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Presenting & Archiving

Presentation and Archiving

Presentation and archiving tools allow students to present projects to the instructor, to the class, or to the general public. Communication tools also factor heavily into this phase of project-based collaborative learning.  Oftentimes the co-creation tool will also be used as the presentation tool but there are some collaborative technology tools that are mainly used for sharing or downloading the presentation.

Presentations:SlideShare

SlideShare - Teachers or students can upload documents and presentations to SlideShare to share ideas, conduct research, connect with others or make their presentation public. Anyone can view presentations & documents on topics that interest them, download them and reuse or remix for their own work.

Google Slides - Students can create beautiful slides with the presentation editor, which supports things like embedded videos, animations and dynamic slide transitions. Publish the presentations on the web so anyone can view them, or share them with a chosen group of users.  (Updated note:  If you have previously published Google Presentations using the “old” Google Docs – before the transition to Google Drive – you might want to go through and make sure that they are still marked as “published to the web” otherwise users may not be able to view your presentations.)  Users can also upload presentations made with PowerPoint or Keynote into Google Slides but some formatting or animations may be lost.

VoiceThread:  A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate slides and leave comments in 5 ways – using voice through a Facebook Fan Page (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). VoiceThread is a perfect platform to use when you want to share presentations using an asynchronous method. Users can doodle while commenting, use multiple identities, and pick which comments are shown through moderation. VoiceThreads can even be embedded to show and receive comments on other websites.  K-16 VoiceThread examples.

Prezi:  Prezi is a virtual whiteboard that transforms presentations where images and words work together to present an idea or lesson.  With Prezi Meeting, teams can collaborate live or simply present prezis with up to 10 people in a prezi at one time. Prezi Meeting is included in all license types.

Haiku Deck (iPad app) and the newly updated Haiku Deck Web enables anyone to create beautiful slide presentations.  Haiku Deck intentionally limits how much text that you can put on each of your slides and it helps you find Creative Commons licensed images for your presentations. When you type a word or words on your slides you can have Haiku Deck search for images for you. The images that Haiku Deck serves up are large enough to completely fill your slide. You can also upload your own images from your iPad or import images from Instagram and Facebook.  Another excellent presentation app is Keynote.

 


Websites:

Students can build project sites without writing a single line of code using Google Sites. It’s as easy as writing a document and to save time, teachers can provide students with pre-built templates. Students can present their content and embed in all sorts of gadgets from documents to videos to images to shared calendars and more.  Student or teacher-created websites are also great for archiving student projects from year to year.

Some other easy website creation tools are:  WixWeebly for EducationYola and Webs.


Jing

Screencasting:  A screencast is a digital recording (movie) that captures actions taking place on a computer desktop or tablet device.  Screencasting is another asynchronous platform for creating and sharing presentations or tutorials.  The movies can be embedded or shared by the link.  Screencasts are very popular with the “flipped classroom” or “reverse instruction” programs.

There a lot of free apps out on the web for screencasting, most of which also have paid versions that provide more capabilities.  Screencast-O-Matic was one of the first screencasting tools published and is still around (and kept up to date).  It works with both the Mac and the PC and requires no installation.  The same folks who make Camtasia (paid software) make Jing - a popular app that lets you easily capture screen activity, record voice-over, and publish clips up to 5 minutes long. Screenr is another popular, free, web-based screencasting tool that works with the Mac and PC.

 


Miscellaneous publishing or presentation tools:

  • Animoto (Education edition) is an easy way to create and share videos. The online video maker turns your photos, video clips and music into video in minutes.
  • Glogster EDU allows students to combine images, video, music, photos and audio to create multimedia pages. Glogs can be embedded into any webpage.
  • Issuu and Scribd are digital publishing platforms of user-created magazines, catalogs, and newspapers.
  • Museum Box provides the tools for students to build up an argument or description of an event, person or historical period by placing items in a virtual box. You can add text, images, video and sound to the side of the cubes.
  • iBooks Author is a Mac app that allows anyone to create multi-touch textbooks or books to be viewed on the iPad.
  • Snapguide is a free iOS app and web service for those that want to create and share step-by-step “how to guides.”
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Consensus Building & Polling Tools

Consensus Building

Consensus-building tools help participants narrow and refine proposed solutions of a project.  They are also useful in facilitating the two key requirements for reaching agreements in a work group setting by identifying and understanding issues and resolving conflicts. Teachers and students can facilitate consensus building through group discussions and polling.

Many of the ideation tools also can be used to build consensus.  Once the initial ideas are presented then through a process of discussion and elimination, ideas can be narrowed down and agreed upon.  Oftentimes students need time and opportunity to leave their comments so everyone can be  heard before a decision can be made.  Ideation and consensus often happen at the same time but separating them gives introverts time to process the ideas and comment.

