We had a very productive day today with many people sharing ideas about how to make their lessons more engaging and interactive. We explored how teachers like Chris and Jenny are using Plickers as a student response system in their classes. By using Plickers, you are able to survey students and a great way to assess students in a formative way. Admongo is another GBL tool which not only teaches about advertisements and economic theory for students ages 7-12, but you can also use it for digital citizenship and argumentation for English classes. The Federal Trade Commission put together this amazing game-based learning site and an app is on its way for those interested in using it on mobile devices. Great graphics, interesting level intervals, and students should have headphones to listen while using. Brian shared with us how Primary is using the Green Screen in particular his class used it to make a newsreel about information text. These students were able to successfully download images, film themselves, and superimpose those images into the video and they were only Year 3 students [ages 7-8]. Georgina shared how we can extend our knowledge of presentation tools by demonstrating how we can use NearPod to make our lessons more interactive. You can embed polls, an interactive whiteboard, you can distribute resources, and share it with every child in the classroom. Very powerful and our teachers then tried to take an existing presentation and upload it into NearPod. The next step was to apply and enhance the presentations so the children can all interact with them. Lino is another tool that meshed with our previous discussion about Padlet. This is a great collaborative tool to communicate with parents what students are doing, a way for students to collaborate on a given assignment, and to provide an opportunity to back channel during an assignment.
Putting it all together: The last thing we focused on was putting it all together into Learning Expeditions. What is a learning expedition? This is an authentic, often hands-on learning activity that fully engages the student. It is a concrete experience that reaches all different learning modalities [visual, auditory, and kinesthetic]. According to Bernie McCarthy, learning activities are designed that are immersive. Learners “experience the now.” They become hooked through personal connection to the experience and desire to create meaning for and about that experience (which is constructivist learning). A learning expedition often compiles a host of technology-based learning into one unique experience. Students may use QR coding, video-based instruction [like the Khan Academy], and other digital content. During a learning expedition, students are the creators of substantive content. We are putting together the last three years worth of study into educational technology and creating learning opportunities that are mashups using a digital didactic design. Stay tuned to read about how these tools are being used in our school!