Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Digital Tools for Flipping Your Classroom

This post originally appeared on The FETC: Future of EdTech Insiders Blog

At FETC, I was delighted to attend a session by high school foreign language teacher Rachelle Dene Poth titled, Flipping Classrooms: Trading Spaces and Places Digital Tools and Ideas to Empower Students. During the session Rachelle gave attendees several resources for flipping learning for students.
However, before those digital tools were given, Ms. Poth set the stage for the why she wanted flipped learning for her students. She explained that she had a need to connect students to her classroom resources no matter their location. If a student is absent or forgets a textbook at school, they can still access the content/resources to stay current with the students in class.
Another aspect of Rachelle’s presentation was explaining the importance of putting the students in the driver’s seat. She gave examples of how she has students create their own presentations, quizzes, infographics, and more. Ms. Poth even discussed the benefits of using these student made digital projects as resources for other students to learn from. This made me think of the SAMR model and how transformative learning can be for our students when they have the flexibility to choose a tool that lets them display or explain their thinking. Rachelle’s suggestion for this was to take small steps: “pick a class to try something with, set parameters and have students create their own.”
Rachelle had many wonderful tools to share. As you look over the following list, it is important to remember to start small. Pick one or two that sound interesting, and try them out. It is easy to get overwhelmed with all of the tools out there, so take small steps for success. Ms. Poth’s presentation and handouts will also be linked in this article as well.
Now, on to the tools!
Tes Teach with Blendspace: A building tool that allows teachers to curate content for lesson delivery packages. Websites, powerpoints, Google Docs, YouTube Videos, and more all in one convenient location for your students. All of these resources can inserted right through the Blendspace search bar, or connecting your own accounts. Simple quizzes can also be created. No more multiple tabs from several links, just one clean lesson flow. The lessons can be shared several ways: a classroom in Blendspace, Google Classroom, or any other method of link sharing. Works on all devices.
Today’s Meet: A backchannel tool that allows for written conversations between teachers and students. The beauty of this tool is that it allows for a full transcript to be saved and printed. This helps keep a log of everything that was discussed in the session. An excellent tool for teachers to use during virtual office hours for students.
QuizizzSimilar to Kahoot, quizizz is a fun competitive way for students to take a quiz. In Quizizz, quiz questions are actually on the screen of the device, not just the screen in the front of the room. This allows for a quiz to be a homework assignment as well. As discussed above, having students create a Quizizz themselves based off of the content in your classroom can be a great way where students can be creators not just consumers with their devices.
Nearpod: A lesson delivery system that gives the teacher control of the student’s screen. Think of sharing a Powerpoint file or Google Slide with your students, but being in control of when the slides change on their screen. Nearpod also allows for interactive questioning, where student answers can be anonymously shared with classmates.
Formative: A student response system allows for multiple question types to be asked. Students can answer questions by multiple choice, drawing, short answer, and more.
Educreations & Explain Everything: Two very similar student explanation tools. Just as their titles imply, students create (by hand or typing) and record their voice to explain their thinking. These can be powerful tools for meta-cognition in and out of the classroom.
EdPuzzle: A student response video tool that allows teachers to bring in YouTube or other videos and add questions to them. These questions are added during the video so as the student watches, it will pause and ask the question.
Buncee: A presentation tool with creative interactive elements. Buncee allows you to add animated characters, videos, and voice over to each slide that you are working on. As with Educreations/Explain Everything, a child can use the voice over to explain the content that they place on each slide.
There were other resources shared by Ms. Poth at the workshop and below you will find the links for them. She is also on twitter, and is well worth the follow! @rdene915