Diagrams: Many of the collaborative technology tools have the ability to create graphic organizers to scaffold decision-making – like a Venn Diagram or flowchart.  Google Docs or Google Drawings has built in templates of some common diagrams or you can create your own. Students can edit drawings online or invite others to view edits in real time.  Students can chat with others who are editing a drawing right within the drawings editor to build consensus.  The drawings can then be published online or embedded in other Google programs so all can see the results.

PadletPadlet (formally known as Wallwisher) is another brainstorming tool that can be used for ideation but also for consensus making.  The ability to leave notes with messages and then move and organize them is very easy for younger students to understand and use and perfect for quick brainstorming & decision making in the classroom.  You do not need a Wallwisher account to create or post on a wall but if you create a wall without logging in or signing up, you may be unable to edit the wall after 24 hours but it will still be available to view.  Wallwisher does have some other interesting features like the ability to use RSS to follow the posts being made, add Multimedia within the notes, moderate the comments being made, or share by an unique QR code created just for your page.

Another interesting tool for older students is Debategraph.  DebateGraph is a cloud-based service that offers individuals and communities a powerful way to learn about and deliberate and decide on complex issues. These graphs allow users to visualize, question, and evaluate all of the considerations that any member thinks may be relevant to the topic at hand – and facilitate intelligent, constructive dialogue within the community around those issues.

Google Moderator allows you to create a series about anything that you are interested in discussing with your class or school and open it up for people to submit questions, ideas, or suggestions.

 


 

Polling:  Using technology tools to poll audiences is easy and efficient and polling can be used to facilitate consensus or gather information.  You don’t need specialized audience response hardware to get feedback.  Poll Everywhere conducts surveys using the web, texting, or Twitter and can be used with a cellphone (SMS), smartphone, laptop, desktop, or tablet.  These polls can be made by teachers or students.  Poll Everywhere is free for audiences of 40 people or less and they offer paid plans for larger audiences and K-12 semester-long plans.  Survey Monkey is a popular online survey tool because it’s easy to send free surveys, polls or questionnaires.

Socrative is another student response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational exercises and games via smartphones, laptops, and tablets.  Socrative is better for teacher-directed consensus building.  Teachers login through their device and select an activity which controls the flow of questions and games. Students simply login with their device or online, and interact real time with the content.

For schools using iPads, Nearpod allows teachers to create enriched multimedia presentations with interactive features using their cloud-based content tool and then share the content with the students and control the activity with the Nearpod app.  Students submit responses on their mobile devices while the teacher monitors classroom activity and measure student results on an individual and aggregate basis.

Celly is a mobile social network that works with any mobile phone or device. Members can join instantly with one text and exchange group messages, polls, reminders, and web alerts.  Celly can enhances school communication such as:  study groups, announcement for clubs, field trips, clickers & polling, reminders and alerts, notes, and interactive walls.  Learn more at http://cel.ly/school and Celly for School Start Up Guide.

Another simple solution for polling is by using Google Forms and Sheets.  Students or teachers can create a customized form to gather feedback, vote on a result, or brainstorm solutions and then the responses are collected in a spreadsheet.  Form creators can choose whether to require users to login with their Google accounts or be anonymous.  Creators can use a variety of questions types like checkboxes, grid, drop-down lists with options, multiple choice, paragraph text (which allow for long answers) or scale.  You can add section headers to divide your form in sections to make it easier to read and complete and/or you can split the questions into multiple pages

Here are six examples of different ways to collect data using a Google Form:

  1. Have students conduct experiment in classroom and one member goes to teacher’s computer to enter data for that group
  2. Have students create surveys using Google forms and display on own computer; students travel from machine to machine to fill out the survey
  3. Email the form to participants to collect data (can embed the form in the email); must know all members email addresses
  4. Email the form by using a distribution list from your contacts  (very easy if using Google Apps since all domain names are the same)
  5. Share the URL of the published form; consider using a URL shortener for easy access like:  http://goo.gl/http://bit.ly/ or http://tinyurl.com/
  6. Embed the form in a Google Site, Google+, wiki, blog or Moodle.

Finally, a favorite tool of mine is Doodle for deciding on meeting times when there are multiple options and several attendees.  Doodle will also automatically sync appointments to your calendar.

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Co-Creation & Ideation Tools

Co-creation and ideation tools facilitate the most direct interaction between team members on the goals or desired outcomes of the project. Using these tools, participants can often work in groups directly editing or building the project artifact.  Several of these tools are the same ones used for project management – which is great – because the students will already be familiar with the interface.

