You Tube

You Tube is one of the greatest free sources of educational material that we have access to on a daily basis. Want to know how to program your TV, fix an issue with your computer, learn a new language, improve your maths? Then go to You Tube. The list of things you can learn is seemingly endless.

I have previously posted (see below) about how useful Twitter and Facebook can be in the classroom and for professional development and thought it would be useful to look at You Tube in more detail.

Firstly create an account for You Tube. Obviously you do not need an account to access You Tube but if you want to subscribe to other people’s channels or post your own videos it is necessary. Click here to create an account.

Once you have an account you can:

  • Subscribe to educational channels – keep up with latest videos posted by these channels. They are there ready to use when you are doing a related topic in your classroom.

The image below shows my subscriptions down the left hand side.

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  • Create playlists of your favourite videos. Place videos from different channels into a single playlist. The one below is a playlist I made of videos on body systems.

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Created playlists appear in your account – see the centre row of the image below.

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Create your own channel. Do you want to create your own educational videos for students? Do you want to get your students creating their own educational videos to demonstrate their learning or to teach their peers? You can use your channel to post and share these videos. Click here to create your own channel. If you don’t want to make your videos Public there are other options when you upload a video including Unlisted and Private.

Here are some You Tube channels to explore:

The Khan Acadamy – The Khan Academy has multiple channels. Go to their main channel and then click on the ‘channels’ link to access specific channels in a variety of subject areas.

Bearded Science Guy – Amazing science experiments.

Bill Nye The Science guy – Range of science topics.

Veritasium – Veritasium is a channel of science and engineering videos featuring experiments, expert interviews, cool demos, and discussions with the public about everything science (check out their cool slinky video).

TED-Ed – Lessons created by talented teachers and professional animators.

The Great War

Crash Course  – Courses on: Anatomy & Physiology; Astronomy; U.S. Government and Politics; Economics. Playlists for past courses in World History, Biology, Literature, Ecology, Chemistry, Psychology, and US History.

MyPEexam – Senior PE concepts explained

PhysEd Games – Simple PE games

ThePhysicalEducator – ThePhysicalEducator.com is an online professional development resource for physical educators.

AITSL – The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) provides national leadership for the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments in promoting excellence in the profession of teaching and school leadership.

Edutopia – Edutopia creates videos about what’s working in K – 12 education.

Teaching and Learning in South Australia – This channel features videos related to teaching and learning.

BBC Earth – You’ll find 50 years worth of astounding, entertaining, thought-provoking and educational natural history content on here (short clips from TV shows like Deadly 60 and David Attenborough documentaries).

National Geographic – Inspiring people to care about the planet.

Bio – Short biographies on famous people. American centric.

Smithsonian – Smithsonian Channel explores the history of our planet, life and culture.

ThinkEdAust – Resilience, Optimism & Confidence for Kids through Education.

Babble Dabble Do – Combining science, technology, engineering, art and math. More projects can be found on http://babbledabbledo.com/

Tinker Lab – Hands-on activities for kids that encourage creative and critical thinking skills. The projects lie at the intersection of science, art, and technology, and are fun, simple, and use basic materials.

 

 

 

Using Book Creator to record student learning

Learning Aim

One of the focus areas for my Year 3/4 PE class in the first half of term 1 is preparing for sports day. My aim for the students is to practice and refine the skills needed to participate confidently in our upcoming sports day. In Australian Curriculum language – “Practice and refine fundamental movement skills in a variety of movement sequences and situations”. The year 3/4 students do a 600m run, shot put, long throw (vortex), long jump and a sprint race. We will also be practising discus even though this is not a required event on the day.

Recording student learning

To record student learning I have decided to use the app Book Creator on my iPad.

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The book I created has one page per student which includes their name, a space for personal reflection and two spaces for video. To simplify the process I selected shot put as the event I would video for every student. Video one was taken last week (week 2) while the second video will be taken in week 6 or 7 allowing students to demonstrate their improvement over time. The “I have learnt …” section of the page will be completed by the student. Their task will be to reflect on all the other learning they have achieved in the events other than shot put. How have they improved? Which events did they make the most progress in? What advice did they get from the teacher that helped them improve? Did they persist?

