I learned so much in the participate quest. I currently teach in a middle school that has a BYOT policy and our students are told at the beginning of the year the guidelines for using their technology in the classroom and the student and parent sign an AUL form. However, this quest emphasized the importance of being a responsible digital citizen. With all the technology our students have, it is crucial that we not only give them rules at the beginning of the year, but discuss Internet use throughout the year.
Some very important things to teach students and help them to understand is that anything and everything they put on the Internet can be viewed worldwide and the comments, posts, etc. will be hard to delete. Teaching students to think before they enter comments and stressing the importance of not putting their personal information on the Internet is a top priority.
This was one of the most interesting quest for me. I currently use Goggle Forms, Sophia, Remind 101 and my own website in my classroom. My school has Infinite Campus to maintain student data, attendance, gradebooks, etc. I had never heard of an LMS system, though I guess in some ways I have been using them on a restricted basis.
Having an LMS system would be great. I realize that cost is a huge barrier, but as I learned in my research Google is jumping in with an LMS, but in the small county I work in, I don’t think they will adapt a full LMS system. As I worked through the quest I researched different LMS systems and their seemed to be more positive comments about Schoology. However, I wasn’t successful with Schoology and switched to Blackboard Collaborate due to my inexperience in this area. I learned about SCROM files and SoftChalk.
Since completing this quest, I have been placing my PowerPoints in Schoology to gain some real time experience with an LMS. I have not added assignments at this time because I honestly don’t know if that would be allowed by my administration.
Tools in Blackboard that are most valuable are the discussion boards, uploads of files, and tests/quizzes grading that were made in Blackboard.
I think the tools that are the least valuable is the e-mail, almost everyone has an e-mail account but I do like the socialization where you can have all your social websites in one place.
|Communication Tools in Blackboard
||Communication Tools in Blackboard
||Gradebook (GradeCenter) in Blackboard
|Email – class, individual, group
||Grades can be calculated as points, percentages,
|Announccements for Class
||SafeAssignments – plagiarism prevention
||complete or incomplete, pass or fail, GPA and letter grades
||Grade columns can be hidden
||Grade Center Columns can be frozen so they don’t scroll
||Blackboard assessment are added automatically
||Manually you can enter blogs, journals,
|Synchronous Presentations & Discussions
||Wikis, Assignments, graded discussion boards
||Grades can be entered manually, from the
||Grade Center Columns can be frozen so they don’t scroll
||Grades can be overriden, exempted, or deleted
||Grades can be weighted
||Grade calculations include averages
Being creative in an online learning environment will be a must. I loved Glogster and made a few presentations for my current class using Glogster. When looking for learning authoring tools there were many free tools. The ones I like are Quizlet, Slideshare, and Hot potato. All three of these online tools allow teachers to enter questions, or multimedia to help students learn. I was shocked to see how easy it was to upload a Powerpoint presentation to flipsnack. Flipsnack will allow students to see presentations in a new environment.
Edmodo, Moodle, and Sophia allow for creative ways for teachers to meet their students’ needs. All have group walls for group interactions. I have used Sophia for two years in my classroom. It is interesting to see what my 7th and 8th students post to each other on the group wall. Of course, I had to give guidelines that the posts need to be related to the math concept being studied. When a student proposes a different way to solve a problem, it is easy to share with classmates and then, most of the time, critical thinking skills kick in and a very good conversation takes place.
Communication is vital to the success of a class whether the class is online or in a building. Students want to feel they “belong” in their class and that they are valued. As I researched communication in an online environment, I really liked Evernote, and best of all it is free. Evernote allows you to store documents in the cloud and divide it into different notebooks. This is very advantageous for teachers.
Giving students authentic feedback through discussion forums, private e-mails, and rubrics allow students to gain a better understanding of concepts they have mastered, as well as concepts that they need to practice. Teachers can easily do this in an online environment with Evernote, or a personal e-mail with links to study sites. I also liked the audio feedback for online classes. This option will allow students to feel more at ease hearing their teacher’s voice and the teacher can “guide” students through complicated processes or concepts.
Above all, communication between student and teacher is key to success!
As I began this TOOL quest, I thought that since my school has a BYOT policy and the fact that I use numerous online websites such as StudyIsland, Google Forms, Khan Academy, Learn Zillion, Powerpoint, Quizlet, Remind 101, Socrative, Sophia, and a class website that I was really using technology in my classroom. I quickly realized that I have just touched the iceberg of online learning. I have learned SO much that I plan to incorporate into my classroom.
As the learning pyramid above shows, student retention rates are highest when they teach others. As I reflect on previous assignments I have given to my students, I can see how many of the new online tools I have learned can help each student move closer to the 90% retention. I plan to incorporate Flipsnack, Prezi, Powtown, and Smore as options for my students to complete assignments and share with their classmates. For my students who do not want to get in front of the class I think they will really enjoy Powtown and/or Smore to showcase their ideas. This in turn will allow for my students to truly learn mathematical concepts.
Self Reflection is a must for teachers, it allows teachers to modify instruction and make changes (if we teach the same subject from one year to the next). I realized the importance of self reflection years ago as I proceeded through National Board Certification. Self reflection is a practice I embrace throughout each school year. I truly believe that teachers must self reflect to learn, change, and adapt to the needs of our students.
I have learned so many exciting things through the TOOL quests that I will incorporate into my lessons.The TOOL Quests have definitely been a meaningful learning experience! Happy Pi day!
2013-2014 TKES Evaluation
Group 1 – RED – struggling with standard – needs practice activities
Group 2 – YELLOW – differentiate activity to master standard
Group 3 – GREEN – standard mastered!
Using the rubric I made on irbruic for problem solving, and checking understanding of the following standard for competency:
MCC9-12.N.Q.1 Use units as a way to understand problems and to guide the solution of multistep problems; choose and interpret units consistently in formulas; choose and interpret the scale and the origin in graphs and data displays.
||70% and lower
||Differentiate practice activities
||Differentiate and remediate repeat practice activities
The example of the online class has some positive and negative points:
1. How many students are enrolled, when they completed orientation, what type of student they are, what assessment they will take.
2. The Parent/Student contact log shows when and how the parent was contacted and the comment of the conversation discussed.
3. The table indicates when the students were accessing the assignment and what pages they were using.
4. The student feedback gives the students feedback on point note earned.
1. The “used dial my calls option” for parent/student contact should have been an individual email or phone call to the students who were not doing well in the class and should have given suggestions for improvements.
2. Ten questions are not enough questions to gauge if students have really learned the concepts.
3. The comments in the gradebook seem to be just an effort to meet the teacher’s requirement of giving feedback. Grammatical errors and repeating the same statements.
4. The drop box postings are not dated.
In my previous post, Evaluate 1.1.2 Meaningful feedback, I used a summative assessment on samples, populations, and measures of central tendency that I gave my students via Study Island. Study Island’s online test are valid and reliable. Teachers can set different goals for each student to help each student learn each standard is his/her subject area. We have used Study Island for about eight years now at my school and we met AYP for six years. When Georgia changed from AYP to the new categories, we did fall into the Focus category, but it was because of the discrepancy between high achievers and our SPED sub group.
Study Island address depth of knowledge in the question bank and also RTI requirements for each student. It is a great online program for middle school students.