Google Apps for Education A group of students can work together on an in Google Docs and Spreadsheets, seeing changes in real time and even discuss the process or comment right within the tool.  Everything is automatically saved in the cloud which means that documents, presentations and sites can be accessed – and edited – on almost any mobile device, computer or tablet.

Group members can edit documents, presentations or websites with images, videos, tables, drawings, or links and teachers or other students can give feedback by adding comments. The discussion feature (now available in Spreadsheet and Presentations as well as Docs) allows team members to talk about the project, what to do, how its going, etc right within the project.  You can even use the Research tool right within Documents to search for content on the web. Google Sites can be used as a portfolio or as a place to embed and showcase student projects. As a teacher you can create a template of a Site that contains directions, examples, links to resources and helpful tips and then have your students make a copy of the site.   This productivity suite was made for collaboration!  Other collaboration suites are:  Zoho Docs  and Microsoft 365.

Google Apps Examples:

  • Spanish students worked collaboratively to create a newspaper with a variety of articles: “LA PRENSA DE LAS PANTERAS”
  • Students use a Google form to collect data about the relationship between your height and wingspan to prove or disprove Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man”
  • Students researched Biomes and various projects were embedded into a Google Site

WikispacesWikispaces: A wiki is a website which allows its users to add, modify, or delete its content via a web browser.  On a wiki students can share work and ideas, pictures and links, videos and media.  A wiki can be made public so anyone can edit the space or limited to just a class or a few participants.  Many different types of projects can be embedded in a wiki so they work well for showcasing projects made with other tools like:  videos, documents, polls, calendars, maps and specific Web 2.0 tools where you can get the HTML embed code (example:  Google Presentations, VoiceThread). Wikispaces provides free wikis for teachers and they do not contain ads. Don’t forget the tips for collaborative projects using Wikispaces. Another wiki option is PBWorks.

Wiki Examples:

  • High School online collaborative writing wiki
  • Elementary students in Auckland, New Zealand are using part of their class wiki as a blog and the other half to showcase student-created projects.
  • wiki to showcase student-made math movies

 

Evernote is a great tool for students and teachers to capture notes, save research, collaborate on projects, snap photos of whiteboards, record audio and more. Everything you add to your account is automatically synced and made available on all the computers, phones and tablets you use.  Notebooks can then be shared with group members and accessed from anywhere.

Evernote Examples:

  • Elementary grade students use Evernote for student portfolios
  • Here is a blog post how a Librarian uses Evernote as a research tool.

 

MeetingWords is a very simple text editor for the web. Your text is saved on the web, and more than one person can edit the same document at the same time. Everybody’s changes are instantly reflected on all screens.  You can work together on notes, brainstorming sessions, homework, etc.

Other content creation options:

VoiceThread:  A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate slides and leave comments in 5 ways – using voice through a Facebook Fan Page (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). Share a VoiceThread with friends, students, and colleagues for them to record comments too. Users can doodle while commenting, use multiple identities, and pick which comments are shown through moderation. VoiceThreads can even be embedded to show and receive comments on other websites and exported to MP3 players or DVDs to play as archival movies. (https://voicethread.com/about/features/)  Here is a wiki with VoiceThread examples: http://voicethread4education.wikispaces.com/


Prezi:
  Prezi is a virtual whiteboard that transforms presentations where images and words work together to present an idea or lesson.  You can work together on the same prezi in real-time. With Prezi Meeting, teams can collaborate live or simply present prezis with up to 10 people in a prezi at one time. Prezi Meeting is included in all license types.

 


 

Ideation

Ideation is the process of generating, developing, and communicating new ideas.  There are several technology tools that support this brainstorming process.

Mindmeister:  You can work with multiple users simultaneously on the same mind map. All collaborators will be shown in the map footer if they are working on the same mind map. You can turn on the History View to see what changes have been done by which users. You can share your mind maps with a single collaborator, group, or public.  You can give presentations directly from MindMeister either online to other collaborators or with a projector.

Popplet:  Popplet is a place to collect ideas.  Its very simple to use easy great for younger kids.  You can collect inspiration, record thoughts, explore ideas, create galleries. Popplets share be shared and collaborated in real time.

Padlet:  (formerly called Wallwisher) is a super easy way to collect ideas, images, and multimedia onto a simple “wall”.  Works great on tablets too.

Other mind-mapping tools: Webspiration Classroom and Creately (paid)


Creative Commons / Copyfriendly Images/Audio/Music

Discuss with students how we can honor intellectual property by searching the web for “copyfriendly” images to use for collaborative projects.  Help students to understand that all of their work – whether digital or not – is copyrighted the minute they create it. You do not need a © symbol to copyright your work.  You created it – you own it!

