I always used to tell my students that they would probably forget 90% of what they were taught in school. I know, conservative estimate... but my point was/is that unless we all stop and think about what we are learning, how we can use it, or what it can teach us about how we think, how we learn... most of the "stuff", the facts students cram into their skulls- will simply fade away from disuse.
How often do we take the time to actually reflect on what we are learning, or on the lessons we teach ? I know that I always made a point of doing this after any projects. I used Padlet to put both my own reflection as a teacher and to solicit the reflections of my students. Simple questions: What went well? What would I do differently next time? What mistakes did I make? What did I learn? What are my next steps? Stop and make the time to answer/discuss these questions and offer students and teachers the time and space to think about the learning and put it into some context. Richard Byrne has a nice quick video to walk you through how to use Padlet. (Just a side note: we used this in grade 3, easy peasy.) If you're not ready for Student Portfolios, try Padlet or ReCap to gather some reflections.
An application that I am just starting to play around with is called ReCap. This is a "a simple and free video response and reflection app that lets teachers and parents see how students learn." This looks like a great way to provide quick and easy reflections, exit tickets or even a more thorough examination of how things are going in class. Students can use the iOS app or a chromebook or PC/Mac to make a quick video in response to a question/assignment. No scary blank paper/doc staring at the students who have trouble getting words down on paper. No raising your hand or shouting out an answer. All students can have their thoughts, questions about the work shared privately with the teacher. I think it has great possibilities in class as a reflection tool. Here's a couple quick videos- an intro from the company and one from Jeff Bradbury at TeacherCast.
Fun & Games with Google Tools
I'm not going to try to rewrite Eric Curts' posts here, but he does really cool things with Google Tools. Yes, kind of geeky- but the learning and planning that have to go into these is pretty amazing. I would never, ever have thought about using them to play games, but check it out...Battle Sheets! Chess & Checkers with Google Drawings! Emoji Writing Prompts! Choose Your Own Adventure Docs! Check them out.. use the templates or ask your student to give it a go.
Don't Forget- Free PD this WeekEnd
Education on Air
Join the folks from Google and thousands of educators this weekend for 2 days of free professional development- Google Education on Air. There are literally hundreds of sessions to attend- facilitated by educators- teachers who are in the classroom, not just talking heads. Lots to learn, build your PLN, interact with teachers across the world. Beats the heck out of shopping.
"NEW" GOOGLE SITES
The new Google Sites is now available to all HES and HA users and will soon be rolled out to all users. What's so cool about it? Well, essentially it is a work in progress. It has an updated interface. The "look" is more up to date. However, it is a pretty basic, simplified tool at the moment. Supposedly the development team is continuing to add new features to it as they prepare to phase out the old version. It's clean, easy to use, but only if you are adding all GSuite material. Embed codes are not currently supported as far as I can see.
There have been tons of blog posts about the new Google Sites. Here's a few links to get you started:
Upcoming ~ Free ~ Online PD
Wednesday, 11/16 is the last day of GEC- Global Education Conference. If you missed it- don't worry it's being recorded. This conference, now in it's 7th year, constantly features amazing educators from around the globe. Check it out live... or check the archives. Recordings are here, but keynotes eventually end up on YouTube
Simple K12 is offering a free online PD day this Saturday 11/19- "Get Started Using ChromeBooks in Your Classroom" from 10-3:30. These are (6) 30 min sessions. Attend one or all. Register and more info HERE.
Google On Air is coming up quickly! December 2nd & 3rd. Check out the site and register HERE. Check out the video below for highlights of the event last spring.
K12 ONLINE CONference
of 2006 was the first online conference I ever attended. This was the format...
At the time, I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread! A teacher, who I later came to know, was talking about using technology in grade 1! In Canada! I could watch someone deliver a short video, talk about it with friends, and share it with my peers. What could be better?
Over the years, The K12 Online Conference has continued to evolve and came out with a whole new format this year. Instead of blasting out 40 short videos to share, talk about, etc over a very packed 3 week schedule, they are putting out mini-conferences- which have started with Julie Lindsay and a 3 part keynote entitled "GLOBAL NARRATIVES – COLLABORATION ON THE EDGE".
You can watch these one at a time or spend about a half hour to watch all three. There was also a voxer chat, twitter chats and a panel discussion. I have met Julie at ISTE conferences over the years and took her Flat Classroom Teacher Certification course back in 2012- 2013. I also helped manage several Week in the Life global projects with Vicky Davis and Julie Lindsay. Julie is an amazing global educator who actually walks the talk. She knows what she is talking about because she has done it herself.
One interesting comment I read about this discussion: "Interesting point from Julie about younger teachers not doing global collaborative projects and older teachers taking the lead. I believe that's incorrect. The 'younger teachers" who are not "doing" global collaboration are actually making these global connections but not making a big deal out of it. They just do it as it's not entirely innovative these days. I believe the "older teachers" (as Julie says) do make a big deal out of it and create these projects, hype them up as innovative, as it's something that was innovative back when they were younger teachers. But it really isn't any more." commenter name: Bernard Shaw.
Hmmm... All I can say, as an older teacher, who has done quite a few global collaborations in the past, I still think this type of collaboration is relatively new in many, many environments- even to "younger teachers". Despite the fact that technology may be ubiquitous in some schools, it is not being leveraged for global collaborations as much as it could be.
Coming up next week-
Our friends over at Storyboardthat have created an excellent rubric creator called Quick Rubric. Just as the name implies, it is quick and easy to create rubrics using this tool. What I actually like about it, aside from the ease of use, is the page of tips to create a strong rubric. Great examples to follow, questions to ask. If you ever have questions, they have excellent support as well.