Making Learning Visible
Once again- FlipGrid is front and center. I watched another webinar on using FlipGrid in the classroom- across all ages and disciplines to make learning visible, to share learning. This came after spending part of my afternoon with 4th graders who were introducing themselves, via FlipGrid to students around the world, as they prepare to work on projects with students in Mexico, Canada and Australia.
Here's the recording of tonight's webinar. If you haven't made time to check out this tool- it is easy to use and a great way for your students to make their learning visible.
#Global Maker Day 2017
Interested in makerspaces? Today was #globalmakerday. I was too busy all day, but plan to catch up with some of the challenges and videos later in the week. Lots of info from various vendors as well as the challenges are on the landing page.
Before I forget- again- Rushton Hurley ran a cool little project this past week- a 5 day challenge to become a better teacher. Along with ideas you can use to present or discuss materials in the classroom, he also has ideas about feedback. You can still learn more about it here and grab a couple of colleagues and give it a shot.
A couple of tools that I have been playing around with lately that you may want to check out include CheckMark and Talk and Comment
Talk and Comment is a Google Chrome extension that allows you to put voice notes and comments anywhere. "This free extension lets you record and send voice notes on all sites (Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Github, Gmail, Google+, Wordpress, ...), in a easy way. Voice notes can be played even if you don't have the extension installed." Here's the quick overview:
CheckMark is a new feedback extension for Google Docs, put out by EdTechTeam. You can find in the chrome web store. Like others of its ilk, it allows you to insert pre-set comments quickly and easily. The user interface is clean and easy to use. And I think, like other users, that the ability to customize the pre-set comments would be a welcome addition. Here's a couple quick videos for you to check it out yourself.
Loom- add videos anywhere
Another way to give feedback is to pop a quick video onto an email or a Google Doc. Loom gives you a super quick and easy way to do that. And.. it's integrated with Gmail and Google Docs as well as lots of other applications and platforms. Here's a quick overview. Try it- you may like it.
Go Global with Empatico
I signed up to stay in the loop for this back in the summer and it looks like it is ready to go. It is a new venture, aimed at facilitating global connections and is currently focused on 8-10 year olds. If this interests you, check out the video below and head over to the site to get more info.
# FlipGrid Fever
I wrote a bit about FlipGrid back in June and it just keeps getting better. I watched a webinar this evening with two of the Flipgrid ambassadors- Karly Moura and Sean Fahey. Every time I watch a webinar, or read more about this tool, I learn something, get new ideas and come away thinking that it should be/could be used in so many ways. Is it the best tool for every job, every student? Of course not. Should the pedagogy come before the tool? Of course... but... wait til you see all the cool stuff you and your students can do! I keep hearing about student voice, student choice, making thinking/learning visible. FlipGrid can help you with all of that. I'm not going to try to recreate their webinar. They have shared their Google site with all the resources used and 3 previous webinars. Check it out right here. The tabs at the top of the site will bring you thru the topics covered this evening. Don't miss the tab labeled Rapid FIre... here's a screen shot- 4 slideshows with ideas separated by discipline. Love that Flipgrid is even a choice in a hyperdoc on the Global Read Aloud Wild Robot.
One other thing that I really like about this tool is that it can be integrated across many platforms- including Google Classroom and Edmodo. Here's a link to a pdf to read in your spare time, for those of you who prefer paper. You can also follow the #flipgridfever hashtag on Twitter to get lots of ideas of how other teachers are using it to enhance student voice.
Seriously, it is a 2 minute job to set up; there's a free version and kids do not need an account. If you're worried about the "video" aspect- your students will probably be far less worried than you, but you can always give the option of pointing the camera to a book, an artifact, etc. and just using their voices and there are good monitoring and privacy controls. Check it out!
I know there are whole websites out there, full of videos to inspire teachers and students. This video was shared today on Terri Eicholoz' blog and it worked for me. I'd like to think that as teachers we can all break out of our simple cogs in a wheel dynamic and make a difference as well as helping our students to do the same.
I know, I know, let's finish up this year, before we talk about next year, but my reality has always been that if I did not plan, get PD or just get my ideas in order over the summer, that when September rolls around, I am plumb out of time and need to be ready to go. I cannot take the time for reflection and planning once the school year starts. So, here goes...
One of the things I have heard from teachers is that "this year" they are going to start a blog, or begin to use student portfolios, or find better ways to communicate with parents. There are many ways to do this, but you can't change your mind midstream and expect parents to follow along. Most parents have access to the internet, either via phone, laptop, or computer. If you can "train" them to check your website, not the bottom of the backpack for the newsletter, you may find that they begin to look to your blog, or site for information and may even interact online. But, if you give them the paper newsletter, they may or may not read it and they will certainly not look in yet another place online for the same information. No one has the time or energy to check your blog or site if the information comes home in what may be a more familiar format. So, what are some options to explore?
New Google Sites
Interested in Global Projects?