I like to appeal to the creative musicians, photographers and artists in my classes.  I try to help students understand that they can CHOOSE to share their creations and still maintain ownership.  This leads to a discussion about Creative Commons licensing.  If a student is willing to share their work to be remixed, changed or altered they must decided whether to allow commercial use or not.  Going through the process of choosing a license for their own work reinforces the concept of “honoring” the intentions of the other content-creators.

Inevitably, a student brings up the concept of “fair use” and wonders why they can’t just so a Google image search for their school-related assignments.  Its at this point that we talk about the purpose of citations for school work – that citing an image for a PowerPoint or presentation means that you are not taking credit for having made the image used and are indicating on the Works Cited page who is the original owner.

This discussion helps students to understand that under fair use laws, teachers must still follow certain rules:

  • I will include a notice that the materials are protected by copyright
  • I will use technology that reasonably limits the students’ ability to retain or further distribute the materials
  • I will make the materials available to the students only for a period of time that is relevant to the context of a class session.

Sure, there are always going to be those who think that if its on the Internet then they should be able to use it. But presenting Copyright vs. Creative Commons in a way that explains WHY and focus on HONORING the work of others, gets kids thinking about themselves as content-creators and how they would feel if someone “stole” their work and made money off it.

My all-time favorite resource to share with students is Joyce Valenza’s CopyFriendly Resource Page.

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Resource Management Tools

Keeping track of resources when doing projects can be time-consuming and challenging in a collaborative environment. A simple sortable spreadsheet can be used to track member’s progress, schedules, resources, assets, and contacts.  Each member can refer to the document to know the next steps, click on links to shared documents or document their own contribution.  Teachers can easily refer to the document to check progress or leave comments to the whole team.  Google Sheets or Zoho Creator are two great options – each with their own strengths and purpose. Younger students might find using a wiki easier for managing groups projects or even Edmodo because they can have conversations and include links at the same time. Another great option for organizing online resources is using an online bookmarking tool.

Social Bookmarking is a method for users to store, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web pages on the Internet with the help of metadata or tags and then share ideas with others.  These tools work great for collaborative projects because each member of the project can locate online resources and easily share them with group members through tagging.  When you sort your bookmarks by tags you can also see other popular bookmarks made by others who used the same tag. These curated links can help you discover new resources such as websites, pdfs, videos and images. Member of group projects can invent a special tag for their project or send their bookmarks directly to team members or by setting up a group. The two main social bookmarking websites that are used in education today are:  Diigo and Delicious.

DiigoDiigo is social bookmarking plus has features like adding sticky notes and highlighting on the web. Special premium accounts are available for K-12 and higher education at Education Diigo with these features:

  • You can create student accounts for an entire class with just a few clicks (and student email addresses are optional for account creation)
  • Students of the same class are automatically set up as a Diigo group so they can start using all the benefits that a Diigo group provides, such as group bookmarks and annotations, and group forums.
  • Privacy settings of student accounts are pre-set so that only teachers and classmates can communicate with them.
  • Ads presented to student account users are limited to education-related sponsors.

Pinterest is a popular tool to use for organizing online resources but students may not consider using it in an educational setting. Since you can create new boards, move pins from one board to another, and even subscribe to boards made by others, students might find it to be a fun and creative way to gather resources – especially visuals – for a collaborative project. Example of a Pinterest board:  New in Young Adult Fiction. Other related resource gathering tools worth checking out are:  Scoop-itLiveBinders, and Symbaloo

 

Picasa Web AlbumsPhotographs online – Flickr and Picasa Web Albums (which has been incorporated into Google+ Photos) are two photosharing web services. Both have tagging and sorting functions that encourage collaboration and community building. This is a  great place to share images for collaborative projects and determine whether you want to make the albums public or private. Don’t forget to review your school’s Acceptable Use Policy before you start allowing students to use online photo sharing.

Here are some ideas for using online images in the classroom:

  • Web albums can be embedded into other Web 2.0 tools like wikis and Google Docs and that streamlines the process of adding images to projects since the images are already online and don’t need to be re-uploaded (saves time and bandwidth).  Plus any group member can contribute to the album.
  • Another feature of online images is that they can be geo-tagged so that the location of the image can be tracked or be combined with a map.
  • Online image albums are a great way to document each step of a collaborative project.  Put one student in charge of taking photos along the way so the images be used when students are reflecting on their own learning during the evaluation process.
  • Images in web albums can be used for story starters, collaborative books, scrapbooks, photo journals, maps, screenshots, or capturing the notes on a whiteboard.

Other options for storing images online:  Upload directly into Google Drive for storage, embed them into project notes created with Evernote, or add them as attachments by email, on a Google Site or wiki.

