Tag Archives: collaboration

Capstone 1-7

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vanallsburgcoversI have completed my first Capstone project inspired by all of the amazing tools I was exposed to during Things 1-7.  I chose to create a lesson plan because it helped me think through how I could actually implement all of these outstanding tools into my classroom.  My lesson is going to be a culminating project for a month long author study on Chris Van Allsburg.  I have already thought of several ways to incorporate technology throughout the entire unit so students will be feeling fairly comfortable with the tools we will be using in this lesson.  I am so eager to try it!  I am thinking this will be a beginning of December lesson.  It feels so good to already have a plan in place and a rubric created so I can hit the ground running with it.

Click here to check out my lesson plan.

My lesson uses:

  • Wordle, QR Codes and Popplet from Visual Learning
  • Google Forms and Google Drive from Cloud Initiation
  • Lino from Collaboration

I just know my kiddos are going to love this!!!

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6 Communication

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Technology has given us the power to communicate with people on the other side of the globe, to connect with experts and learn about different cultures.  These incredible communication tools MUST be used in today’s classrooms.  If used correctly, these tools can allow students to explore worlds and meet people they would otherwise never encounter.  As I explored these communication tools, my brains was popping in a million different directions with the endless possibilities to enhance my instruction and the student engagement.

Asynchronous vs Synchronous

I currently use a great deal of asynchronous communication in my classroom.  I used email and my classroom website to communicate with parents on a regular basis.  Students also had the opportunity to try kidblog this year.  They greatly enjoyed posting questions and commenting on each others’ responses.  I also tried out Remind 101 last school year which served as a great tool to remind families about upcoming events in the classroom.  After learning about Thing 6, Communication, I realized that these forms of communication are a great start, but are really just the tip of the iceberg.

Synchronous communication gives us the ability to communicate with others in real time.  I can barely even wrap my head around the possible ways this form of communication can be used in the classroom. I have yet to truly use Synchronous communication tools in my classroom.  I am most eager to use Skype (or Google Hangout) and TodaysMeet (or Chatzy).

BackChannel Chat

Using a BackChannel Chat gives students the ability to communicate and clarify during a lesson.  It is sort of like a chat room where students can pose questions, post images, take notes and receive support from their fellow classmates when needed. Today’s Meet and Chatzy are two platforms that can be used for BackChannel Chatting.  I could see myself using Today’s Meet to pose a question for students to discuss.  I think this would encourage my more timid students to participate and have their thoughts heard.

Video Chat

Video chatting allows students to have face to face communication with anyone, anywhere!  Students can communicate with same-age peers on the other side of the country or even the world.  They can interview authors or experts in a field.  What a powerful way to tie what we are learning in the classroom to real world application.  Skype and Google Hangout are 2 platforms that can be used for video chatting.  I am very comfortable using Skype for personal use.  When I lived in Arizona, it was a great way to stay in touch with my family and friends back here in Michigan.  Now that I have moved back to Michigan, I am able to stay in touch with all of my AZ friends.  I am yet to try using it in the classroom.  As I was learning about Thing 6, I immediately thought about setting up pen pals with one of the third grade classrooms at my old school in Arizona.  I think Skyping with their pen pals would make it a very meaningful experience.  I would also love the opportunity for my students to interview an author or expert.  Not really sure where to start as far as finding someone for them to interview.  Maybe it will come about naturally as the school year goes along and I discover authors or topics that are of particular interest to my students.  I did find this AWESOME resource for how to organize a Skype interview by giving all the students jobs. Definitely something I will revisit when I am ready to try a Skype interview with my students.

Video Chatting also offers another way to communicate with parents.  I could see myself using it to hold a conference with parents that can’t make it into school during conference week.  It could also be a very powerful tool for students to share what they are doing at school with their families.  If we had a special event during the school day, students could connect with their families that were unable to attend and have them watch the presentation that way.

Some of my 21T4T classmates and I arranged to try Google Hangout together.  In all likelihood, this will be my method of video chatting with my students since we are getting Chrome Books next year.  I have never used Google Hangout so I was anxious to try it out and glad I could find some fantastic people to give it a try with me.  I even got to use Doodle (from Thing 5, Collaboration) to set up a day and time for our Hangout.  What a great opportunity to put some of these new skills to use. Click here to view our Hangout.

Screenshot of our Google Hangout

Screenshot of our Google Hangout

Communication and Collaboration

Thing 5 and 6 are closely related.  All the communication tools we learned about in Thing 6 allow students and teachers to easily collaborate.  Students can use BackChannel Chat or Video Chatting to communicate outside of school so they can collaborate on homework or projects.  Another way students can collaborate through a communication tool is by using ePals.  I had never heard of ePals until this lesson and I was blown away by this program!  I immediately signed up and am starting to think of ways I could use this with my students.  EPals enables you to connect with another class anywhere in the world and collaborate on a project together.  I am hoping to develop a project idea to post on ePals.  Teachers can also use these tools to collaborate on assessments or planning if they can not be at the same place.

