Erasmus+ training courses, funded by the EU, are a good way to get better skills with tablets and apps. Three different kinds of courses - general, music, English - focus on practical didactic use of tablets. Only schools can apply. You can read more about what to know about applying in http://ilpohalonen.wordpress.com.
Digital tools have been key to data driven real time assessment. Many schools have bought into class sets of clicker response systems so that teachers can set-up their own virtual assessment or assess instantly on the spot. Now that schools are buying into more high-tech tools such as tablets, app developers like Socrative have designed a digital platform for tablets to have the same, if not more, features as these clickers. I have recently shared the Socrative app into the Cube for Teachers database as an assessment tool.
The answer: in more ways than you could imagine. While Skype was not designed as an educational tool, it’s quickly becoming one as teachers discover the many ways it enriches their lessons and the lives of their students. Even something as simple as hosting a guest speaker through a video call can add excitement to a lesson.
As with any tech tool, it can seem daunting to introduce this into your classroom at first. If you don’t know where to start, try one of these five creative ideas.
0 Comments Picture In this post I'm going to talk about creating videos with your class. I'll take you through some simple steps to get your students going.
I've been using student-generated videos in class for a few years now and I just love the challenge that it gives to the them. The main draw for me is the fact that the students are engaged in real-world dialogue, that hasn't been pre-decided by myself or a textbook. As the students work together to understand how to complete the project, they have to negotiate meaning and constantly try to get their ideas across. At first it is justifiably complicated and can cause frustration. But what I do see is students slowly coming out of that comfort / fossilised state as they learn to navigate new language structures and make sense of what they are trying to do. The guide below will give you some steps you can follow for when you want to make your own video project. Picture Step 1: Project Theme All projects need a theme to get started, it could be something that is already embedded in your own curriculum, or it could be something that you can adapt. Whether the project is taken from an existing module or created separately, make sure that it is something that the students can get their teeth into. By that I mean, something with substance, that isn't too focused. Let the students take the project where they'd like it to go - with your guidance of course. I like projects that get students to solve a problem, or make sense of a situation. Some of my past projects have included: redesigning the classroom, turning an empty space into something new, deforestation, refugees and special needs. Your project theme will of course depend on the age and respective level of your students. Picture Step 2: Assessment This is fundamentally the most important part of the project planning stage. There are a few questions to ask yourself before starting the project with your students. 1. What aims am I hoping to achieve? 2. What will the students gain by doing this project? No one likes a project without meaningful aims, so get these planned before you start. I usually assess process and product as two separate entities. Let's look at what you could assess from each.
Process (soft-skills): teamwork, participation, collaboration, listening to my team mates, meeting deadlines etc. Though not on many curricular, soft skills are a great way to engage the students in the learning process. These skills will have to be assessed via a self-assessment, as much of the time they are not seen by the student.
Product: Design, writing, grammar, comprehension, creativity, critical thinking etc. The product aspect can be assessed by the teacher, or the students themselves can play a part in this process via peer-assessment.
Projects require students to take on greater social roles as they engage on a different level with other students. They have to negotiate conflict, students who don't want to participate, and the learn to skills, so it's important that they see they are getting credit for all their hard work. Step 3: Benchmark My early projects never really lived up to my expectations until I realised that I hadn't provided a clear benchmark for the students to aim towards. Imagine asking your students to write a narrative story, knowing that they had never even seen or read one. In effect that's what I was doing. So, I soon as I started providing samples, the students had something to emulate. With videos the concept is the same. If I want my students to create a documentary, I of course have to provide the students with a sample documentary, so they have a reference point. Step 4: Tools For this your students will need: Smart Phone - any smart phone will do, as long as there is a camera. When there are students without a smartphone simply group the students with smartphones. Headphones - hopefully your students will have the new-ish headphones with mics attached. If your students use the built in mic on the smart phone, there will be too much background noise. Plug in the headphones and put the mic near to the person who is talking. You'll be surprised how good the quality is. Editing software - If there are PCs, Macs, or even smartphones you can find editing software, whether it's Microsoft movie maker, or iMovie. You can even use an online service like Animoto which is an easy way to edit video.
Note* The teacher does not need to know how to edit video. And, your students do not need to know how to edit video. When they ask me how to do it, I simply guide them to my assistant teacher: YouTube! All my students have gone from zero editing experience to amazing editors in a matter of hours. In fact, they are the ones who have taught me how to edit video, and that's exactly the point. As teachers we can share the learning experience with the students. Picture Step 5: Support & Feedback The most important step is this one. When the students feel overwhelmed by the process, which they inevitable do sometimes, you just need to be that guiding hand that let's them know that it's going to work out and everything will be ok. Those simple words can make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful project.
