Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Social Media and the Classroom

I have been reading and watching some videos on Social Media in the classroom. Some thoughts on using a technology that has definite pitfalls associated with its' use.

Sample Social Media Sites

It's not just Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat. It's also:

  • Google Hangouts, Classroom, or Docs
  • youtube
  • Photo hosting sites
  • Blogger
  • Wikispaces and wikipedia
  • TED talks
  • Prezi
  • Evernote
  • Diigo
  • Voicethread
  • Todaysmeet
  • Math Champ Challenge
  • Reddit
A Few Media Ideas for the Classroom
  • Photos of student work
  • Study group discussions in Facebook or Google+
  • Debates
  • Simulations
  • Roleplay
  • Student Presentations
  • Writing assignments
  • Back Channelling (a conversation that runs concurrently during a video, movie, lecture, etc.)
    • Good for quiet students
    • Extends conversation
    • Good for those who work at a different pace
    • Use Todaysmeet or Twitter with specific hashtag
  • Peer review of student presentations, acting
  • Lab practicums
  • Assessment (collect information)
Also read:

Benefits of Using Social Media
  1. Small groups promote belonging
  2. Student engagement and collaboration
  3. Learn fact from opinion
  4. Rich eLearning media available
  5. Videos and video conferencing available
    1. Students have control over the play and pause button
    2. Can watch as many times as they need
  6. Develop digital literacy skills
  7. Engagement beyond the classroom
  8. Improved communication between students and between student and teacher
  9. Workforce preparation
Prior Tasks

It's important that students not just float aimlessly on the Net. It's important that prior tasks and expectations are set.
  1. Give students specific learning tasks to complete
  2. Create guidelines for using Social Media 
    1. REMEMBER THE HUMAN on the other end
  3. Teach appropriate online behaviour
    1. Disagree respectfully
    2. Debate rather than flame
    3. Respond appropriately to comments that you do not agree with
    4. Report cyberbullying
  4. Teach protecting online identity
    1. Everything is public
    2. Don't post anything you don't want parents, university, or employers to see
    3. Strong passwords
    4. Not all photos represent you well
  5. Be Legitimate
    1. Do your own work
    2. Check spelling and grammar
    3. Support ideas from 3 sites or sources (print or Internet)

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Flipped Classroom - Shift Your Planning

I just completed Lesson 2 of the Flipped Learning Certification Level 1 Course from the Flipped Learning Global Initiative and it's been worth every penny ($70).

If you want a taste of the value of the course, there is a free How to Avoid the 17 Deadly Sins of Flipped Learning Technology Selection. Jon Bergmann's style is both compelling and engaging.

The takeaways from this lesson is that direct instruction moves from group to individual instruction (home) in a flipped model. The classroom then becomes a dynamic, interactive environment where students apply concepts and engage in the subject content (Bloom's Apply and Analyse).

The traditional classroom is the opposite. Direct instruction happens in the classroom and students are given a little time to practice or engage in the content in class. However, most of the homework tends to be completed by students alone at home. The flipped learning model allows students to do higher level activities with the expert (teacher) right there in class. Learning becomes more active.

Planning shifts to a micro video watched by the student at home. The teacher then plans for engaging, higher level activities in the classroom. It also makes time for longer term projects that can be completed both in class and at home.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Flipped Learning Part 2 - Bloom's Taxonomy / Screen Time

In terms of Bloom's Taxonomy and time spent in class, it makes sense that time spent in class follows this image:

The idea is that we spend more time in class with students on the higher levels. Now, it may be unrealistic to spend a lot of time on Creating but by spending time on Analyzing and Applying learning becomes "active".

The Remembering and Understanding is done at home through video and other methods of learning.

Studies show that a Flipped Classroom:

  • Students learn better
  • With less homework
  • And that the teacher videos replaces their other screen activities so that they don't spend any more (or only slightly more) time online.

Flipped Learning - Why? Part 1

I've started to take a certification course on flipped learning and here are some notes and thoughts.

Why flipped learning?

To many, it makes logical sense to flip a classroom from a pedagogical point of view. The lower levels of Blooms taxonomy are taught via video the night before. That way, the teacher has more class time to work with students on higher level thinking.

The course also emphasized:

  • Relationships
  • More time for higher learning tasks
  • Know the students cognitively
  • Know them as people
  • It makes the best use of class time where teacher is involved
    • They sited that a flipped class allowed for 50% more experiments during the course of the year and that grades went up 1 Standard Deviation
Here are some penguins explaining the flipped classroom model.

The Benefits of taking the Google Certified Educator Course Level 1

I recently completed the Google Certified Educator Course Level 1 and passed the test.

For me, there were several takeaways from taking the course.

  1. It was worthwhile taking the course and the test. At first, I questioned whether the time invested in going through the Fundamentals Training and taking the test (estimated at 3 hours) would provide value to my teaching. The general answer is YES and the test took me around 1:45 instead of the 3.
  2. While I did not learn that much on a skill basis, (such as sorting columns in sheets, adding a meeting to calendar, etc.) what came through strongly was the value in the ability to collaborate with the multitude of Google tools. The ability to collaborate with teachers, admin, and students alike is so much more valuable than I initially realized. 
  3. I learned of the value of Groups and Hangouts as an educational tool or for extra-curricular activities.
  4. It was valuable going through an exam again. It's been a long time and feeling the heart race a little bit and reviewing my questions before submitting was a good reminder of what my students go through.

Now it's on to the Digital Citizenship and Safety Course.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Nepris - Connecting Industry Professionals to Students

"Nepris connects teachers and students with the right industry experts, virtually without having to spend much planning time or leaving the classroom while providing an effective way for companies to extend education outreach and create equity of access."