CAST your (student) voice! 🎣 📣

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Cast Student Voice

What do we do about apathy? There are so many obstacles when it comes to teaching, so many hills and valleys, but what do we do about the student or adult who just does not care?

Don’t try and fix something you love – but look at what doesn’t work. We all have to try and close the gaps between our achievers and those who are not reaching learning targets.  If we want to believe every child can learn, we should not be proactively taking them out of the game and expecting them to do something else. We need to find ways for them to successfully access the curriculum. We need to give all of our students a voice. 

Do you have students apathetic to learning?  Engagement is key in decreasing student apathy. Offering students choice increases access to a goal and can also provide engagement.  As educators, we cannot assume that our preferences as teachers are their preferences as learners.  We may think a lecture is best, taking notes is best, showing a video is best, technology is best, but this may not be what works for every learner in front of us.  Data doesn’t lie, and if we have gaps in our data between those achieving and those who are not, then what we’re choosing may not be what is working.  

When students take ownership of their learning, they are more engaged and thus have greater success. As educators, we often decide the activity surrounding the lesson. We may even get excited about our plan, but some of our students may not.  Again, our preference may not be theirs and our activity may not be accessible to all learners despite what we may think.  Surveying and asking kids what they’re interested in can assist in learning what they prefer. Google Forms are an awesome tool for this and it gives us valuable data to say: “We’re doing this becauseI have data that shows…” If we want to steer the direction of the lesson, providing some choices for students and allowing them to choose a preference can also work.  What are some choices we can provide? How about some options that give our students a VOICE! Let’s take a look below:

Google Forms Bitmoji Image

Google Forms are a great tool for assessment, but they are also a great survey tool as well. They can really assist us as educators in learning our students’ preferences as learners.  This is a great post by Catlin Tucker on using Google Forms to get to know our students.  If we can gather information on our students’ likes and dislikes it can help us be more effective as educators. Catlin even provides a FREE Google Form you can use to get to know your students.

Podcasting sound on

OMG, have you tried Anchor?  WOW this podcasting app, and web tool, incredible!!! It is also FREE!  Thank you to Brandon Hall, tech integrator from Pembroke, for walking me through this awesome tool.  Podcasting has exploded on the scene with both students and adults listening to Podcasts and creating podcasts! There’s a podcast for everyone really. You can find a series on sports, education, mystery etc Many of your favorite TV personalities even have a podcast.  So, how does this apply to the classroom – let’s have kids MAKE a podcast and cast their voice! What an incredible way for a student to show learning, and the best part, you could listen to it on your drive home, or while correcting papers. Reach out if you would like to start Podcasting with your students! Check out this great Google Slidedeck here on how this can be used in the classroom and Brandon’s overview of Anchor below!

This is a great article on how to use Podcasts in education. Our own Tori Cameron has a popular podcast channel on all things STEAM that you can listen too as well, and she is the guru when it comes to podcasting!

Video Bitmoji Image

Student video is also a great way to allow students to cast their voice! It is also another great way students can showcase their learning. Flipgrid, SeeSaw, and Screencastify are all wonderful tools that allow students to create video easily to showcase knowledge.

You could use Wakelet to put all student video in one place! Wakelet now integrates with both Flipgrid and Screencastify and would provide a great curation example of student video!

As a teacher, you can also create video and flip your classroom.  Check out the video below from Bill Silva, East Bridgewater Biology Teacher, that he uses with students.

Translator App Bitmoji Image

Recently, Microsoft unveiled their new translator app. This app is incredible and is available across all platforms. I was playing with it the other day, thanks to my pal Colleen Terrill, and it has many more features than my previous fav – Google Translate.  This article here describes the features and functionality of the app.  If you are traveling to a country where you cannot speak the language, or have EL students you wish to communicate with, give this app a go and provide voice to your student!

Tech Tip of the Week: Google Voice Bitmoji Image

Did you know your Google Account can be associated with a phone number? You can then link that number to your actual number on your mobile phone.  You can also use Google Voice as an app and on the web.  This would be useful if you wanted to text students or parents, but didn’t want to give out your personal number and did not want to pay for an additional number or phone. Click here for an article from another Tech Blogger on his top reasons he uses Google Voice in the classroom!

How will you give your students a VOICE and let them be heard?

Take care!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

“WAVE” to the Camera 🌊 👋 📸 🐟

Another great week was had here in East Bridgewater 😀! I have had the pleasure of being between many classrooms and buildings this week, as I get in a record number of steps 👣! A big hit this week was VIDEO! For our PreK-6 classrooms, it was setting up and using the new document cameras 📸, and for 7-12 it was looking at video programs for the Chromebooks!  Having the ability to create and share video is huge right now in our school system, as I’m sure it is in many.  Creating video allows the teacher to remove him/herself from the front of the room. Students can work in small groups, get more one-on-one time with the teacher, and have the skill to go back to if the video is present! The best part – there are so many FREE tools to make these videos 📹! Let’s look at the WAVE 🌊 of options below!

