Final Reflection

  1. I’ve learned that technology can open up a ton of new opportunities for students. For example, engaging students in a lesson using virtual reality allows for exploration of places in the world the student may never be able to learn about in real life. Technology should add to a student’s learning experience and not be used when it is unnecessary. Since technology is used heavily for communication and research in nearly every modern job, integrating technology into the classroom allows students to gain functional skills and knowledge about the many uses for technology and what appropriate use looks like. I feel like I have become a ‘tech-savy’ teacher because I can now see when a lesson may be enhanced by integrating technology and I can think ahead to what barriers I may have. For example not all apps are free and only certain programs allows students to collaborate on at the same time.
  2. I believe I used each mini project in the class as an opportunity to create a project I could use in my classroom in the future or as an example. The projects were intrinsically motivating because they were purposeful and useful to me and also allowed me to be creative. This tells me that if I incorporate technology into the class that allows my own students to be creative (within safe boundaries), they will be more likely to be motivated to do their best work. I am very glad I was allowed the time to explore the different technological tools so I could think through the pros and cons of having my future students use each tool as well.

Final Project: HP²

For our final project, we created a pollination lesson for first grade students. The lesson is part of a larger unit, with our presentation being lesson 3 of the unit, and focuses on different kinds of pollinators and their roles in pollination.

Students will work in groups to analyze a pollinator by using Thinglink to research in a group and share their research findings with the class by posting on Padlet.

Thinglink is a great tool for these kinds of projects because it allows content to be presented in multiple ways, and it can incorporate many types of media. In addition, Padlet enables students to record their research, share their findings, and explore other groups’ information, while also allowing the teacher to observe student learning.

Ed Puzzle

Ed Puzzle has a lot of features that are easy to use as a teacher and make your video into a lesson. You can use any video that you upload or from youtube including khan academy or Ted videos. As the teacher you can crop the video or or add a voiceover or audio notes throughout the video as well as quizzes which can be multiple choice questions or open ended questions. In my bee video example, I added activities in the open ended quiz video section that I wanted the students to complete in the classroom before we continue to video. When a quiz question or an audio note comes up in the video, the video will stop.

In my bee puzzle video I would use it in a full class activity rather than having students go through the video and activities on their own.

Screencast

The screencast video I created is to introduce myself to my student’s families (parents/gardens) before the class year starts. This video would also be beneficial to send to parents whom may not be able to come to a parent-teacher night. Screen casting a picture slideshow like this would also be a good project for students to do to share about themselves that we could post on a classroom blog. If I was to actually use this video I would need to make sure I had subtitles in the languages of all of my families. Screen recording with quick time player is in theory an easy tool to use, however I had to redo the video quite a few times because of sound issues. Additionally, I would suggest going directly to youtube to upload the video rather than letting quick player upload it for you as it takes much more time that way.

Screen casting could also be very beneficial to present at a conference virtually as well as create cartoon videos where you draw out a concept and then voice over it to explain what you are drawing out. This would also be a fun way for students to show what they’ve learned about a concept as well.

Microsoft Educator

Microsoft Educator is a platform for innovative learning and teaching. You can create, publish and access Sway lesson plans. You can request virtual field trips for a large variety of topics based on grade level from places all around the world. You can request Skype lessons, for example a lesson from an author the class has been reading about. As an educator, you can learn about a large variety of topics and strategies to implement in your classroom from professionals on topics such as using Minecraft in the classroom to dyslexia research and new tools. Additionally, your class can become part of a ‘Skype collaboration’ to learn from and work with another class somewhere else in the world.

See the links below for examples!

Virtual field trips

Skype lessons

Skype Collaboration

Lesson Plans ex. Greek and Roman Mythology

Courses (PD-ish) ex.

