contacted a woman I found on the Internet named Shelley Banks (from Regina), who agreed to be our local ‘expert’ and said our class could be in contact with her via email. I continued to find interesting digital tools for formative assessment that would allow students to interact with the material along the way.

The Peer Response Assignment has been a valuable one:

As Katia mentioned in her email this week, EC&I 834 colleagues put a lot of work into the critiquing each others Course Prototype assignments so that each group ended up with feedback that is detailed and meaningful.  Our group got together once we had reviewed our feedback individually and discussed repercussions/changes we wanted to make.

Our Group Response to Peer Feedback:

Overall, we had wonderful people giving us feedback. The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive, which is so nice as it was a hard task to create something with little frame of reference.  Below we highlighted a couple of common critiques that came up in our feedback document.

Some of our feedback mentioned that it was a little hard to find our information. While WordPress is a clean and organized tool, our drop down menus were confusing to some, which means they could be confusing to parents and, of course, the eight year olds taking our course. One thing that we would change in response, is to change our drop down menus. Instead of having information on the header of our drop down menus, the header could be used as more of a title, with the content in further drop down menus off of the header. For example, the header of “course profile” could be changed so that the course profile isn’t listed underneath and instead is found on a drop down menu off of the header.  We believe this would help students navigate our site.

We also decided to rewrite our rationale based on some of our feedback. We have now included more details about the reasoning behind many of our specific choices including our LMS and other instructional tools. Our new rationale is more comprehensive in explaining the choices we made in order to maximize learning opportunities for grade three students targeted with this prototype.

Another area that came up often in our feedback was that our modules contain both student content and teacher instructional notes. One area that we would change in response to this, is to have the student content and the teacher notes separated on our WordPress site.  We intentionally created our modules with both, simply for the benefit of this course and we would definitely streamline them and remove the teacher talk if this were to go live to an actual grade three classroom.

Finally, we had a couple of issues with links not working. We went through and double checked our links and also decided we would embed the information in the blog instead of relying on the link. Our example is with the Fotobabble link, we would post the actual picture in the blog post and also include a sound link to avoid the external link issues.

We appreciated all of the feedback given to us and definitely saw this as an opportunity for growth. If we were to ever create another flipped or blended classroom, we think we’d have a good grasp of where to start!

With regard to the comments that were specific to my module, I immediately fixed the two spelling mistakes. As mentioned above, if publishing this I would separate teacher information and student information. This week I learned that there is a You Tube for schools – so I would definitely check that out and might use it for my any additional instructional videos if needed. Once again, only Lesson 6 (the one with my artifact) was fully developed in my Module, the rest of the lessons were simply place holders. I feel confident that I would like to try to complete our prototype and use it with my grade three classroom.

I am grateful for all I have learned with this prototype assignment.

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There is Light !

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Photo Credit: Noah Bolton Flickr via Compfight cc

Light is beginning to shine on our project that was previously in the dark.  Where there were once questions about what it would look like, they have now been satisfied with concrete evidence.  There were some curves along the way, but one thing remained constant – the steadfast, helpful, collaborative nature of both Ellen and Sam in this project of ours.

Only a few weeks ago we decided together that Google Classroom was not the platform we ultimately wanted to use.  We started to populate our prototype on Google Classroom and it just didn’t shape up the way we wanted it to look.  We all agreed that although it was late to be changing our platform –  we really wanted it to be more appealing, more colorful and  interesting to grade three students. As well, we wanted it to be very easy for them to navigate.  Once we decided to make a platform switch, our unanimous decision was to go with what we know – WordPress.  This platform has all the features we were looking for : easy to use, straightforward, colorful, simple to navigate etc.

Once we made the move over to WordPress, everything just started to unfold beautifully.  I am most happy with the visual appearance.  I am a visual person myself, and am drawn in by color and beauty.  I think many students are visual learners as well and will be enticed by the interesting colorful pictures on the site we have created.

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Photo Credit: pburka Flickr via Compfight cc

A personal benefit from the move to WordPress has been the comfort and familiarity with the logistics of how to import and source videos and pictures. I have noticed how quickly many of my colleagues can click and move things around on a computer. I have come a long way but still consider myself to be more towards the early part of this learning continuum.  I am happy with how our prototype looks and am grateful to my partners in this project.

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I have to agree with Elizabeth this week.  In her blog she talks about how difficult it is to put all the pieces together even though you have already chosen those pieces.  Then there is the need to double check that what has been chosen is a match to the assignment criteria.  Of course, all the while remembering to make sure the format works for the intended audience. There are so many variables to consider when putting together the pieces of this ‘prototype’ puzzle.