Other Media:  Often students will want to use a variety of media during collaborative projects.  While it would be challenging for students to edit videos and audio files in the same program at the same time, many options are available for broadcasting or embedding media to intended audiences.  Media files can simply be stored online for sharing with group members using Google Drive or DropBox.

Here are few media resources worth reviewing:

  • YouTube is blocked in many schools but educators are now finding so many useful resources there that many schools are reconsidering their policies or considering YouTube for Schools. Here you can access or upload educational videos on YouTube in a controlled environment.  Note: YouTube EDU is a sub-section of YouTube that contains high-quality educational content. YouTube for Schools is a network setting that, when implemented, allows your school to access the educational content on YouTube EDU while limiting access to non-educational content on YouTube.com. YouTube.com/Teachers is a how-to site that shows you how to use YouTube in the classroom.
  • Podcasts are audio files that are uploaded online and shared through programs like iTunes or Juice.  An excellent Podcasting resource is from Wes Fryer at:  http://www.speedofcreativity.org/resources/podcast-resources/.
  • VoiceThread is a multimedia platform that encourages discussions about images, video and documents.
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Collaborative Project Management Tools

Collaborative project management tools are geared toward the logistical aspects of planning, scheduling and workflow around educational projects.  Using collaborative technology tools gives every group member the ability to participate in the project and develop strategies for managing time, collaborating with team members, assessing their progress, and maximizing learning experiences.

Schools in the K12 arena don’t need to purchase special project management software.  There are plenty of collaborative document editors that can be used for assignments and many have built in project templates, schedules or calendars.  Project Management tools focus on:

  1. Task management
  2. Time tracking
  3. Workflow routing
  4. Milestones
  5. Calendaring

Google Apps for Education is an online productivity suite that schools can use to bring communication and collaboration tools to their community for free.  Students have access to email, contact management, chat, calendars, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and websites.  Schools administer the accounts and can turn on/off the features they need.  Everything is automatically saved in the cloud which means that emails, documents, calendar and sites can be accessed – and edited – on almost any mobile device, computer or tablet.

For a group project to be successful each team member needs to understand the learning target, know the overall project plan, what’s their responsibility, due dates, resources etc.  Students or teacher can build schedules and project planners using Google Docs.  Group members can create a simple sortablespreadsheet (from Google Doc Template Gallery) that can be used to track member’s progress, schedules, resources, assets, and contacts.  Team members can refer to the document to know the next steps, click on links to shared documents, or add their own contribution.  Teachers can easily check progress or leave comments to the whole team.  Users can build surveys with the form editor and collect data from fellow students or the public. All the responses would then recorded in a spreadsheet for analysis by all team members. Forms could also be used for self or peer evaluation during or after the project.  To stay organized all of the project documentation, forms, resources and calendar can be embedded in a Google Site and every group member can contribute their part.

Microsoft Office 365 is a similar online office productivity suite.  Office 365 offers free email, instant messaging, group video and voice chat, and online document viewing and editing.

 

WikispacesWikispaces: A wiki is a website which allows its users to add, modify, or delete its content via a web browser.  Wikispaces provides these tips for collaborative projects using their wikis:

  • Organize group work with Projects - Assigning group projects for your students is easy, but managing those assignments can be hard. It takes a lot of scheduling, and it can be tricky to make sure that everyone is doing their fair share of the work.Projects let you cordon off little sections of your wiki and hand them over to groups of students. And as a teacher, you can manage the permissions on those teams and check in regularly on content as it progresses, which is pretty neat.
  • Encourage discussion - Every page on your wiki can have its own dedicated discussion board. Depending on the type of assignment the group is working on, you can use it in any number of ways: Teachers can pose open-ended topics for discussion. Students can ask the teacher for help or clarification. You can even hold lively debates — and, however you use your discussions, every query and post stays with the work on the wiki.
  • Give feedback and comments - Our comments feature lets you scribble notes in the margins of a wiki page (figuratively speaking). This means different things to different people. For teachers, it’s a way to ask pointed questions about specific passages, to guide students in the right direction as they work, and to give more meaningful feedback during assessment. For students working together, it’s a way to communicate more efficiently throughout the project and to engage in peer review.
  • Schedule Project-related Events - If you have Projects on your wiki (and all education wikis will have Projects), you also have the ability to schedule Events. These let you schedule certain activities ahead of time, so you can lock or unlock projects for editing, send student reminders about dues dates, archive Projects, and more.

Evernote is a great tool for students and teachers to capture notes, save research, collaborate on projects, snap photos of whiteboards, record audio and more. Everything you add to your account is automatically synced and made available on all the computers, phones and tablets you use.  Notebooks can then be shared with group members and accessed from anywhere. Evernote has also been used effectively for portfolios.  Individual students or small groups can use Evernote to document their learning.  Evernote for Schools

It doesn’t matter what platform you use.  Each of these productivity suites give students the ability to collaborate together to plan projects, stay on task, and work together.  Staying accountable to the group by being organized and doing their part will give students a sense of satisfaction that they helped their group succeed.

