One thing that all teachers want more of in their classrooms is more student participation. How do we do this when we have a mixed bag of personalities all in one class? Some of those personalities can and will dominate the conversation while other want to participate but are afraid to possibly be wrong in front of their peers. And then there are some who genuinely do not want to participate because “it’s stupid”. How do we get participation and more #studentvoice in our classrooms while keeping it relevant and engaging? Flipgrid! That’s how!
Flipgrid is a digital tool that allows teachers to create a “Topic” (question) and have students respond with video. That video can be recorded on the spot, can be a YouTube video, or can be a video created with digital software such as iMovie. It’s easy to use and can be done so on a Chromebook, PC, Mac, Android, and iOS (the response part, at least). Not only that, these student responses can be created at anytime, not just in the classroom. If you’ve never used it, here is a recipe card to get you started quickly. In addition, you can upgrade to a Classroom account, which has more bells and whistles, by using promo code: GABRIELC . So here you go, amplify student voice in your class with Flipgrid.
If you’d like to experience Flipgrid first hand from a student perspective, there are many grids and topics out there. Just search #flipgridfever on Twitter and see what is out there that might interest you. One of my personal favorites is by fellow San Diego rockstar Claudio Zavala who posts a different music genre every week to help you get your week going. Check it out at hashtagsingasong.com.
Make sure you subscribe to the EdTech Bites Podcast and leave a review. Enjoy and as always, Deuces!
In this first part of a 2 part series, I sit down by my lonesome to discuss Microcredentialing and Digital Badging. What are they and what do they mean to teachers, admin, and parents? Are they here to stay? Is there a such thing as overbadging? Voice your opinions and thoughts on Twitter using #EdTechBites. Part 2 will be out later this week and will feature my good friend Chad Belford and a great friend of ours, Italian food.
If your refrigerator was empty, your next step would probably be to make a list of groceries for your next shopping trip. Which items would make it on your list? Eggs, bread, butter, milk, cold cuts, etc. Most of us usually buy the same 100 or so items when shopping, that’s it. We don’t stray away from our comfort items and necessities. However, when we go out to a restaurant and order an item that has ingredients other than that in your shopping list, it tastes great and we suddenly say,
“We need to make this at home!”
“This is different, but delicious!”
“I could get used to this!”
The same goes for using digital tools in the classroom. Why are we “Kahooting” our students to death? In no way am I saying that Kahoot is not a great formative assessment tool in the classroom. What I’m saying is that it’s not the only one out there. We’ve all heard of “Death By PowerPoint” and I’m comfortable in saying that “Death By Kahoot” is not too far off. Think for a second to your classroom or classrooms that you’ve visited in your educational role. I’m pretty sure that you’ve probably seen some sort of “Death By …”. As educators, we get comfortable with what works for us and that comfortable recliner is one that is difficult to get out of. When we do learn of a new tool or resource, we usually like it and see its value but then get turned off by the fact that we now have to create content with that new tool from scratch. Let’s think of this from a student perspective.
Diego walks into his 1st period at EdTech Bites Middle School and sits through a 28 minute PowerPoint and then takes a quiz through Google Forms after. Once he completes the quiz, he begins gathering his items and waits for the bell to ring. His 2nd period teacher does the same thing, and so does his 3rd period teacher. By the end of the day, his only deviations from this were lunch and gym class. Would you like to have the same coffee and bagel everyday for breakfast? There’s nothing wrong with coffee and a bagel but wouldn’t it be nice to have a blueberry scone or a veggie omelette on occasion? Sure, that scone would take some work to prepare and bake. On the other hand, your family would be grateful that you took the time and effort to change things up.
Variety is the spice of life. Sure there are things that we always like to count on but there are instances where variety has value and can give you a bit more insight. Our digital toolboxes are growing yet some of those tools needs to be dusted off and used more. By doing so, you’re changing things up for your students and exposing them to other means of presenting, taking a quiz, and giving input. Don’t they deserve it? I know my children do. Do yours?
Often times, this is the response I get from my audience while delivering some sort of professional development that deals with digital tools, infusing technology, or instructional strategies. It is true, many of these tools and strategies do require some work up front. That can be a daunting task to anyone who is unfamiliar with a new tool or way of doing something. Instead of thinking of it as a time consuming task, think of it as time invested in trying something that might just work better, faster, and more effectively. With this in mind, what can we do as leaders, coaches, mentors, and colleagues?
