Tag Archives: Edpuzzle

Trapped in WW2: Inspiration from EDrenaline Rush

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This weekend I read through John Meehan‘s book EDrenaline Rush (Dave Burgess Publishing, 2020) and took copious notes. I have seen John’s classroom materials on Twitter and we have conversed in different gamification twitter chats. Whether it is his Fortnite Battle Royale or Great Gatsby Break In, Meehan has great energy that he ignites in his high school classrooms. The world is our inspiration and Meehan has taken inspiration from Disney World, Spartan Races, Escape Rooms to engage his students in deep learning and active learner centered classrooms.

This year was the first year that I participated in a Disney Marathon and spending the weekend in Disney with 20,000 other people for the marathon weekend I was immersed in the magical powers of Disney.  An avid marathoner himself, Meehan begins his book deconstructing the architecture of Disney’s Magic Kingdom based on his own experiences doing the Disney Marathons with his family. He breaks down not only the culture that Disney creates but the experiences that fuel each storyline in the different parks and rides. Meehan calls for classroom teachers to use Disney as a model to build and sustain a positive and engaging culture with students.

The book also covers Escape Rooms, races, and scavenger hunts as a means for learning experiences because learning is an experience that is fueled by curiosity. The book is filled with many games and lessons that provide students with exciting learning adventures that spark their sense of wonder. Based on my reading, I created a playlist for our WW2 independent reading unit to provide background knowledge. The format what something that “Miss Ryan” shared on Twitter two weeks ago and now I cannot find her tweet or Twitter account where she posted her own Progressive Era Playlist, but the design was inspired by her. Her playlist offered an audio link to hear the teacher go over the work. I love the audio or visual support for learners. I also added an audio button that links to a screen cast providing further directions and explanation about the playlist assignments.

WW Playlist Week 1

I know that this is reading heavy for week one and the readings come from Actively Learn. I might switch out a reading or two for an Edpuzzle video or web quest. The first activity is a Google Form and anticipation guide that asks students whether they agree or disagree with the following statements:

I would help someone I saw in trouble, no matter the danger.

Prejudice leads to violence.

Apathy is a critical issue in our society. *Apathy means to not care.

Everyone should always conform to the laws of society.

The bystander has an obligation to help a person in distress.

Violation of human rights in another country is none of our business.

The bystander who does not intervene is as guilty at the perpetrator.

For the final assignment for the week I have included a Hexagonal Thinking Map, adapted from EDrenaline Rush as a “show what you know” activity. The hexagonal thinking map is a collaborative discussion activity for making connections between concepts and visually presenting those connections to represent the big ideas of a topic. Students  have a set of hexagons, each with a term dealing with World War II and the Holocaust. The challenge is to link the terms to present an organized and annotated representation of the this time period.

With your hexagons, students will need to …

Categorize – As you make links with all of your hexagons, you should categorize them by color. Make sure to make a key on the graphic organizer to show the different categories. 

Synthesize – You’re going to take each of the hexagons and see how they combine to create your understanding of WW2. Each hexagon should touch at least one side of another, and you should be able to annotate their relationship – cause-and-effect, turning points, change in continuity, testimony.

Summarize – Using your categories, develop a succinct and complete definition of your understanding of World War 2 and the Holocaust. Your definition should be one or two complex sentences.

Evaluate – Did America do too little in WW2? Did they do just enough? Were they too slow in responding to Hitler? Did they go too far dropping the atomic bomb? Consider the actions of the perpetrators, bystanders, allies and pass judgment in some form or another. This could be ranking individual actions, summation statements, or anything else you develop.

I edited a Google Drawing Hexagonal Thinking Map from Ditch that Textbook so that all my students could annotate their own thinking and understanding from the readings this week. 