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Communication Tools for Collaboration

The backbone of any type of collaborative effort takes place in the context of communication. Many features of collaboration tools are geared toward the facilitation and management of effective communication among team members.  Depending on your grade level the following collaborative technology tools can facilitate various communication functions: Email, IM, blogs, discussion forums, virtual meetings, web conferencing and social media.  Two of the communication tools that I have used the most in the classroom are blogs and discussion forums.

Blogs

WhyBlog?A blog is an easily created and updateable website that allows an author(s) to publish instantly to the Internet.  A blog is different than a website that relies on consistent information and content.  Blogs are comprised of reflections and conversations.  In his book Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms, Will Richardson states, “Blogs engage readers with ideas and questions and links.  They ask readers to think and to respond.  They demand interaction.”  Because blogs can be posted daily (or multiple times a day) they are often short and posted in reverse chronological order.


Educators who blog
 do so for many reasons.  Some reflect on their daily work while others share resources and links to educational sites on the Web. Some post lesson plans or engage in responses to other educational bloggers.   Readers can leave comments to individual posts and other visitors to the site can view those comments and respond with their own comments or questions.  The blog posts can include images, videos, podcasts, and links to other posts and citations.

When educators give students the opportunity to blog about their learning  a new type of interactive experience deepens and enhances the learning process.  Students learn to read more critically, think about that reading more analytically, and write more clearly.  They are building relationships with peers, teachers, mentors and professionals who interact with them through their blog.  Classroom blogs can be created by individual students  or authored by the entire class.  They can showcase student work, be a collaborative space, ePortfolio, class portal or even an online filing cabinet of shared images, resources or knowledge content.  Blogs are the ultimate collaborative learning tool because the real benefit of blogging comes when there is an authentic audience that reads and responds to the blog posts and then the student bloggers respond back.  Comments4Kids is a way for students and teachers to find blogs to comment on and to get their own posts commented on.  Comments4Kids is a great way to teach your students appropriate digital citizenship skills in an authentic learning environment.  Think blogging is just for older kids?  Check out this list of primary age blogs organized by blogging platform.

Some student-friendly blogging platforms are:  EduBlogsKidBlogClass BlogmeisterePals, and Blogger (not part of Google Apps for Education core suite and must be activated by admin).  Teachers who want to blog might also consider these platforms:  WordPressPosterousTypePadLiveJournal orTumblr.

 

Discussion Boards

An online discussion board provides asynchronous written conversation about a topic or theme.  One of benefits of using a discussion board is that it levels the playing field and gives every student an opportunity to share and have their opinions read.  This is especially helpful for the introvert who needs time to compose their thoughts without being interrupted during a face-to-face classroom discussion.  It can also extend the conversation beyond the classroom, provide a platform to demonstrate understanding of the content being learned and build connectiveness among classmates.  The limitations of not seeing facial expressions, body language and vocal inflections can sometimes cause confusion with written text as opposed to web conferencing, but the convenience of composing offline, posting when ready, and ease of use makes written discussion forums a popular choice with older elementary through high school students.  Caitlin Tucker has some great advice:  Dos and Don’ts of Online Student Communication.  Edutopia has put together the Mastering Online Discussion Forum Resource Guide at:  http://www.edutopia.org/pdfs/stw/edutopia-onlinelearning-mastering-online-discussion-board-facilitation.pdf

Some popular platforms for discussion forums are:

  • Learning Management Systems: SchoologyHaiku (both have Google Apps integration), Blackboard, and Moodle (Open Source).  These are much more involved and will require IT department to set up the system for a school.
  • Online learning platforms:  Schoology (Individual teacher), Edmodo and Collaborize Classroom -  These are more of a social learning network but also include discussion forums.  They can easily be set up by an individual teacher.
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Leveraging tech tools to support collaboration

FRAMEWORK FOR 21ST CENTURY LEARNING

FRAMEWORK FOR 21ST CENTURY LEARNING

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has developed a vision for student success for our global economy called the Framework for 21st Century Learning.  This Framework describes the skills, knowledge and expertise students must master to succeed in work and life.

