So I know that I said that the week we studied Google Docs was my favorite...but I guess I lied. This week was so jam packed full of amazing resources that it left me reeling with ideas for application in the staff room, as well as classroom. The blended and flipped learning concept is really, really exciting to me and all the supporting tools and resources presented this week were so amazing to read about and play with.
Since I like to prioritize, I decided to begin by playing with tools that would help me complete my 702 homework first. I knew what I wanted the topic of my flipped learning lesson to be:
“Teachers need to be able to access student progress data in order to inform their teaching. Napa Valley Unified School District provides access to Houghton Mifflin assessment products called the Math Inventory, the Reading Inventory, as well as the Phonics Inventory and other online learning products (iRead, FASTT Math, System 44, Read 180). Of these products, the Reading and Math Inventories are currently district mandated assessments. These assessment data are used formatively, and to measure end of year growth. Academic Specialists have extensive experience running reports and looking at data through the report system called SAM: Student Achievement Manager. Since our school will have only a .5 Academic Specialist next year, it will be important for teachers to be able to fluently access their own student data.” ~My Flipped Learning Lesson Overview
I wanted to create an instructional video for my teachers about how to access their student data, what kinds of reports might be useful for different purposes such as student goal setting, parent conferencing, and informing instruction.
Since I have already used Screencast-O-Matic and Screencastify, I decided to try out Voicethread. I loved it! I love that you can upload a Powerpoint or Google Slides and separately record comments on each slide (up to 50 slides on a free account). To create my presentation deck, I used my own screenshot method (which is simply a nifty drag and click feature on my district provided Lenovo Thinkpad keyboard) to paste images onto each Google slide. I then used the drawing tools to add arrows and glowing edges, etc… Once my slides were uploaded into Voicethread, I simply clicked on the plus sign to add a feature to the slide, and then clicked on the microphone icon to record my slide notes! So simple. Teachers will be able to access this video repeatedly in the future, making everyone’s lives so much easier!
Now that I had my flipped learning video and lesson complete, I was able to “play” and explore all the additional resources provided… I decided to try out Haiku Deck and Powtoon video tools. I loved Haiku Deck, but I don’t like the fact that you can only make one presentation before you have to purchase an account. It’s a beautiful tool that produces gorgeous visual presentations and it’s very easy to use. No cons other than it costs $$ to have an account.
Powtoons made my brain hurt. If you’ve ever seen anything produced with Powtoons, you know how engaging it is. However, there are SO many ways to make text and images appear, animate, and disappear that I felt like I’d have an aneurysm if I had to make more than one slide. This tool is for experts in my opinion. Yikes!
The best part of the work this week were the ideas generated by the wonderful flipped and blended learning articles we read. The articles and videos by Catlin Tucker and Jennifer Gonzalez were especially exciting for me as a K-5 teacher. I made the following notes to remember:
In class blended learning stations