Friday, November 11, 2016

Students Leading the Way: Sharing Apps

Today, I had the opportunity to catch a Periscope live broadcast of a group of students in Endwell, New York sharing out their favorite apps. The students gather information about their apps first in a Google Slide presentation, and then each student presented their rationale for the app they chose.

Without further ado, here is a link to tweet with the Periscope video available to view there.

You can also get an idea of the apps the students featured by looking through this Google Slide deck the teacher, Rachel Murat, shared: App Smashing

Here are three screen captures from the slide deck:

Here is a sample of the Google Form (survey) that was filled out to evaluate each of the apps presented. Students later created a blog post to support their top choice.

Overall, I was fortunate to watch the live presentation via Periscope to see the class in action and was impressed by the way the students took control of the learning, sharing their favorite apps with others and defending their choices as well as explaining how the app worked and its benefits.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Digital Citizenship Videos Created by Students

A few years ago, a social studies department chair, Paul Fitzpatrick, at Northwest Catholic High School, Connecticut, had his students lead the way in teaching one another about digital citizenship. At the time, he shared with me some videos his 9th grade Civics class produced for the unit of study.

Over the last couple of year, I have been teaching a course, Technology and Learning, to teachers enrolled in a Educational Technology Graduate Education Program. One of the themes of the course is Digital Citizenship. In an effort to encourage these teachers to have their own students lead the way in teaching about Digital Citizenship, I like to showcase the work of Mr. Fitzpatrick's students.

In the past, I have placed the videos in EdPuzzle for out-of-class viewing aligned with the Flipped Classroom model. This time around, I decided to share the videos, which are already publicly available on YouTube, thus therein with permission to insert them here.

Here are four of the videos.

Public Service Announcements (PSAs) , created by 9th graders, edited with iMovie

a) Bullying, Digital Citizenship

b) Identify Theft, Digital Citizenship

c) Prevention of Cyberbullying, Digital Citizenship

d) Plagiarism and Academy Integrity, Digital Citizenship

An additional recent example created by middle school students to promote kindness.

Your responses to any of the individual videos and to the concept of students taking the lead to communicate messages about Digital Citizenship are welcomed.

Monday, August 29, 2016

First Days

As the first days of school approach, we aim to set the tone for our classes and to get to know our students. Many have shared ideas about ways to approach these initial days.

  • Shaelynn Farnsworh, an educational blogger with a focus on literacy, shares these ideas Kicking Off Back to School With Camera Fun. As a camera buff, I illustrate one of her ideas, creating a 6 Word Memoir alongside a personal photo. 

November Learning, an organization founded by famed educator Alan November, provides these videos of educators offering their ideas found on this website page,  "First 5 Days of School."

Voxer for Professional Development

For the last few years, I have been an avid user of the Voxer app. When I mentioned the app to new users, they often want to know more. Here I explain some of its uses for professional development and integration with students.

Professional Development

The app offers the ability to send text, audio, images, videos messages to a single user or a group. If you have an interest in a special area, such as English Language Arts or the Flipped Classroom, you can join a group with others with the same interest and pose questions and learn of suggestions others offer. Planning on attending a conference or presenting at one, you can start a Voxer group to coordinate plans.

Here is a screen capture of just a few of the Voxer groups I have joined.

Integration with Students

In lieu of sending class emails or individual emails, Voxer can be used to send messages regarding course work. A class chat group can be set up with all class members. Once that is done, messages can be shared back and forth with all members in the class or separately to individuals by side voxing them. If a student has a question about an assignment, they can post it to the class chat or send it individually to the instructor.

Some Recommended Setting

  • I turn off alerts and just check the app regularly throughout the day for new messages. 
  • I prefer to have the audio message set to use the start and stop option instead of using the default option which requires holding down the audio button the whole time while audio recording a message.
  • For long audio messages spoken slowly, I will sometimes use the option to listen at a faster speed, usually setting the speed to 2X. This is done by hitting the speed button at the bottom of the screen when listening to a message.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Livestreaming For Building Your Professional Learning Network

At the end of July, EdCamp Global ran a series of professional learning events. Given the series was all online, the Periscope app was an excellent way to bring the sessions to a live, interactive audience.

Here's a sampling of some of the sessions offered via the app, and you'll be able to see the broadcast via the Twitter tweet in which they are embedded. Be sure to hit the volume icon in the lower corner to turn on the sound while watching.

What suggestions do others have for offering online professional development? What tools do you think work best for reaching a global audience during the EdCamp Global and similar events?