Every 21st century skills implementation requires the development of core academic subject knowledge and understanding among all students. Those who can think critically and communicate effectively must build on a base of core academic subject knowledge. Within the context of core knowledge instruction, students must also learn the essential skills for success in today’s world, such as critical thinkingproblem solvingcommunication and collaboration.  The focus on collaboration involves:

  • Demonstrate ability to work effectively and respectfully with diverse teams
  • Exercise flexibility and willingness to be helpful in making necessary compromises to accomplish a common goal
  • Assume shared responsibility for collaborative work, and value the individual contributions made by each team member

How can we leverage collaborative technology tools to support this type of communication and collaboration in the classroom? How can we plan lessons that effectively engage students and support learning goals?  The factors with the greatest influence on student achievement are instruction, professional learning, collaboration and learning time.

Technology tools that exist to support collaboration can:

  • Facilitate real-time and asynchronous text, voice and video communication.
  • Assist in basic project management activities
  • Support co-creation by enabling groups to showcase learning in real-time or asynchronously.
  • Facilitate consensus building through group discussions and polling
  • Simplify and streamline resource management
  • Enable locate and remote presentation and archiving of completed projects (Deal, 2009).

Teachers should not only learn how to effectively integrate collaborative technology tools into the classroom but actively participate and apply these principles to their own learning and understanding.  We also want to make sure we are using sound pedagogy when using technology to support learning and aligning our instructional goals with the National Technology Standards for Students (NETS*S).

Get ready to collaborate!

 

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Embracing Mobile Devices

iPad AppsThe Common Core State Standards call for students to develop digital media and technology skills. One way to help them reach that goal: incorporate gadgets they’re already familiar with — cell phones, tablets, and smartphones — into their learning environment.

There are, understandably, some concerns about mobile devices in the classroom. The biggest is that they distract from schoolwork. Educators, however, need to take advantage of their ability to engage students in a classroom setting and provide opportunities for collaboration.

Early research supports the notion that these devices can lead to measurable learning benefits.   Lucy Gray, project director of the Consortium for School Networking’s (CoSN) Leadership for Mobile Learning initiative discussed North Carolina’s Project K-Nect in a recent Edutopia article.  K-Nect is a pilot program assessing whether mobile devices can effectively boost learning and math test scores.  Teachers report that Project K-Nect students “are demonstrating a greater responsibility for their learning and developing more collaborative learning skills.”

Because of their mobility, mobile devices in the classroom lend themselves well for collaboration.  Students can take the devices anywhere to take photos or video, work together on projects, interact with others using communication tools.  Some apps are specifically designed so multiple students can work on projects at the same time (Google Drive, Subtext, Prezi, etc).  Oftentimes using mobile devices as a student publishing tool allows students to share or present knowledge with one another in a creative manner or with an authentic audience.

iBooks Author is a Mac app that allows anyone to create beautiful iBooks textbooks for iPad and Mac. Teachers and/or students can work on various chapters and include galleries, video, interactive diagrams, 3D objects, mathematical expressions to create original textbooks.

With so many Apps out there, it can be challenging to find which ones to use in the classroom.  Browse through the links below for information about mobile devices in the classroom.

General Apps listings - many are organized by subject or grade level

Early Learners

English / LA

Math

Modern Languages

Music

PE

Religion

Science

Social Studies

Special Ed

Visual Arts

Evaluation Rubric for Educational Apps

Resources

Robledo, S.J. (2013).  Edutopia:  Mobile devices for learning – what you need to know. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/mobile-devices-learning-resource-guide.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours.

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours.

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Library in Your Pocket

The school year has begun and I started a program in my Library called “Library in Your Pocket”.  I was inspired by Shannon McClintock Miller and created small signcards and placed them around the Library encouraging students to download these apps on their mobile devices.  I also embedded the following screencasts on our school Library page.


 

Library in PocketHelpful video links:

 

QR_LibInPocket

 

Gone Mobile?  Download these apps on your mobile device and have informational resources at your fingertips all the time.  Get access to Schoology, Destiny Quest – Library Catalog, AML Gale Databases, Google Drive, EasyBib, eBooks or general helpful educational apps.  Click here for the full listing - or - click here to see a Listly list with links to the iTunes App store.

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Photoshop Screencasts

One of the challenges of teaching my Multimedia / Web Design course is that students come with all different levels of experience and expertise.  We don’t have a specific textbook and as an introductory class using all different software tools (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash, iMovie, etc..) I find that students have a hard time remembering how to do specific techniques learned earlier in the semester.

I’ve just started creating screencasts of our favorite Photoshop CS3 techniques to embed on our class website.  This will allow students to easily review the procedures and also help those who missed the initial instruction.  Here’s my first one (too bad the bell rang towards the end).  I used Jing for the screencast and the uploaded it to my YouTube channel.

Note:  This technique came from Matt Kloskowski’s book:  Layers:  The Complete Guide to Photoshop’s Most Powerful Feature.

My ultimate goal is to have the students in the Tech Media Arts class create a series of these screencasts about all types of different techniques too.