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Process (I have completed up to part 2 – inserting video 1)

1. Firstly we discussed the focus and aim of our lessons leading up to sports day.

2. Collecting video in the book

  • In our week 2 lesson the class was divided into 3 groups – long throw (vortex), 300m run then long jump and shot put.
  • I worked with the shot put group recording their efforts directly into the book in Book Creator. No instruction (other than some safety tips) was given so that the first video reflected the student’s current level of knowledge. Once I had finished with a group all groups rotated to the next activity.
  • This process seemed to work smoothly and was easily completed in one lesson with 24 students. The process was made smoother by having the groups match the order of student names in the book. Group 1 were the first 8 names of the book and group 2 were the next 8 names etc. This meant I didn’t have to spend time finding student names in the book I just started at page 1 and worked my way through to the last page.
  • The Book Creator app allows video to be taken and inserted within the app so I did not have to go between the camera and Book Creator apps.
  • The second video will be added in week 6/7.

3. Using the video to learn

  • We will go through a process of examining the correct technique for shot put (images/video/me demonstrating).
  • As a class we will watch everyone’s video (5 secs each) and give feedback as a class to that person. We will have strict protocols around reacting to others performance and the type of feedback we were allowed to give. Showing videos to the whole class will be voluntary (hoping for 100% though – I will be convincing them through discussion about growth mindset and learning from others).

4. Collecting and inserting student responses to “I have learnt…”

  • In a PE lesson (week 6/7) all students will be given an iPad. Using the Pages app they will record their responses to the reflection questions. Doing this as a group will allow for some class discussion and sharing which will hopefully assist those students who are finding the reflection process difficult.
  • Students will airdrop their document to me and I will copy and paste their text into the book.

Teacher observations

  • Throughout the topic I will keep my own notes and observations on my iPad separate to the book. When assessing students I will use a combination of what is in the book as well as my own notes.

Using video as a starting point in practical lessons

Video 1 also provides me with a starting point for shot put i.e. what do the students bring? What knowledge do they already have? Taking video in the first week or two of a practical topic provides the opportunity to closely examine where students are at and therefore, starting points for future lessons. Using the iPad camera and photos apps can be powerful formative assessment tools.

Using this process with other subject areas

Use the same process to record student learning over a series of lessons, a term or semester in:

  • Reading
  • Handwriting
  • Speaking to the class
  • Explaining a math concept
  • Word pronunciation
  • Creating a hypothesis (video/text/audio) and then conducting an experiment (video) to prove or disprove the hypothesis.

There are four ways to add student evidence to a book – video, photos, text and audio. All of which can be done within the app.

Teachers are always looking for ways to record evidence of learning and Book Creator is a simple and efficient way of doing this. Once my book is completed I will share the book as a video to my MacBook and also place it into iBooks on my iPad. My goal is to end up with a document that provides me with evidence of student learning that I can reference against my own observations.

PBAS iPads updated and ready to go

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Over the holidays, the operating system on the iPads and apps were updated. If you are keen to use the iPads and are wanting to know what is currently available on them then refer to the list of apps further down this post (click on the links to read more about what each app does).

I have also purchased four iPad tripod mounts to use in PE lessons with the school tripods. If anyone else wants to borrow one let me know. Useful for recording oral presentations, performances or a practical demonstration.

Example – display a science experiment up on the whiteboard via the Apple TV using a tripod and iPad (camera app) rather than have the whole class crowding around to see. Record the demo for any absent students to use in a future lesson.

Ask yourself if you can use the iPads to enhance your teaching by doing things that were not previously possible before the iPad (or so difficult and time consuming you never attempted them). How can you use them in addition to your traditional content and teaching methods, giving students another way to access the content and present their learning?

As well as the list of apps below here is a link to a range of examples showing how the iPads can be be used in the classroom:

iPad ideas for the classroom – PBAS R-12 Curriculum and Pedagogy.

Also see how Tanya used the iPads in her math and science lessons by clicking here.

Workflow

Creativity – presentation of content, arts, photography, video, music

Document Creation

QR Codes

Programming/Digital Technologies

Spanish

Science

Geography

History

HPE

Whiteboard apps/recording audio and text-based presentations

Problem Solving

Maths

English

I have also included two questions from last years iPad survey around how often the iPads are accessed and teacher beliefs about the iPads as a resource for student learning.

