Friday, February 27, 2015

A Few Favorites and Suggestions for Seamless Integration

Let’s revisit some of our favorite instructional technology tools from 2014 and share some good suggestions from teachers are effectively integrating these tools into classroom lessons.

Up First:

To ensure that students have access to standards-based quality instructional videos our teachers are creating their own screen-casted videos and enhancing them using EDpuzzle's interactive features.  

Ms. Perry and Ms. Lowde who have been integrating Edpuzzle into their Biology and World Geography lessons, respectively, found out it was best to develop a naming convention for videos.  It is difficult for students to find the videos even though you have set a deadline for them. They suggested using the following naming convention: six weeks, unit, day: name of lesson (ex: 4.3.2: Cell Meiosis).  When students access the videos they are now organized by the numbers and would be in order of assigned activity.

Ms. Perry also suggested that it is best to take a day in class to demonstrate how EDpuzzle works.  Log in and run a session live with the students.  Ms. Perry sets her videos for the students to be able to watch and retake the questions multiple times for a high grade, then averages the grades from the week.  As she said, "I would rather them watch the video multiple times and understand the content, then to only watch once and accept the grade."

Next up:

Many teachers that we have the privilege to support have jumped in and immediately implemented Plickers.  It is a great resource for formative assessment.  The teacher will need a computer for displaying the question and a smart device (smartphone or iPad) to be able to scan the students cards.

After implementing this tool in their classrooms, teachers have shared insightful organizational suggestions. The first great suggestion from Mr. Glass, is to make classroom sets of the Plicker cards for each of your classes and assign the cards to individual students.  Take about 5 minutes at the beginning of one class to have the students glue their Plicker card inside their journal or folder.  This helps to prevent loss of the card and the teacher doesn't have to worry about passing them out at the beginning of each class.

Glue into their spirals or folders to prevent loss of the card.
The next suggestion came from a middle school science teacher.  Mr. Glass also mentioned that because the computer needs to be open to the Plickers website while using the cards, have it running in the background behind your presentation window.  This gives you the space needed to display graphics, pictures, equations, etc. You can still access the questions on your phone as needed but the students are not distracted by other information in the screen and can see everything you need to share with them.

Here Mr. Glass is using his Notebook page to display the
question they are responding to during the  mastery check.

Last but definitely not least:

Ms. Pinney and Ms. Aldridge agree, "Kahoot! motivates my students to participate."  Many of our teachers have shared how much the students enjoy playing Kahoot!  They love that they are given an opportunity to compete and receive immediate feedback from the teacher.  Ms. Aldridge has found a way to incorporate higher level questions by giving the students the questions at the beginning of class and allowing the students to work through the problems completely.  She then runs the Kahoot!  The students then receive immediate feedback over their individual practice.

"I got it right!" Celebration
A great monitoring suggestion is to have the students with their devices in front of the teacher station, so that the teacher has a quick way to monitor that all are on the correct page and participating.   To offer student creation, ask students to submit questions that they would like to see on a review over a particular topic.  They can furnish pictures, graphics, and problems to be used.  The teacher then compiles one Kahoot! for the class.  The students who have submitted questions, get excited to see their work helping their classmates understand the material.

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