For some if not all this will be the first video project for the students, and it may be for you the teacher also. Have regular meetings with each group and just check on their process. Offer advice on how it could look and sound better and encourage the students to be critical of their own work. What do you think? Do you like this bit? Have you tried putting this over there? These questions help the students to reflect on what they are doing and in some cases help them to answer their own questions. Step 6: Showing After all the hard work you need an event to showcase all the films. I usually ask the class to organise a film festival. They need to create a name, makes a schedule, send out invitations, get refreshments, and find an M.C. This is usually where the students see their hard work pay off and it is such a fun event for all involved.
Sample Project A simple but fun project to start with is based on the videos '50 people 1 question' project. This project can be tired into any theme or class topic. If the students are to learn about conservation, ask them to create questions around this topic. Here are some steps to get you going.
Step 1 - Show your students one of the 50 people 1 question videos. Step 2 - Put your students into groups and ask each group to create a question. Step 3 - Decided how many people to ask. (I usually say 20, but it could be fewer or more). Step 4 - Decide whether to ask students within the class or school, or people within the local community. Step 5 - Start interviewing. Step 6 - Show sample YouTube videos on editing with iMovie, Windows Movie Maker etc, and ask the students to use these to help them learn how to edit. Step 7 - Hold regular meetings to give feedback on the videos (sound quality, video quality, length etc). Step 8 - Upload the video to YouTube and use the auto subtitle feature. The students will, though, have to listen and check for mistakes. This is hard and they'll need your help. Still, it's great listening practice! Step 9 - Set up a film festival event to screen the videos.
There are two videos below. The video on the left was created by my students, whereas the video on the right is from the actual 50 people 1 question project. For my students their project centred around tourism, so they created a question around this.
I just love seeing what each group eventually comes up with and I am constantly impressed by the amount of work that they put into it. The students who created the video above had 2 weeks to do everything. However, you could give your students longer if you had the time. By the end of the project they have learn soft-skills, such collaboration, teamwork, creativity, as well as technical skills such as video creation. In my class the focus is English learning, so throughout the project English is the language of negotiation with their team mates, so they end up speaking a lot. And for me the best thing is that this English is real and not subscribed. The students create language and learn new language in order to express their ideas and thoughts.
I hope this post has been useful. If you have any video projects I'd love to hear about them!
This article tackles the topic as a "big picture view, concerning our shift to include digital tools within the overall category of "learning". " as Bryan Alexander said and I agree with him and also with the statement, that:
"All tools offer potential, the trick is to keep an open mind and not treat one tool differently based on one’s own skill set or experience."
The following infographic shows (1) the common beliefs of an educator who promotes a growth mindset, and (2) some reflection questions about instructional practices that reinforce the growth mindset...
Formative assessment is an important tool teachers can use to target students' learning needs. When teachers know what students know (or don't know), they can better adjust their teaching to meet the kids right at their level. These digital formative assessment tools can help you do the job.
Yes, security is a MUST and we never know enough about ir. so it's lifelong learning and awareness. I like this statement: "In the real world our car needs some maintenance and technical control to make sure that there is no danger to other participants in traffic (pedestrians and drivers…), so the same in the virtual world. Our computer is the “virtual car” who is driving on the “Data Highway” (Internet), it needs maintenance and especially care about IT-Security and safety..."
It's a lot to go through but worth reading an learning, maybe step by step...
Critical digital literacy is one of the essential required competencies for the 21st century educator. In an era of unprecedented personal publishing, infobesity (information obesity) becomes a real issue. Teachers need to be able to critically assess and evaluate the materials and knowledge they come across. This could be done through adopting a critical thinking lens to filter things that could otherwise unconsciously affect one's stance and interpretation of a given meaning.
Juliet Hinrichsen and Antony Coombs from University of Greenwich developed this excellent framework to help you understand the concept of critical digital literacy. This framework is made up of 5 dimensions:
This topic is crucial for all educators. "Teachers need to be able to critically assess and evaluate the materials and knowledge they come across." And it doesn't matter where the materials are published. Can't agree more...
How do you look for educational videos for your classroom? I guess most of us just Google with the keyword and do little research to find out the appropriate video. However, your work will become little easier if you know some of the amazing YouTube channels.
Here is a big categorized list of YouTube channels that provide quality educational videos regularly.
Knowing that difference is critical to unleashing the instructional power of flipped learning and sustaining a movement that can improve teaching and learning. The differences are simple, yet stark:
Video producers design splashy content. Architects build instructional value. Video producers think about the power of images. Architects think about the power of ideas. Video producers teach subjects. Architects teach students.
"Knowing that more than just a video producer difference is critical to unleashing the instructional power of flipped learning and sustaining a movement that can improve teaching and learning. The differences are simple, yet stark:
Video producers design splashy content. Architects build instructional value.Video producers think about the power of images. Architects think about the power of ideas.Video producers teach subjects. Architects teach students."
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