CITW

Thing 6, Communication, supports peer collaboration with cooperative learning (see above).  It also allows for the teacher to communicate homework and practice to absent students.  Students can also use BackChannel chatting for Summarizing and Note Taking during a lesson.

5 Collaboration

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“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.”

—Ryunosuke Satoro

There is so much power in collaboration.  Collaboration has been made loads easier, thanks to the magic of technology!  As I journeyed through this lesson on collaboration tools, all I could think about was how wonderful these will be for my 3rd grade team PLC.  We are constantly creating and editing documents and assessments for units of instruction.  One person would work on it at home and then print it off for all of us to go over at the next meeting.  SO TIME CONSUMING!  Using Google Drive will save us insane amounts of time, but more importantly I believe with that by using this tool to truly collaborate, we will produce some of our very best work.  I was also thrilled with the idea of using Doodle to help us pin down PLC meeting times that work for everyone.

Choosing a regular PLC meeting time

Choosing a regular PLC meeting time

I really enjoyed playing around with the interactive pinboard, lino.  What a cool way to organize, collaborate and share ideas.  It is even a fabulous personal resource! I couldn’t help but imagine how helpful this would be for wedding planning or for planning remodeling projects in the home.  As far as using it in the classroom, I found it to be an excellent place to post assignments with helpful tips, videos and pictures to guide them through the assignment.  Click here to see the lino I created to help my students with a comparing fractions assignment.

Thinking of my own classroom and students next year, here are some ways I would like my students to use some tools for collaboration:

-I truly believe that I will easily be able to modify my instruction using Google Presentations.  When having my students working on a group presentation, they can each be assigned certain slides and all be working on it at once.  Group work will become way more efficient.

-My writing conferences will be completely changed by the use of Google Drive.  The ability to leave comments on my students’ writing pieces will increase my efficiency in getting feedback to students but I also believe it will make the students more engaged in the editing process.  This could also enhance peer editing.

-I am very intrigued by BoomWriter!  What an authentic way to involve kids in the writing process!  Having their peers evaluate their work and giving them a place to publish with a real audience would be very powerful!

boomwritergoogle drivegoogle pres

This thing is closely linked to CITW best practices.  Clearly, it support Cooperative Learning.  Many of the tools we learned about enable students to work cooperatively through collaboration.  I also feel that this lesson greatly supports Providing Feedback.  As I mentioned above, using Google Drive to give students feedback on their writing pieces will be very powerful.  Students will also be able to use these tools to receive feedback from their peers.

4 Cloud Initiation

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Today I ventured into “The Cloud.”  This epic place where all your data can be stored.  I experimented with Diigo and Symbaloo.  I ultimately decided on Symbaloo because I feel like it is very kid friendly.  I wanted to create a page so my students would be able to easily access sites we will use on a regular basis next year when they have their chrome books.  Click here to see my Symbaloo Webmix for my students to use.

Too funny! :)

Too funny! 🙂

I also created a new dropbox account for school.  I already had one for personal use.  Our district is really pushing us to use Google Drive as our “cloud.”  So I am not sure how much I will use dropbox, but I am glad I have it as an option.

Here are links to 3 of my documents I uploaded to dropbox:

Our Promise to Each Other

Estimation Word Problems

Graphic Organizer

This “Thing” has reminded me that “The Cloud” is a great tool for collaboration.  Using dropbox or google drive, I can share endless documents and files with my co-workers.  My team and I spent a lot of time this past year collaborating on the creation of math units.  Going through this module made me realize that we really should have used this technology.  It would have been of great benefit to us and our students.  I believe utilizing “The Cloud” this fall will make collaborating and unit creation much easier.  I am also over the moon excited to use Symbaloo with my students!  Having them type in URLs to locate specific websites can be such a hassle.  I am posting my Webmix on my classroom webpage so my students can easily access all the sites we use on a regular basis.  Using this technology will greatly increase our class’ efficiency when completing tasks online.

Cloud Initiation involves many of the CITW9 strategies.  However, the one that really sticks out to me is cooperative learning.  Using cloud technologies, teachers and students can easily collaborate with one another.  Sharing social bookmarks and files using cloud resources truly supports cooperative learning.  Cloud resources also enable us to store and share documents for homework and practice. Learning about Cloud resources supports ISTE Teacher Standard 3 (Model Digital Age Work and Learning).  I look forward to modeling use of the cloud for my co-workers and my students.

A Wordle all about The Cloud :)

A Wordle all about The Cloud 🙂