3 Be4 Me: Building Self-Reliance in the Classroom

I made this using Piktochart.

3Be4Me

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Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking allows an individual (or group) to keep favourite websites in a place stored on the web/cloud. This allows for several advantages:

1) Access your favourites/bookmarks from any device, not just one computer or browser

2) ‘Tags’ (or keywords) allow you to associate your favourite sites to the way you might use them and/or identify the type of resource they are. I organize mine by the courses, units and topics.

3) They are searchable by Tag.

4) You can set some social bookmarking sites to ‘automatically Tweet’ your favourite sites, or, when signed into your Twitter account, ‘favourites’ are automatically indexed in your social bookmarking site.

5) Access  or join other ‘groups’ to allow you to benefit from the knowledge of like-minded folk!

Diigo Education Ideas

Delicious.com or Diigo are great places to start.

Check out my Diigo Links on the side bar of this blog.

Diigo has some new pricing options. I paid the $2/$5 ‘social fee’ to allow a for a few more options. I have also applied for a free Educator’s account.

A former PED3183 student created a group for us. Check it out and join. I post there regularly.

What is Social Bookmarking?

REDDIT

But wait! There’s More!

You can always find interesting things on Reddit. The Amazing Internet Hero, CGPGrey explains it below.

Poll Everywhere

I was recently introduced to the joys of Poll Everywhere.  It was used in a presentation by Matt Brash, a technology consultant from the Ottawa Catholic Schools as a tool to engage learners in any setting. Naturally, as I started to investigate, I got more excited about the possibilities.poll every

Essentially, it enables the user to solicit information from a crowd without specialized tools or counting hands for “yays”/”nays.” Audience members can text their ideas to a free number or use the online platform to fill out forms online.

Once you set up your polls (and you can do this anonymously & without signing up) you can present them on a projected screen (or not!). If you’re using Powerpoint for your presentation, PollEverywhere will even provide downloadable slides of each question or “Poll.”

How it Works:

http://www.polleverywhere.com/how-it-works

How I might use it in the Classroom:

  1. personal survey
  2. feedback on an investigation
  3. icebreakers (include some silly questions to keep out the inevitable goofy answers)
  4. Image click option can be used to have students point out details in a photo
  5. review for a test using open ended and multiple choice answers
  6. gage interest in a topic

Watch this space for more ideas generated by my 2014 faculty of Ed students!

I might just use this platform more just because I like this video so much. He does have a great vest.

 

Fantasy Geopolitics

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Students use their PEDs during Draft Day to maximize their picks.

My Grade 12 students tend to zone out in early May with their case of “Senior-itis.” Once conversations of Prom and post-secondary acceptances begin, it becomes more challenging to motivate. Earlier in the spring, I came across a link to Eric Nelson’s Fantasy Geopolitics (Kickstarter campaign). This would be my solution to May disengagement.

Fantasy Geopolitics is essentially mimics a sports fantasy draft. Instead of players, students draft countries which then earn them points depending on how many times the country is mentioned in the New York Times.  Nelson’s online app for Fantasy Geopolitics automates the draft, scoring and links to the NYT. It’s a management tool to make this sort of activity very easy. His newest verison also makes links to the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Nelson says,

We’re not just trying to gamify learning. We’re going after the “learnification” of gaming. We encourage students and teachers to get curious about the world in which they live and then become fans of global competence, all the while playing, reading, and learning!

Three days before our Draft Day, I introduced my HSB4U Challenge and Change students to the program. In teams of two, they went off to research what countries might provide them the greatest end score. We would be playing for 3 weeks and students could swap their picks later if they wanted using the FG App.

Draft day was intense. Students were forced to make last minute decisions when their top picks were selected by others. We ate potato chips. We chirped each other’s choices. It was a hoot. It also only took about 40 minutes.

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The “Scores” tab in the Fantasy Geopolitics App

As the game progressed, students got down to business and used the “Scores” tab to help predict “up and coming” countries.

I planned to award prizes for 1st, 2nd, 5th and second last. That way, even the students who ended up with the countries least interesting to Western eyes, could still be engaged. (I also found this helpful to lead a discussion about why countries like Malawi or Laos rarely make North American news).

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screen shot of game play.

Each subsequent class, we’d analyze who was winning, which countries had gained points over the last 24 hours and why. Students realized France was more than its Cannes Film Festival (while we played, the country was making headlines for a shift away from its a role in the European Union and for problems between citizens and refugees).

Students came to class with stories about the countries they had selected. Others were excited about a potential point coup because they had traded Vietnam for Thailand – “Ms! They just issued Martial Law! It’s gonna get crazy!” Each new idea was a great win for global awareness and global connections.

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2014 ChaCha Fantasy Geopolitics Winners

Other lessons started with “Africa is not a Country” themes. We would conclude with Countries of Africa (or other continents) on the smartboard.

We discussed what limitations the New York Times had in teaching us about world issues. We sought out alternative news sources like Al Jazeera and New Internationalist, and discussed the differences between coverage of events in the BBC and CBC.

After 3 weeks and Post-Prom, we had our winners. Nelson had been following our game on Twitter and sent us t-shirts for our winners.

Short surveys indicated my students really enjoyed the game. Eighty percent said they spent more time reading about international issues. Sixty percent said thought more about global issues and media coverage. All students said it helped them stay interested in the course over an otherwise challenging period.

I would use this program with grade 7 – 12. It’s got clear links to the 2013 Geography- History- Civics curriculum. Strand A2 focuses on Transferable Skills developed through investigations. The  grade 9 Geography program asks studetns to analyse selected national and global population issues and their implications for Canada as part of Strand D. I would also use it in Civics to “assess ways in which people express their perspectives on issues of civic importance (C2).”