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Photo Credit: Nicola since 1972 Flickr via Compfight cc

I have checked and double checked to make sure that my links work.  That said, we all know computers – sometimes there are little glitches for no apparent reason. I needed to rework my ‘voice’ in the lessons because I discovered I needed to establish consistency.  Initially I had vacillated between talking directly to gr. 3 children and adding in comments for teachers who might want to use the module.

Then there’s the element of group dynamics – when to get together (and how). Our online meetings have all worked out well, but for me it has taken some getting used to. Each person comes to a group project wanting to explore their own ideas while honoring the thoughts/idea/wishes of others. Group work develops certain relationship skills. After all – isn’t that why we encourage our own students to participate in group work.

I know this is an online course and we have very easy tools to facilitate online meetings. I have to admit that I have become more comfortable with getting together with my group online – but out of curiosity… I am wondering if you got together for ‘online’ or face to face group meetings?  And… which do you prefer if you have a choice?

Openness

“open” by Falstaf is licensed under CC BY 2.0

 

When I first searched images for this blog post,  my mind jumped to key words such as danger, online safety, vulnerability…  (notice how my opening picture has ‘danger’ written all over it?)  Which leads me to think about how students can be limited by the thoughts/beliefs/comfort of their teacher when it comes to technology.  So when I use the word openness is my title, the first reference is to that of the person who is governing student computer use.

I say this because I know that I have been ‘guilty as charged’ when it comes to worrying about the internet. Both in terms of my own safety, the safety of my children, and that of students as well.  I think it comes from a lifetime of being told to “be careful” , “don’t take risks”, and “stay away from danger”. I think that is where the fear of technology was rooted for me.  Before taking EC&I 830 I used my computer for email, google searches, creation of school related word documents, and to check the weather 🙂 (another fear based ritual 🙂

So…. back to privacy policies and open online discussion for students. I am learning to trust that with proper digital citizenship education starting when students are very young, we can set them up to have successful online skills.  I now believe, that as young as kindergarten, students should start learning computer skills, including discussions around ‘netiquette’ and online safety. You can check out this link to get ideas about how you might begin to teach internet safety to younger elementary students.

Just like most things that occur in a classroom, online safety is something that needs to be ‘taught’. Obviously with the very young grades, a small controlled environment makes sense.  That’s why something like See Saw works well for primary classrooms.

 

See Saw is an effective tool for teachers to encourage the development of an online community for young primary teachers.  It provides easy sign in (through the use of quick QR scanning code).  This has the potential to show students about the creation of an online community.  They can learn about the intricacies of online interactions in an environment that is controlled by the teacher (with comments requiring approval and giving opportunities for intervention and feedback).  Each student is able to login with their own QR code on the same computer, so this is advantageous if there are only one or two devices in a classroom.  Creating this opportunity for students to provide feedback and communicate with one another allows teachers to present students with a different form of ‘authentic’ audience.  This can encourage students in new ways to do their best work and practice their ‘feedback skills’.

I would like to close this post by commenting on my new relationship with Twitter. It was Stephanie’s post this week that reminded me to think about my own experience with open online spaces.  Before this class, even the idea of Twitter did not appeal to me. I thought it was people reaching out to draw attention to things that they were doing/seeing/experiencing. Of course, like anything else, when you don’t understand something – you shouldn’t judge. The class requirement of getting a Twitter account was both intimidating and mildly irritating at first. My sentiment was that if I had wanted to go on Twitter before now – I would have.  It is really great to be nudged out of one’s comfort zone and be surprised by how wrong the preconceived notions were.  Twitter is an excellent source of information and an invaluable way to build community based on common interests.  Good lesson for me !   🙂

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A Plethora of Choices

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Check out how to make a fun interactive wheel yourself at Wheel Decide.

Now that we are narrowing our search for things to include in our prototype, I am starting to feel better. Thinking that it would be great to learn and include so many of the cool things we have been exposed to – has the potential to feel  quite overwhelming.