Thank you to the 9 teachers who responded.

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Social media in my classroom

The use of tools like Facebook and Edmodo (a closed social network) have helped me to improve the way that I interact and communicate with students and their parents. I have been using Facebook since 2013 and Edmodo from the start of this year in my classroom. Both have been valuable inclusions to the way I work and while Facebook and Edmodo have some striking similarities both play very different roles in my classes.

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I use Edmodo to:

  1. provide a central location for uploading and downloading assessment tasks.
  2. provide a central location for resources (sorted into folders) including documents, weblinks and videos (there is no storage limit in Edmodo).
  3. provide a place for students to submit completed assessment tasks and for me to provide feedback.

Edmodo – Create folders to store unlimited resources for students and teacher to access

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Edmodo – Store, assess and feedback comments and grades to students

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Edmodo – Create posts, assignments, quizzes and polls

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I use Facebook to :

  1. create closed groups for my students and parents – Yr 12 PE (student group), Yr 11 PE (student group) and Year 7-10 HPE (parent and student group).
  2. provide parents with programs, assignments & content term by term (7-10 HPE group).
  3. provide parents with text, images or video of what is happening in lessons (7-10 HPE group).
  4. to remind students of upcoming class events and due dates (i.e. We are doing the beep test today don’t forget to bring a change of clothes).

Facebook – Sharing information with parents about what is happening in the classroom

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Facebook – Communication with Year 12 students

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Live Heart Rate Data

I have just purchased a set of 10 Polar H7 heart rate sensors to use with my PE students. These heart rate sensors bluetooth to the Polar Team app on my iPad which I project onto a big screen via an Apple TV. Everyone can then see what is happening to each students heart rate as they participate in the lesson. The display shows the name of the student, their heart rate and also the percentage of the students maximum heart rate they are working at (maximum heart rate is found by subtracting your age from 220).

Check out the video below showing the heart rate sensors in action. I have also included some screen shots of data captured by the Polar Team app. This data provides a great source of information for students to analyse.

Individual detailed results including the percentage of time spent in each training zone.

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I am looking forward to using the app to help my year 11 and 12 students develop their knowledge of acute responses to exercise and how the energy systems interplay with each other during a sporting activity. If anyone else at PBAS is keen to use them just ask. A great way to get students interested in their hearts and whats happening when they exercise while generating “real” data for a maths lesson.

Publishing to a world wide audience

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I have wanted to do this with students for a while and finally had the opportunity to do it with my Year 9 ICT class. The Year 9’s have published a book about Port Broughton to Apple’s iBook store. Click HERE to view and download the book.

The book can only be read in the iBooks app on an iPad or Mac computer.

Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iPad with iBooks 3 or later and iOS 5.1 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

The Year 9 ICT course is all about how students can use their MacBooks more effectively and to show students the possibilities that their MacBooks provide. The book is the end result of students learning how to use the app, iBooks Author.

Prior to the class book being created students developed their understanding of how iBooks Author worked, creating their own books on a country they would like to visit. This allowed me to explicitly teach students how to use iBooks Author.

Once the topic of our class book was decided students were allocated chapters/sections to complete and sent away to collect images and create text for the book. Students completed their work on Word documents and collected images in JPG format. These documents were then Airdropped from their MacBooks to mine. Airdrop is an outstanding feature on the MacBook, iPad and iPhone. It allowed me to easily get multiple photos and Word documents from my 14 students quickly with no USB or cable connection required. The book was put together on my MacBook in iBooks Author with students able show me how they wanted their work formatted.

Once the book was completed the process to publish it from my MacBook to iBooks was reasonably simple. Selecting the Publish function in iBooks Author allows you to enable iTunes Connect and decide if you want to offer your book for free or sell your book. The third step in the process is to download iTunes Producer (through iTunes Connect) and use this to to upload the book to Apple for approval, which took approximately 4 days. My account, which was used to publish the book, is set up book to provide free books only. My understanding is that setting up an account for selling books is a little more complicated.