Teacher Created Videos 

Did you know that you could use your document camera to create teacher-made videos?  Imagine a student being out, and all he or she needs to do is go to Classroom and watch your video. Imagine a class where you can take a small group to work with, while others watch the teacher-created video and you can later assist them. If you’re at Central School or Middle School this is an option for you! Reach out and we can talk!  Click here to access directions for your document camera

When not using a document camera, ScreenCastify is my personal favorite to use to make video tutorials, or just plain old video clips. This is a GREAT extension. It’s free and easy to use! Bonus – they just came out with some new editing tools as well!

Video Editing Tools for Student Projects 

I had done a previous post, click here, on some great options for student video projects.  However, this week I got to show a few newer tools to the students in 8th grade Enrichment with Mr. Shea and Mrs. Ronayne.  We took a look at WeVideo, Animoto, Openshot Editor, and just using the camera app on the Chromebook itself.  You can find the camera app on a Chromebook by hitting the magnifying glass key and displaying all the apps, or simply going into Apps on the toolbar. Once the video clips are made, it’s pretty easy to import them into any one of these programs, add music, pictures, and push it out to YouTube or Drive. What a great project idea!

The NEW Youtube Editor 

Coming soon….YouTube has just released the Beta version of YouTube Studio.  According to YouTube, soon they will release a new editor where you can cut, combine and add cards to your uploads! As this comes out, look for video from me highlighting the new features! For those that like video and video projects, check out the new YouTube Studio by clicking here.

Easily send video to Google Classroom 

One of the nicest things I’ve ever seen in Google Classroom, is when an administrator posted a video of students and teacher doing something well. All of the staff who saw it commented and it was a big love fest. It’s so great to celebrate the good that is happening all around us and it’s VERY EASY when using Google Classroom to do this!  First, install the Google Classroom App on your phone and/or ipad. Go into your settings and allow the Classroom app to access your photos/videos. Take a video as your normally would. Go find your video, and as if you would text it, choose the send button. When sending, choose the Classroom App and BOOM! It will put your video RIGHT into the Google Classroom of your choice. You can also add a description as well. What’s nice about this, is that the video is private between you and your class and/or staff! 

So much fun!!! What are you using in terms of video in your classroom? Let me know!

Have a great day, and thanks for catching the “wave!”

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher  🐟 🐟 🐟

 

 

Let’s Get Reel….📽️ 🎣 🎥

WOOOOHOOOO!

The Chromebooks are back at the JRSRHS! What a great week to be a Viking! There was a lot of excitement this week (and a lot of unboxing and configuring too, lol)! What an awesome, crazy time of year!  Speaking of crazy, it’s important we remember to take care of ourselves at this time too. We’re so busy taking care of everyone around us, we often neglect ourselves.  George Couros had a great blog post this week, which you can read here, titled 3 Ideas For Taking Care of Yourself Before the Break. He reminds us: It’s okay to need a break. Learn to say no. Take care of yourself.  So, I hope you’re finding time for you…remember, I’m here to help if you want it.  💻 💻 💻

The POWER of Video 📽️ 

Video is a powerful tool for learning.  Take FlipGrid for instance, it has hit the Twittersphere by storm! Why….because video is powerful!  As a teacher, creating video is so easy, and your students will LOVE it!  Picture having small groups, and rather than students needing to ask you or each other what to do, they can just refer to video inside Google Classroom. You can create videos privately and share them privately – and students love listening to you much more than say Kahn Academy. Video is a great tool for online teaching or a flipped classroom! Videos are also great for parents to refer to as well to help their children with certain skills.  VIDEO does NOT replace the personal interaction or connection of a teacher and student, but can work really well for reinforcement, practice, an introduction of a topic, or when a student may be absent.   Check out the tutorial below about creating video – it’s easy and FUN and best of all – students LOVE IT…because they love you!

Screencastify:

Your phone:

 

View YouTube Videos  – Clean and Safe 🎞️ 

Once you have videos you enjoy using in the classroom, it’s great to have a way to watch them safely.  Viewpure does just that. Take a look at the GIF below for a brief showing of Viewpure.

 

 Ideas for Video Creation with Students 🎥 

Who doesn’t love to see a video of their own child learning?  Screencastify is a great Chrome extension for students to use on their own Chromebooks to create video. The video will go right into a student’s drive and then he or she can share it with the teacher or embed it on a Google Slide. Imagine doing book reviews with video and hearing a child or young adult describe a great read?! Take all of those videos and embed them on a slide deck to share with the class or parents? What a great project! Read this article here for even more ideas of how we can have students create videos for the classroom!

Creative Alternatives to Movies before Break 🍿 

This is a GREAT article by John Spencer that features some creative activities to use with students before the break. Many of them are upper level, like Genius Hour, History Mystery, or Wonder Weeks. If you’re looking for something to do with students before the break, that will engage, this is a great read.

Holiday Tech (updated) 🎄 🕎 

To make sure we get the latest HOLIDAY activities ….

My favorite Blogger – Eric Curts – put out another post this week on winter activities in general which had a great link for MORE PIXEL ART as well as EMOJI WRITING IN DOCS!  Click here for  his awesome post!

You can also click here for my Google Doc of Holiday Tech that spans PreK-12. I’ve added a few items to it this week, like Rainbow Maker in Docs! (see GIF below)

 

“When children create for the world they make it good. When children create only for their teacher they make it good enough.” – Rushton Hurley @rushtonh

Have a great weekend everyone, and enjoy the Chromebooks JRSRHS!

oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