In our blended prototype our group plans to include a number of different types of interactions. The modules will be organized with a Google Classroom platform. There will be some lessons that are somewhat traditional, with face-to-face interaction in the classroom. There will be some lessons that are watched at home (flipped model). Students will be given opportunities to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways using See Saw:

see-saw-options

The reasons we have chosen to use Google Classroom are : ease of availability, ease of use, straightforward and easy to understand. Roxanne reminded me in her blog this week that using Google Classroom has the benefit of providing access to numerous resources and tools.  This will work well for grade three students. See Saw is also a great option for students at this level for a number of reasons:  availability of ipads in our classrooms, the option to use one or two ipads for the entire class if availability is limited. Students can reflect on their work in a variety of ways which works well for the differentiation that exists in classrooms.  Visual demonstrations of learning work well for students with learning difficulties, as well as for those who are learning the English language. Also, See Saw has a feature that allows families to access student work (naturally – after teachers have approved work for publication :).

You can check out the great “Boundaries and Participation Rubric” that Sarah included in her blog this week. I always think that rubrics are excellent for helping students prepare in a variety of ways. Rubrics help to direct learning even before the unit begins. They guide students to think about the effort they will put into their own learning. Often, it helps students to create timelines and checklists as they proceed through a given unit. Finally, it helps them to remember all the things they are being requested to do as they are learning something new (they can refer back to it as often as they like). We definitely plan to include rubrics in our module. You can check out the following pre-made rubrics by Kathy Shrock for ideas (taken from Mastering Online Discussion Board Facilitation).  We are considering a self assessment rubric from the Saskatchewan Curriculum such as the following: (self-assess-rubric).

Or perhaps the one below:  from Teacher’s Take Out

Free Self Assessment

When referring to assessment practice, I know it is important to have assessment match learning goals. It is also preferable for students to be able to show what they have learned in a variety of ways.  Our modules will each contain different ways of assessing desired outcomes.  In the article Mastering Online Discussion Board Facilitation, we are reminded of some important things to remember:

-Assessment must be matched to learning outcomes

-Assessment must be aligned with instruction.

-Students must be given clear guidelines regarding how their work will be assessed.

Looking forward to the weeks ahead , as our prototype will continue to take shape and hopefully be something that is used with students in the future.

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Technology Can Be Inspiring !

 

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Photo Credit: 13winds Flickr via Compfight cc

The more I read, listen to and watch – the more I become convinced that using technology in the classroom is an excellent way to engage learners.  My engagement in this technology class is a prime example.  Even out of my comfort zone, I find myself drawn in by all the exciting tools that ignite the imagination.  I believe that if a professor had shown me a screen like the one above to explain some of the biological information about cells during my science degree – I would have been hooked in a different way.  I am becoming inspired to learn to use technology in the classroom and hope that I might spark student engagement in different ways than with the traditional teaching methods I have used in the past.

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Better Late than Never !

 

I was searching for online articles that show how technology in the classroom and having students engaged in their own learning can be inspirational.  I found a TED Ed talk by a woman named Shelley Wright in Vancouver who used to teach traditionally, like I did, and then she took a class with a man by the name of Alec Couros that inspired her to teach differently.  I really resonated with her opening and then, when she said who her teacher was – I could hardly believe it.

 

So you see, it must be a story more common than I realize. Teacher is going about their same old sameness until they realize that something could make a significant difference in their students lives – as well as their own.  Most teachers that I know, care enough about their students to want to make changes when they realize it could really help their students – so they give it a try. Here I am, walking a similar path to many who have gone before me, and I’m sure there will be many more to follow.

 

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Photo Credit: Ken Whytock Flickr via Compfight cc

In our reading last week, Bates suggests that teachers should consider their instructional approach, what content they want to include, as well as the skills they want students to develop. So now what lies before me is to do what Bates suggests: look at my audience, decide what I want them to know and how they will learn it, and then pick the style of lesson that will best meet learner’s needs.

This week I read a number of articles that lead me back to a term from a couple of years ago – student centered learning.  Underneath the discussions of online and blended learning there are ideas of having students be able to choose what they are interested in.  Also, they are able to work at they own independent pace, learn in different ways, and show their learning in a variety of ways. This is an example of one of the posts I read that reminded me of student-centered learning.

 

When I read Elizabeth’s blog this week I had a funny thought…  I have been feeling so inspired to explore the technology route, that I had not considered that people would write articles outlining the downfalls of using technology in the classroom.  Of course there are many things that could be considered ‘drawbacks’. One article indicated in her blog talks about how educators are not always properly set up for success with technology.  I would consider myself in this situation.  Yes, the responsibility is mostly mine, but there are many logistical factors that make using technology at our school difficult.  Firstly, there are computer carts that are shared by all teachers.  We are only allowed to book twice in two weeks for one hour of classroom use.  Then, there is the difficulty that not all students are able to successfully log in.  By the time the hour is up – sometimes, very little can be accomplished.