There are a number of clear benefits to students doing this activity which include:

  1. Publishing to a world wide audience requires a certain level of quality.
    • Understanding that family, friends, teachers and the wider public will be able to access their book meant that students spent considerably more time drafting and editing. Three fifty minute lessons were used for drafting the book. Approximately 50% of students were involved in the first two lessons. In the third lesson 100% of the students were involved in editing the book which was projected onto the whiteboard in its final iBook format.
  2. Learning about and understanding copyright.
    • We didn’t go into great detail but students very clearly understood that permission had to be granted to use most images and that acknowledgement of sources was important. Students also learnt were to find copyright free images like the State Library of South Australia (online collections). Students contacted the Northern Argus, the Port Broughton Bowling Club and Barunga West Council to get permission to use their images while I approached the local caravan park and South Australia Media Gallery. The S.A. Media Gallery required an account to be set up and a written application applying for use of their images.
  3. Students who are interested in writing as a pass time or future career have been exposed to a legitimate and professional way of publishing a book.
  4. I haven’t asked the students yet but I am assuming there is also a certain feeling of accomplishment having contributed to a book that has been formally published. My intention is to ask the students how they felt about the process and if it was a worthwhile experience.

The following images are of pages from the book in the iBooks Author app prior to being published.

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Promethean IWB Activote and Socrative – Student Response Systems

Promethean IWB ActiVote

Collecting feedback from students regularly (daily) and in a way that allows a teacher to see areas of weakness across a class or with individual students is important if we are to move student learning forward. At PBAS Paul has set up and is using the ActiVote devices with his Year 5/6 class to get feedback from the students about how well they have understood concepts he is teaching.

ActiVote Devices – The quote below has been taken from the Promethean website.

“With ActiVote, you won’t have to guess whether students truly grasp the lesson content. The entire class clicks to respond and answers are instantly viewed, shared and discussed on the ActivBoard in simple  formats, such as bar graphs and pie charts. Gain insight into student progress and use real-time feedback to determine whether you need to review, re-teach or proceed with the remainder of lesson. Students build confidence with every vote, while evaluating their own progress through both instant feedback and achievement records tallied over time.”

As with most technology understanding how it can be applied and setting it up so that it consistently works can prove challenging. Paul has had to persist and overcome a number of hurdles to get his ActiVote devices working but now that they are he is very pleased with the results. Having overcome the initial problems Paul has a set of ActiVote devices for his classroom set up so that each student knows their device and can quickly access it. Paul can display questions, the students can respond and the data can be displayed immediately in a number of formats (selected by Paul). The data can also easily be saved to an Excel document for further analysis.

One example Paul provided me with was his use of the ActiVote devices in a maths class. Students had covered a concept and Paul wanted to see what gaps in student knowledge remained. He designed a series of questions for the concept and had students provide their answers using the ActiVote devices. He found that for the majority of questions about 95% of the class understood. There were a number of questions however where 75% of the class struggled, providing Paul with an easy and quick way of seeing what needed to be revised. This use of the ActiVote devices is much more time efficient for Paul when compared with collecting up each students homework contract and marking all students attempts at similar maths problems to find out the same information. Obviously question design is critical when using these devices and multiple choice questions have their limitations so understanding and continuing to use other methods of formative assessment is also important.

The benefit to PBAS of Paul’s hard work getting his ActiVote devices up and running is that we now have a great resource to draw on if others wish to use the same technology. I know that Paul is currently working closely with Jackie and her 3/4 class to set up the devices in that room.

Below is an image of the Activote devices. Below the image is a video which is quite old now but will give you an idea of the ActiVote devices and how they work.

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Socrative

Socrative is an online student response system that is exceptionally easy to use if you have a access to the internet and students have access to a device (laptop, PC, iPad). At PBAS I see this as a great tool to use with the 9/10 class as they all have access to their MacBook. With the immediate access our Year 9/10 students have to MacBooks Socrative becomes a very effective formative feedback tool for teachers to use.

To set up Socrative the teacher needs to create an account (students do not need accounts) and once logged in can create quizzes and exit tickets (multiple choice, True/False and short answer options are available).

When the teacher is ready to give a quiz they get students to log in by going to www.socrative.com, click on Student Log In and enter the teachers Room number (mine is 83286 which you can see in the image below). Once students are in they will see the quiz and can begin. As well as quizzes teachers can generate Quick Questions (instant feedback on something just discussed) or Exit Tickets (answer prior to leaving the room).