WW2 Hexagonal Thinking Map

A third assignment I am providing during the WW2 unit is the #Hashtag Hunt inspired by John Meehan. The teacher provides themed hashtags for students to look for during reading. For example, when students begin reading their independent reading books about WW2 and the Holocaust I want them to make note of the following hashtags and go on a text hunt – find places in the text and direct quotes that support these themes and ideas. Here are a few of the hashtags I have created:

#NaziLies – Examples of Nazi propaganda and laws utilized to maintain power

#WW2Destruction – Examples of destruction caused by actions of WW2

#Allies – Examples of actions from allies who helped protagonist

#Resistance – Examples of acts of resistance from the protagonists

#Dehumanization – Examples where the protagonist is reduced to an object and no longer considered human or worthy of human dignity

#Liberation – Any example where the protagonists are brought out of their situation and able to live freely again

If you are into games and gamification to fuel an active learner centered classroom, you are going to want to read Edrenaline Rush. I know that you will be inspired by John’s stories, games, and activities that engage students and inspire them to be innovative, critical thinkers.

 

 

 

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Digital Tools to Support Literacy in the Time of Remote Learning & E-Learning

My mailbox has been full of newsletters and emails about resources for remote learning, e-Learning, and virtual learning, and maybe for you too. In a small amount of time, teachers and school have shifted to online learning to help our students maintain some normalcy, meet learning targets, and support the community.

How do you make sense of all the educational platforms and virtual lessons ideas that will best support your students?

Web20Classroom created an infographic on “Teacher Tips for Active Learning Interactions Online” showcasing four types of blending learning opportunities for students whether we are in the classroom our working remotely: Learner-Content, Learner – Instructor, Learner to Learner, and Learner to Technology. We can think about these four types of active learning strategies when we think about planning our online lessons so that students are still engaged in active and blended lessons remotely.

Learner-Content is the traditional style of lectures and presentations, videos, and readings used to present information. Rather than pushing out a chapter from a textbook, teachers might consider a platform like Edpuzzle that allows teachers to embed questions in videos (from YouTube & TED) to improve attention and comprehension for students viewing. Additionally, if using print text, Actively Learn is an E-reading platform that improves students’ reading comprehension. Teachers can customize instruction, provide. real-time feedback, allowing peers to collaborate, and get analytics on student performance. If you have slide decks in Google Slides or Power points, you can upload them on to Nearpod and create interactive and engaging lessons for students with extended responses, polls, and games. Teachers might also consider making their own video lessons using the Screencastify Chrome Extension. This extension allows you to easily record and screencast your screen with accompanying audio and video commentary to present a new idea, concept, or lesson.

Learner-Instructor connections are so important and we do not want to lose the interaction and relationships among our students. Using Google Hangouts and Zoom  provide a time and place for learners and instructions to connect face to face. Teachers can schedule conferences to check in with small groups or individual students. I currently hold a Google Hangout once a week for questions and check-ins with my middle school and graduate students. I also email and call students to check in when they do not turn in work or seem to be missing days on end.

Learner-Learner is the interaction between one learner and other learners. If you are like me, group work and collaboration happened everyday in my classroom. How do we re-create this in a virtual world? Padlet allows teachers to create an online bulletin board to display information for any topic, use for brainstorming, and students sharing their insight. Users can add images, links, and videos. Flipgrid allows students to share their voice with one another. This social learning platform allows educators to ask a question, then the students respond in a video. Students are then able to respond to one another, creating a “web” of discussion. I use Flipgrid for sharing writing, book reviews, and group discussions. Seesaw  is Padlet and Flipgrid combined. It can be utilized for student engagement and digital-portfolios where students create, reflect, share, and collaborate.

Learner-Technology is about the interaction between learners and technologies to deliver instruction. In this current climate of remote learning and virtual learning we have shifted all our work online. That also means our students are spending A LOT of time online and in front of a screen. With a 9th grader and 5th grader at home, I see how much time we are all spending online — more than 5 hours a day online! Choose assignments that are meaningful and don’t try to fill a 40 or 50 minute time block as if we were still in our classrooms. Create your lessons wisely. There are so many fantastic resources online to support reading, writing, and teaching remotely. Let’s design experiences that are engaging, offer choice (like Hyperdocs and Choice Boards), support ALL learners, and are meaningful.

