Ladies and gentlemen, The EdTech Bites Podcast has officially gone international! Yeah I said it, international baby! In episode 12, I chat with David Kofoed Wind to discuss Peergrade. David lives in Copenhagen, Denmark and is the CEO and creator of Peergrade. For those of you who do not know what Peergrade is all about, let me explain it to you. What do you do when students turn in a rough draft of an essay? You usually randomly hand them back so they may do a bit of peer editing. Students usually mark them up with corrections, ideas, and feedback. Imagine being able to do this with digital submissions via Google Classroom! That’s exactly what Peergrade gives you the power to do. Boom! Bang! Pow! David discusses the ins and outs of Peergrade, the importance of student feedback, as well as Danish cuisine which includes a dessert named Rødgrød Med Fløde. It’s a strawberry pudding that is topped with fresh cream. It sounds delicious but do not ask me to pronounce it, I’ll leave that to him. Check out this episode and check out Peergrade as well. It integrates with Google Classroom and other LMS platforms for ease of use for teachers as well as students. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast and please leave a review. Thank you and as always, Buen Provecho! In this case, Velbekomme!
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!
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?