Minecraft

Dyslexia

thinglink

Thinglink is a platform where students and teachers can tag a picture to add more information to the picture such as a video, an embed link, or an additional image with text or a link. This would be great for a lesson where you want students to research a concept, directing students to specific websites using links as well as specific videos. In my example I embedded a pallet board where all the students can post what they have learned from their “research”. Thinglink would be a great tool for students to use as a final project to put all their work in one spot. For example, if they created a youtube video of them modelling a bee pollinating a flower they could post that link as a tag on their thinglink.

Adobe Spark Page vs. Sway

Where I'm Going... Spain and Portugal!

After creating a story with pictures on both Adobe Spark and Sway, it is my opinion that Adobe Spark is the better platform.

Adobe Spark has layouts that are more modern and present the graphics in seamless transitions. It is easier to move the pictures and blocks around in Adobe Spark.

Adobe Spark took me a lot less time to figure out how to use and was much more self explanatory than Sway.

I like that both of the platforms allow you to link videos to your presentation.

I think students would be most successful using Adobe Spark if they were going to tell a story about themselves, presenting a research project or putting together a presentation for a photography unit.

Sway “Where I’m From” Presentation

Sway is a Microsoft tool to create presentations, blogs, newsletters, and many other project ideas. Sway could also be used by teachers to outline their unit plans and organise all of their assessment materials etc. to share with other teachers.

This embedded sway presentation I created is about where I grew up. This would be great to use to share about myself with my students in the future. Sharing about your home is apart of sharing your culture. Having all students share about their home through a platform like sway would be a culturally relevant teaching/learning activity. Additionally, as students learn about others in their class they slowly move from pre operational to concrete operational where students are able to understand they are not the centre of the world.

Adobe Spark Example: “Snow Day”

It only takes a minute to learn how to use adobe spark video as they provide an instructional video when you sign up and each time you log on if you need. This can be a great resource for teachers to create slide shows, presentations, as well as an activity and technological resource that students can take advantage of for creative projects and literacy lessons. You can record your voice that plays during designated slides so it is easy to tell a story with adobe spark. Students could create their own read aloud or write their own story and type out parts of it on the slides with corresponding images they have found or created and then voice over the entire story for their audience.

I created “Snow Day” as a simple example of what is possible in a short amount of time with the website and demonstrated the use of the sites pre created themes and templates as well as background music for the story.

Padlet

Click on the screen shot above to go to the padlet page where this KWL chart was made.

Padlet is an app and website that is easy to use for educators and students. It allows you to attach images and easily edit already made templates as well create your own. The downside to padlet is that you are only able to create 3 times before you have to pay $8 a month to be able to make new padlets.

Besides creating Know, Wonder, Learn charts like I created for this post you could have students create picture story boards for a book they have read and then post it to a class reading club website. In addition, you could have your students create mind maps.

Mind mapping helps the students because it allows the student to use key words and pictures in a non linear format that makes sense for the student. By drawing arrows you can see how different ideas connect in a non-lin2ear fashion. Mind maps are also beneficial for visual learners (95%) of people.


Mind mapping helps the students because it allows the student to use key words and pictures in a non linear format that makes sense for the student. By drawing arrows you can see how different ideas connect in a non-lin2ear fashion. Mind maps are also beneficial for visual learners (95%) of people.

Google Site: Educational Tech. Resources

This Google Site was very easy to create and all of the google tools such as My Maps and Google Slides work well together. These google educational tools can be used in a multitude of ways including sharing them with students, other teachers, parents or for personal use. This specific website hyperlinked above has separate pages with embedded projects and lessons that can be used in school settings.

Spain Class Field Trip

This map serves as a preview for students and parents to see the different places we will be visiting in Barcelona, Spain and what we will be doing for each day in Barcelona. There are walking directions for each day that always begin at the hotel and includes key historic and cultural locations we will visit. This map does not include all of the restaurants we will eat at, we will decide on the places we want to eat as a class! Click on each location to see a video or image that corresponds with the location.

Get excited for our trip!!!