I am grateful for the technology education that I am getting at present.  If there were no online courses offered, perhaps I would not have been able to have access to this class.  Online learning allows people who are working and have families to have access to higher education.  What could be the downside to that ?

 

Print, Audio, or Video – What’s Your Preference?

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      Do you like to look at text?

 

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Photo Credit: Kindarandomphotography Flickr via Compfight cc

 

 

                                                                                                                               Listen to a recording ?

 

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Photo Credit: tlong Flickr via Compfightcc

 

Or, watch a video ?

 

The more I review what Bates has to say in Chapter 7, the more it makes me think about how technology – with all it’s variances – carries potential to reach more students.  We know that individuals have different learning preferences/styles, so teaching using a variety of print, audio, and video presentations will provide opportunities for students to learn in a way that best suits them.  The idea of  blended learning   where students can have a combination of direct teaching, watching videos, listening to podcasts, reading books in print,  watching instruction at home on the computer, blogging and other technological outlets –  seems to me to be an ultimate idea behind educational diversification. In Bates’ words:

A large part of learning requires the mental integration of content acquired through different media and symbol systems.

 

I like reading information in text, but that is mostly under ideal conditions.  It can be frustrating to have to read something in print when conditions are not just right (lighting, external noise, time pressure, fatigue level etc.)

 

I have been trying to think about any audio that I have enjoyed other than listening to music.  I remember listening to an audio book that I really liked called The Alchemist.  Also, I remember listening to a children’s story on tape called Mozart’s Magic Fantasy: A Journey Through ‘The Magic Flute’,   

… but I think much of that enjoyment was due to the music as well as the story.

 

I found an interesting set of podcasts this week for teaching in the area of visual arts and they had been created using something called acast+.  I am not usually one who goes for auditory learning, but I found the few that I listened to quite enjoyable.  Then I found some videos done by the same person, and that confirmed it… I definitely have a tendency to want to see and hear what I am learning.

 

The persuading factors for video playing an important role in education can be see in the following You Tube video: Let’s Use Video to Reinvent Education.  There is mention of flipped education and concentration on ‘mastery’ of any given area before moving on to the next level.

 

Lots of interesting thoughts in class blogs this week.  Both Stephanie and Chalyn got me thinking about how important it is to present a wide variety of learning options so that students can get a sense of what works best for them.

After this week’s zoom demonstration of how to use Tube Chop, I was able to chop the video but when I tried to get the chopped video into this blog – I was unsuccessful.  So I just included the whole thing video

If there is anyone who might be able to suggest how to do that – it would be great. Thanks.

Lots of Decisions to Make

Lots of Decisions to Make

Lots of Decisions to Make

Photo Credit: vanhuynguyen Flickr via Compfight cc

     I was talking to a friend who knows I am still trying to decide on a platform.  Today she said to me – “just pick one and move forward”.  I think she is right, so I hope to do that in the next couple of days (notice any irony here ? ).

According to Bates, it is important to pay attention to the “unique pedagogical features” of text, audio, and video when creating educational content. He suggests taking time and carefully choosing which is best in a given situation to deliver specific content.  I have not tried making a screencast before to deliver content, so this week I took on the challenge…

I chose Screencast-O-Matic, which is fairly easy to use and it is free (for the basic package). You can watch the following You Tube video if you want to find out more about it:

 

It gives you the choice of 3 different options : screen only, webcam only or both together. I created an example of each option as you can see below:

 

My ‘Screen only’ example:

 

 

My ‘Webcam only’ example:

 

My ‘Screen and Webcam’ example:

I tried a lot of different ways to get these files to play in WordPress.  I ended up creating You Tube videos, (which was a another new process).  I found a good You Tube video to explain how to upload videos from Screencast – O – Matic to You Tube.  You can check out Stephanie Davis’ demonstration here if you are interested in trying it yourself.

I feel pretty darn pleased with myself for accomplishing these feats this week. Come to think of it – I think these might classify as Vlogs (that I have heard others talk about). Yay! (now I sound like my students – making a ‘little deal’ sound like a ‘big deal’ 🙂

I checked out lots of great blogs from my classmates this week and learned many interesting new things.  One thing that really interested me was Ed Puzzle posted by Carla this week, where she explained that you can crop existing videos and then add an audio track or audio notes. She also drew my attention to something called Playposit where you can add text to an exiting video.