Teachers can also choose what type of quiz they want students to undertake. Options include Student Paced with immediate feedback – students will see the correct answer or teacher explanation straight after answering the question, Teacher Paced – teacher controls the flow of questions.

Socrative allows the teacher to turn a quiz into a game called Space Race. The teacher can choose the number of teams, auto assign or have students pick colors, then student paced answering of questions determines how “fast” each spaceship proceeds.

See the video at the bottom of the post for further explanation of how Socrative works. The video gives a example of the teacher and student devices working side by side showing what is happening on each.

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Minecraft Edu

I have always been fascinated by Minecraft. It is simple and easy to use, kids love it and it is an open ended creative virtual environment that has a wide range of applications for learning. I must admit that I do not have a Minecraft account but two of my children share an account and they are hooked. They spend time creating dwellings mostly, designing living environments and watching videos of what others are doing in Minecraft.

What motivated me to write this post was an article (passed to me by Wardy) in the Kadina Memorial School newsletter. Teacher Luke Atkinson wrote about how his 5/6 LA class had used Minecraft to learn about Sustainability. I have copied and pasted the article directly from the KMS newsletter below.

As part of our ‘Sustainability’ focus within Design and Technology the 5/6LA (TR2) class used Minecraft. This wasn’t just any random level, but a specifically designed map with 2 islands. Each island had limited resources. The aim for students was to create a sustainable environment. I had my own underlying focus on sociology and wanting to watch how the students interacted with each other. The students formed 2 groups, each of which had an island to themselves. My role was to watch and not influence what the students chose to do. This type of learning is dependent on reflection and what outcomes the students see as important.

By the end of the lesson many students had much to say about what they had achieved. Island 1 was decimated, with barely anything left. There was no food (apart from a pig stuck in a tree) and limited trees were remaining. The group was so focused on building a huge and amazing house for everyone… they ran out of resources. Island 1 commented that if they had to do it again they would build a smaller house and focus on re-growing trees, rather than cutting them down without future planning.

Island 2 built many small houses on their island, some into the hillside, others made of wood. The students commented that if they were to do it again they would maximise the land for food (animals and crops) and not build houses out of wood but stone, as wood is flammable.

Oddly enough there was also an Island 3. Two students didn’t agree with what Island 1 was doing so they dug out some sand and dirt and started to build their own island. They discussed the importance of working with others and planning when using limited resources. The students had countless stories to tell and wrote up what happened. There were discussions on how to improve for the future and how this reflected upon their own lives. They had created a system of law enforcement (a prison I was to run for them), discussed resource management, the correct use of resources and even built a separate nation for those who didn’t agree. Only in minecraft could this open and deep version of learning be possible.

Luke Atkinson, Kadina Memorial School

This is a great example of how Minecraft can be used in the classroom and thought it was worth sharing with everyone.

Not having much experience (none) with Minecraft in schools my understanding is that schools can use the original version created by Mojang or MinecraftEdu a version designed by Teacher Gaming with full endorsement from Mojang. The total cost to purchase MinecraftEdu across 28 computers would be a one off cost of $433.

Below are some videos helping to explain Minecraft as an educational tool.

Click here to visit the Educrew YouTube Channel.They have 12 instructional videos to help you get started with MinecraftEdu.

PBAS Student Free Day Term 2 2014 – Compass Tool and AC

As there where a number of staff not at PBAS for the student free day for a range of reasons I thought I would share the Power Point presentation that we went through in the morning session.

Our discussion centred around the TFEL Compass tool to provide student feedback to teachers and using the Achievement Standards and Content Descriptors to plan units and assessment tasks for term 3. After our morning discussion the day was spent focusing on these things. Teachers then met at the end of the day to share what they had been able to achieve during the day.

As part of the presentation we also revisited the DECD policy regarding A-E grading. I will be printing a copy of this to put in trays in the coming days. A copy is also in the presentation below.

It would also be great for the JP teachers to share any useful resources that they found during their time at Moonta/Kadina looking at moderation and Learning Design. Ange has already approached me with what looked like a great resource for keeping track of the Australian Curriculum developed by Adele Kehler.