Looking for more ideas, check out:

 

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Pathways to the Standards #CECACASL18

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On Monday, October 22nd I attended and presented the CECA/CASL 2018 Annual Conference. There were more than 50 presentation from educators, authors, and administrators addressing topics that intersect literacy and technology.

One of the key strands of the conference was differentiation and ways to differentiate in a student centered classroom. By differentiation I mean including EVERY learner in the classroom (not just the ones who are struggling). The key is that there are multiple ways for students to demonstrate understanding and instruction needs to change when evidence of learning has not occurred.

Steven W. Anderson of web20classroom.org shared 10 great tools to help differentiate content, product, process, and assessment.

  1. Poll Everywhere is an online polling platform that does more than just have students respond to a survey or multiple choice question. With Poll Everywhere students can respond to an open ended question and even formative assessments where students can pin a location on a map or diagram.
  2. Padlet – Yes, the online sticky notes where students can respond to a question or post a response. Padlet let’s users respond in text, drawing and images, and even audio. I recently had students share book reviews on Padlet of nonfiction independent reading books.
  3. Quizizz is so much better than Kahoot because it is not a competition but an assessment tool similar to Kahoot that let’s students work at their own pace to show their understanding.
  4. Nearpod is an interactive slideshow creator with a quiz feature. Nearpod does so much more and the paid version even offers AR & VR components.
  5. Edpuzzle is great for sharing videos in class and then students can answer questions before, during, and after viewing of their learning.

Teaching is an art more than a mechanical exercise. Students vary as learners and not everyone’s road map is identical for learning. When we know our students we are able to better create learning opportunities that honor their strengths, abilities, and cultures.

6. When thinking about differentiating the process and student’s understanding Anderson spoke about Gamification (Oh, Yeah!!). He shared Breakoutedu, Classcraft, Class Badge, Mincraftedu, and Duolingo – many gamification tools that I blog about regularly.

7. Flipgrid is now free since Microsoft has acquired it and it can be used in so many ways for the classroom from students reflecting on their own learning and thinking to posting a book review or explaining how they solved a math problem.

8. Book Creator is one that I am going to invest more time and attention to this year. Book Creator allows users to create their own interactive ebooks.

9. Microsoft’s Sway lets you create visually appealing and multitiered presentations. You can record audio on the slides and it will even grab resources for you when creating a presentation about specific topics. This is one to check out if you are looking for more interesting Google Slide Decks or Prezis.

10. TextHelp is the makers of Fluency Tutor and Read Write, these two Chrome extensions offers assistive technology that supports literacy in different ways. Fluency Tutor allows students to record text passages to help build their reading fluency and comprehension whereas Read Write has a dozen different tools on its toolbar to support readers and writers.

The key is choice when thinking about differentiating in your classroom. Choose technology platforms that allow students the opportunity to create new products and new knowledge. Remember, it is not technology for technology’s sake, but about creating a learning environment where there is “equity of access to excellence.”

 

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Mash Up March: To Kill a Mockingbird Alternative Assessment Playlist

This month I have been mashing a few ideas and technology tools to share with you different ways to present information and for students to showcase their learning. I have been playing with hyperdocs and playlists a lot this year and have produced a few as choice menus and game boards to help guide my students through a reading or writing unit. Hyperdocs are digital learning experiences where students use technology to create, communicate, and think critically about learning and understanding. Playlists are synonymous with hyperdocs and offer students the opportunity “to Engage • Explore • Explain • Apply • Share • Reflect • Extend the learning.” 

With these ideas in mind, I decided to offer my students a summative assessment choice for our reading of To Kill A Mockingbird. Students can either write an essay in class about their reading and understanding of the text OR complete the game board with ten smaller assessments to showcase their reading and learning. Below is the hyperdoc that includes students creating videos, writing short responses, making text to text connections. Students are utilizing Google Docs, Google Slides, iMovie, Edpuzzle, and Google Forms.

TKAM-OPOLY

So, how are you going to mash up your lessons and assessments so that students are utilizing technology in thoughtful ways to showcase their learning?

 

 

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