There were other things that interested me that I would like to try sometime.  Stephanie and Twana talked about using Adobe Spark, which I would like to check out in the future.  Also, Benita and Roxanne talked about GoAnimate, which intimidates me but intrigues me at the same time.  I am learning lots from my classmates.

If anyone is familiar with Screencast – O – Matic and wants to suggest other ways to transfer screencasts to my wordpress blog – that would be great.

 

 

 

 

 

Planning to Use See Saw for the Course Prototype

Hard at work

Hard at work

Photo Credit: mikecogh Flickr via Compfight cc

      After Ellen and Samantha and I decided to create our project around the topic of Gr. 3 Visual Arts, Ellen suggested we use something called See Saw.  I have been doing some research and it appears to be a great tool to use for young students in the area of art.   I read that See Saw is a student driven digital portfolio where students can document their learning through photos, videos, drawings, text notes etc. A benefit to teachers is that student work can be uploaded, organized and available from any device or computer.  Student work can be shared with parents and peers in a private or public way.

Photo Credit: minm01 Flickr via Compfight cc

According to our assignment, See Saw will be an appropriate tool for our target population and demographics.  Considering the topic of visual art, it will allow students to create their product in a variety of ways and provide easy assessment.  A teacher could potentially use one ipad and pass it around for students to use individual logins (not ideal but has potential). Finally, this tool is great to use with EAL learners.

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Photo Credit: stevenrindner Flickr via Compfight cc

     With all the tools out there, why did we choose See Saw?  For the many reasons that they advertise:

  1. gives all students a voice
  2. makes thinking and learning visible
  3. creates ownership in learning
  4. builds reflection
  5. supports creation
  6. builds strong communication between home and school
  7. provides authentic assessment opportunities
  8. there is an embedded blog
  9. can invite co-teachers
  10. great for EAL learners

I think another big plus for me personally, is that I like the idea of investing this time and energy into something that I will actually use with my students.

Was just watching a screencast on  Nicole’s blog this week.  She and Amy are also using See Saw, but drew attention to Weebly to oraganize the information online.  It seems like a great idea so I will be talking to my group about it and we may follow suit…? (thanks for the info.)

So Many New Things to Process

So many new things to think about!

So many new things to think about!

Photo Credit: AmyFaithPhoto Flickr via Compfight cc

     I really feels like I am learning a new language.  Even though I know it’s not true, it seems l am the only one having to start near the beginning of the technology continuum.  I feel like I am learning words such as and, the, at…. while others are able to use this language to speak another one.  I have to spend so much time researching the meanings of the terminology, then I have to turn around and try to figure out how to create an online course (all the while – trying to remember to ‘have fun’).

     I am grateful to my colleagues who continue to generously offer help and suggestions.  Ellen and I have decided to base our prototype on the Saskatchewan Grade 3 Arts Ed. Curriculum . We have not made any final decisions about the particulars, but will be doing that in the following weeks.  As Natalie said in her blog this week, I too feel “fairly overwhelmed with the “how-to” of the process.”

     Danielle posted something on Twitter that was good for me to read this week.  It talks about 4 ways to personalize learning .  It peaked my interest about Genius Hour with  “…a few of [their] favorite online tools to use include Google Slides, Sway, Buncee, Thinglink, Padlet, and Powtoon. I’m sure after checking these out, we will have a better idea about what we might use in our project.

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Photo Credit: iggysaves Flickr via Compfight cc

     I enjoyed the article The Myth about No Significant Difference this week.  I think it is clever how the authors point out in each paragraph the potentially important roles that technology can play. Then turn around and ask at the end of each paragraph ‘if technology makes a vital difference’.  Information like this gives me faith that increased implementation of technology into the classroom can be a good thing for students. Ideas like: “it allows students to interact with experts and work on real-world problems”, and “simulations allow students to learn by doing”, and “users receive information, but they also comment, collaborate, and create their own content.”

     Stephen Downes post also contains some information that helps me to think about why moving towards having a blended classroom might be a good idea: ” In the case of personal learning, the role of the educational system is not to provide learning, it is to support learning. Meanwhile, the decisions about what to learn, how to learn, and where to learn are made outside the educational system, and principally, by the individual learners themselves.”  I think his final paragraph is so important, where he talks about the fact that people need to be able to learn on their own in order to become ‘effective’ learners.

And finally, I end this post with an idea I got from reading Kara’s blog this week – and try to embed a GIF. (thanks Kara 🙂

If anyone has any good ideas for platforms that would be good to use for visual art – please let me know.  Thank you kindly !

Lean On Me by BubblezwithaZ

 

via Gify