Instead of teaching and moving on, let’s present options. Make time during these training for attendees to explore the pre-made units, lessons, and examples that many of these tools have curated. Show them how to download these and tweak them to fit their specific classroom needs. In addition to this, we can also show them how these tools offer something that all teachers want more of, differentiation. By downloading and modifying a pre-made lesson, formative assessment, or unit, we have now showed them how simple it is to meet their students’ unique needs whether they be cognitive or linguistic. Why stop there? Having them get together with their teammates also gives them the ability to collaborate and truly begin to build a library of resources and lessons ready for them to use at a moment’s notice. If the 5th grade team gets together and builds one specific lesson or assessment each, they now have multiple lessons that they can build upon or modify. Instead of saying “Who has time to do that?” teachers will begin saying “How come we didn’t do this before?”
We all know that time is of the essence, especially in education. Keeping that in mind, working smart while working hard will ultimately give us more time to do a little bit more for ourselves. For you, it might be going to the gym, going home a bit earlier, or reading that book you’ve heard so much about. Try it. You and your students deserve it.
I had the privilege of sitting down with Mason (@edtechmason) on this episode of The EdTech Bites Podcast. If you know anything about the EdTech movers and shakers in Texas, then you probably know or know of Mason. This is the first episode with no food is involved but it is still good conversation, which included food talk. Specifically, Dallas, Forth Worth eats. He gives us some insight into his journey to where he is now. He’s served as a people person with Apple, a teacher, and more than anything, an advocate for Educational Technology. He’s now an Education Technology National Instructor for EdTech Teacher and travels while sharing his dominoes (listen to this episode to know what I’m talking about). I promise you, you’ll be engaged and more than anything, inspired. As always, Enjoy and Buen Provecho!
We all have a couple hundred Google Slides presos that we’ve borrowed, copied, and stolen over the years right? How about taking those bad boys and creating an interactive Nearpod preso with them? The beauty of this is that there is no need to recreate it, simply upload and transform! Here is a recipe card that goes over the How-To. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Nearpod, I challenge you to peep this and give it the ol’ college try. For those of you who are familiar with this, I challenge you to revisit this and beef up what you are presenting to your students. Beef, that’s making me hungry. Talk to you guys later! Deuces and as always, enjoy!
In this episode, I’m joined by Wes Ryan (@weswryan) and Todd Bloomer (@yankee_todd) at Viva Tacoland to discuss back to school tips for teachers, admin, parents, and students. Wes got down with the chipotle chicken tacos while Todd went in on a trio of pulled pork. I tend to judge a taco establishment on its fish tacos so that’s what I went with. In addition to these, we all ordered a steaming bowl of corn with cheese, spices, and a touch of love. We were all very impressed with the tacos but I for one was blown away by their corn. Following the food came great conversation. We touched upon tips and strategies for teachers as well as what parents need to observe in order to have piece of mind when dropping our kids off for school. We didn’t stop there, we also discussed what students can do to fit in and be a part of the school culture. Enjoy this episode and please do not forget to leave a review. Talk to you soon!
In episode 6 of the EdTech Bites podcast, I sit down and have a chat (via Google Hangouts) with Jaime Donally (@JaimeDonally) to discuss AR, VR, and MR. For those of you who don’t know, Jaime is known worldwide for her expertise in these three tools and shares her knowledge using #ARVRinEDU. I munch on some Carne Asada Fries, and Jaime…well let’s just say she forgot to bring food to her table. Maybe next time. To read more about Jaime and all of her resources check out her website (tiny.cc/jd). As always, enjoy, subscribe, and don’t forget to leave a review!
In this episode, I sit down with 3 students to discuss their perspective on the technology they are exposed to in the classroom. We discuss devices and usage while having various desserts including donuts, cupcakes, and fresh fruit. Teachers, take note as to what the students mention and even more importantly, what they don’t mention. Enjoy!
In this episode, I sit down with my good friend, Death By Chocolate Cake. We discuss the issues with Net Neutrality as well as ways for students to spot fake news and bogus information on the interwebs. The idea for this episode came from @daycatherinem and @stacyjfarmer via a Flipgrid response. If you have an idea as to what you want to discuss or hear about, please use the following URL: https://flipgrid.com/f12768