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Creativity and iPhoneography

This next term I will be teaching a new Technology & Media Arts elective at my high school.  As a Fine Arts credit, it will be a combination of Drama, Music and Art and be completely project-based.  The goal is to expose students to creative technology tools (Photoshop, Garageband, iMovie, Illustrator, InDesign, etc) while providing an authentic audience for their creations.

I really want to change the way students see design and creativity in their everyday lives.  One of the ways I will be doing this is by encouraging students to take creative photos with their cell phones and upload them to Instagram, Flickr, Picasa Web Albums, or Pinterest.  We will explore free photo editing apps and experiment with editing in Photoshop.  Students will take their images and create collages based around themes, inspirational quotes or for specific school purposes.  I have a few ideas in mind but I really want the students to come up with their own ideas.  Most of the students at my high school have a cell phone but we also have access to five Sony Bloggie Touch cameras – so everyone should be able to access to equipment.

Here are a few photos from my camera where I have been experimenting,  Some of the Apps I use are: Pic Stitch (free),  Popsicolor ($1.99), Juxtaposer ($2.99), PowerSketch ($0.99), InstaEffect FX (Free & $1.99), and Camera+ ($0.99)

Mt Hood Colorful Me
Childhood Memories

A Walk in the Park

Thanks to Nicole Dalesio for inspiring me and providing so many wonderful examples of Digital Art Tutorials.
Check out How to Improve Your iPhoneography Skills by Nicole ???? on Snapguide.

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Learn iBooks Author – YouTube playlist

Ran across this great resource from Sean Jenkins who tweeted about this YouTube playlist on Twitter.  The playlist is from Emerson’s College Journalism Department and is a series of 26 short videos to teach you how to use iBooks Author.  I was very interested in the resource because the mobile initiative planning team at my school plans to create an iPad orientation book using iBooks Author.  Our teachers are most likely receiving iPads before summer and our plan is to install the book on their iPads and give them activities to do all summer on their own or as part of our two-day orientation in June.


Follow these simple steps to learn how to create your own iBook and send it to the iBookstore!  You can find searchable transcripts of these tutorials at http://ecjourno.com/diyjourno/

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Collaborative Technology Tools in the Classroom

This term I am teaching a new online class for Portland State University for their Instructional Technology Certificate program.  The course topic is collaborative technology tools in the classroom.  Just as my students are reflecting on their work – I too will be documenting our progress and sharing my own thoughts and ideas.

How can we leverage collaborative technology tools to support communication and collaboration in the classroom? How can we plan lessons that effectively engage students and support learning goals?  The factors with the greatest influence on student achievement are instruction, professional learning, collaboration and learning time.

Technology tools that exist to support collaboration can:

  • Facilitate real-time and asynchronous text, voice and video communication.
  • Assist in basic project management activities
  • Support co-creation by enabling groups to showcase learning in real-time or asynchronously.
  • Facilitate consensus building through group discussions and polling
  • Simplify and streamline resource management
  • Enable locate and remote presentation and archiving of completed projects (Deal, 2009).

In this course, students will not only learn how to effectively integrate collaborative technology tools into the classroom but actively participate and apply these principles to their own learning and understanding.  We also want to make sure we are using sound pedagogy when using technology to support learning and aligning our instructional goals with the National Technology Standards for Students (NETS*S).

Portland State uses Desire 2 Learn (D2L) for their learning management system.  This program is fine but too many instructors have only used the text and discussion forum features.  I plan on integrating Portland State’s Google Apps program with D2L.  We will use Google+ hangouts for some webinars, shared documents, email, etc.  Also we will be USING all the collaborative tools each week like Edmodo, Diigo, Twitter, Collaborate and ones that individual students choose to explore (VoiceThread,Prezi, Evernote, etc).

One of the things that I will be playing with is including a weekly podcast lecture using iTunes U.  Last week I set up the iTunes Course Manager and added my written weekly lecture.  What I hope to do during the term and record a weekly podcast related to our week’s theme.  This will give me an opportunity to talk directly to my students, discuss current trends and share new resources.  Students can subscribe to the course and automatically receive the podcasts each week.

Next Week:  Talking about Digital Citizenship when using collaborative technology tools.

 

Deal, A. (2009). Collaboration tools. Teaching with technology white paper. Retrieved from Carnegie Mellon University website:  http://www.cmu.edu/teaching

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NorthWest EdTech 1.8.13

Last night I had the privilege of being part of NorthWest EdTech (show notes) – a Google+ Hangout show hosted by Sean Williams and Jeremy McDonald.  We discussed what projects we are working on, favorite apps and upcoming professional development opportunities in the Portland/Oregon region.

Check out the Twitter list of:  Connected Oregon Educators — building our #PLN #ORedu

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