One of the suggestions I got from a student was that each person choose the rank he/she would want to meet. For Example, Nic and Matt want to end up 6th. Jill & Carrie want to end up in 4th position rather than all students aiming for 1st. That way, they would have to be more strategic to select more media-heavey countries or those less in the spotlight. This helps to reduce disengagement when one country seems to have a lot more points than anyone else.

What might you do or try with this program? Let me know in the comments or drop Eric Nelson a line!

Nelson and his team are seeking small donations to keep the site up and running. This allows you to commission as many leagues as you want for a year. It’s worth it. Pay the guy.

You can follow Eric Nelson here: 

 

Piktochart

I’m always looking for new and interesting ways to display things in my classroom. I was inspired by the following image (from @adambellow). This lead me to think about infographics and the online tool, Piktochart.

Piktochart allows creators to visualize data through the use of colour, symbols and graphs.

Classroom Rules

Infographics allow the viewer to “experience” the information on a variety of levels. In our 21st century world, we are accustomed to receiving information in small bytes. Infographics allow us to absorb information in this manner.

There are a lot of applications for our students to use this type of tools. I’m hoping to have students use something similar for a Challenge and Change analysis of demographics. It would make a great option to display results for a stats class or geography.

Once students have researched statistical information on a particular subject, they can then determine an attractive way to display it. This will touch on their ability to understand numbers and data as well as to choose essential information over additional.

The Learning Blog from the New York Times has some cool ideas.

Here are more ideas from Classroom 21.

Secondary Solutions offers some more ideas using Piktochart:

Find the one below here. It only took me about 10 minutes to create.

Class RulesKathy-Schrock-education

Collaborative Tools online

Padlet

This is my new favourite collaborative software.

Richard Byrne did a great little video about how to start using Padlet and why you might use it in class. He talks about using this as an assessment for and assessment as learning.

The program allows people to log on anonymously or through an account. The Wall-owner can include images on the wall – perhaps an opportunity to annotate? You can also print out the contents of the wall for sharing in hard copy.

You can also add images from your computer or using a laptop camera.

Ways you could use this in your classroom

1) Collect information during student inquiry

2) use “layout modification” to force entries to be ranked in order of posting, and use as a debate

3) use as a Graffiti wall or as part of a jigsaw activity

4) Share links and ideas on a topic

5) Ask students to contribute personal connections to a historical theme – example: How is your life at home different in 2013 than when you were 5 years old?

Here are some other ideas by Cynthia Treichler. She even includes a tutorial on her website.

padlet integration

Let’s Play!

hey, PED3183, Let’s share some cool resources we’ve found and play with this resource.

http://padlet.com/wall/historytips – Groups 1 – 4

http://padlet.com/wall/historytips2 – Groups  5 – 8

Today’s Meet

A colleague introduced me to a neat tool called Today’s Meet. It allows students to ask questions, make comments and get clarification from a presentation. The beauty of the site? It doesn’t require someone to log into the site and  the shared  link is memorable. The wall owner can set the duration of time the link is “live” to prevent access to the wall after an activity.

Students can debate with each other using this venue and thus becomes an alternative to Twitter.

The transcript option allows the presenter to save the Room after a discussion. It saves in chronological order and there’s an easy copy & paste function.

The Today’s Meet Blog has some interesting ideas as well.

The website sells itself as a backchannel opportunity.

todays meet

Document Camera

I just found out our school ordered a document camera. I was unnaturally excited. Why? Because now I could use children’s books in my classes AND share the images with my students.

Document cameras are better than the camera on your laptop (bottom right image) because they do not reverse the image being projected. Words appear the same on the screen as they do “in real life.”

PicMonkey Collage

Some ways I might use this tool:

  1. Share fragile primary sources with the whole class
  2. Share small group work ideas generated on paper with the class.
  3. Get instant huge versions of maps, figures or images from the textbook. This allows for the option to annotate on the Smartboard.
  4. Show information from Smartphone.
  5. Bring in “mystery” object, students guess its use
  6. Score classroom games
  7. Model proper note taking techniques

Here’s a PDF document with some more ideas. useyourdoccamera

IPEVO, one brand of document camera, suggests a host of activities one can do with the benefit of LIVE camera. 50 Ideas for the Educator

More ideas for the Document Camera

Got one you can use? Download the software.

iMovie on the iPad- Trailers

iMovie Trailer Activity instructions

Our school has 20 iPads in the library. I have been trying to figure out ways to use them in my classroom. Unfortunately, the way our current system works, there are few apps directly related to Canadian History. I turned my sights on iMovie.

My Grade 10 Academic History class served as pioneers in developing an activity (and avoiding some of the bugs) revolving around the $5 iMovie app.

Students were asked to select a variety of images around a topic, in this case, an introduction to Canada’s involvement in WW2. Then, using the basic-pre-made trailer option, students’ text and images were animated, set to music and packaged in a really slick format.

PLUSES:
– the students LOVED this creativity.
– they love the iPad and the simple image save functions
– the trailers look professional
– because they couldn’t obsess about music choices of storyboard setup, they were able to start and finish a 1 min trailer in a 75 minute period
– easy upload to Youtube or Vimeo

CONS:
– because the iPads are shared with the whole school, the students couldn’t save work they haven’t finished
– YouTube can take a long time to upload and if students don’t have their own account, you have to provide them with a password.
– Students need to remember (and learn) to sign out the account they use to share the finished product

Here’s an example of what they produced.

World War Two: Raid On Dieppe from HTrinity on Vimeo.