Category Archives: Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts About My Google Classroom Course Prototype

Hello classmates and blog followers, I figured I would present you the final product, My online course that my group developed for this class. Oh yeah and this is also the world’s longest blog post!!I wanted to walk you through information about our prototype, our rationale, curricular links, assessment, and common concerns. I will also provide you links to previous blogs that contain information about how our group decided to go with the LMS Google Classroom and also other elements that influenced our design. Our group came together and rectify a few changes that needed to be done and also a composed a response to feedback. I will end the blog post by providing you the link so you can check out the course if you are interested.

http://www.edulastic.com

About our Prototype

This blended course is suited for grade 3 elementary students of all backgrounds. It is a mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning. For a learning management system (LMS) we choose to use Google Classroom, as well as various content creation tools. Students and teachers will communicate using Google Docs and Google Classroom, through the creation of questions and announcements. The assessments will contain a specific rubrics for each assignment that are aligned with outcomes in grade 3 social studies, arts education, science and English language arts.

Curriculum Connection

Image result for office e of treaty commissioner
http://www.otc.ca/

We are using the new Office of the Treaty Commissioner (OTC) treaty education documents to create this course. We are addressing the inquiry question: how have the lifestyles of First Nations people changed prior to and after the signing of treaties? The outcomes and indicators covered in this course are as follows:

Treaty Education:
TR3.1: Examine the relationships between First Nation peoples and the land, before and after the signing of treaties.
Indicator: Describe the lifestyle changes of First Nations, prior to and
after placement on reserves.

Arts Education:
CH3.1 Compare how arts expressions from various groups and communities may be a reflection of their unique environment (e.g., North and South Saskatchewan, urban
and rural)
b. Share information about an artist working in own community through
individual research or collaborative inquiry.
a. d. Describe how an arts expression tells something about the community
and culture in which it was created (e.g., heritage harvest dances).
e. Describe ways that people of various cultures in own and surrounding
communities participate in the arts and discuss why they do so.

Science:
PL3.2 Analyze the interdependence among plants, individuals, society, and the environment.
n. Research lifestyles (e.g., farming, fishing, and logging) and jobs (e.g.,
florist, crop scientist, landscaper, gardener, fruit grower, ecologist,
logger, and nursery worker) that depend on understanding and working
with plants and plant-related products.

Social Studies:
RW3.1 Appraise the ways communities meet their members’ needs and wants.
a.Speculate upon various challenges faced by communities in meeting
needs and wants, with evidence gathered from examining pictures,
viewing media, and interpreting stories using a variety of fiction and
non-fiction texts.
b. Identify how individuals and communities meet needs and wants.
c. Describe ways in which communities help ensure basic human needs
are met (e.g., food and water, shelter, clothing, education, safety).

Assessment

Photo Credit: Cayusa Flickr via Compfight cc

Our assessment strategies include using the Saskatchewan Curriculum Project Chrome extension to create rubrics specific. Formative assessment would be done using EdPuzzle. informal assessment of Google Classroom posts in a forum style is assessed on participation in the area of interactions with other students and the teacher.

Common Concerns

Photo Credit: Hurca! Flickr via Compfight cc

We have considerations for common concerns. Low bandwidth is a common challenge for any educator using technology in the classroom. Typically, each student will open up a lesson from their own device, but in the end that could be as many as 30 videos simultaneously streaming on a network that might only be able to handle a few. We have no real solution for a school that has similar bandwidth as the average home, even though obviously there are so many more times people at school as there are at home. Students can have access to devices such as school ipads, personal devices and computer labs during school hours. Since it is online students who are absent can access Google Classroom from home. 1:1 devices would not be required to complete the artifact creation. Flipped classrooms can be used so assignments are done in the school where students have access to programs, and videos can be watched at home or during breaks. We account for differentiation through various levels of assignments in Adobe Spark, as well as audio versions of stories.

Photo Credit: jpappsdl Flickr via Compfight ccRationaleRational

Rationale

Why did we choose our LMS? Google Classroom is used in Regina Public Schools, as well as many other divisions. It is free and is easy to use. It is an LMS that students in grade 3 are able to use with lessons. Google Classroom allows students and teachers to interact. Assignments can be posted and completed on Google Classroom. Student progress can be tracked and teachers can assess on Google Classroom.

Why did we pick our topic? Treaty education is meant to be integrated into numerous subject areas, and is a topic that everyone teaches (or should be teaching). With the creation of new and updated treaty education lessons from the OTC, we decided to work with one grade area to become familiar with the updated format. We developed this course to reflect recommendation #10 from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission:10. We call on the federal government to draft new Aboriginal education legislation with the full participation and informed consent of Aboriginal peoples. The new legislation would include a commitment to sufficient funding and would incorporate the following principles:
iii. Developing culturally appropriate curricula.

Details about my Module

Photo Credit: wuestenigel Flickr via Compfight cc

In creating content for this module a variety of tools were used, the tools are appropriate and easy to navigate for young learners. For each step of the lesson I have tried to be thorough in explaining how students should complete tasks with tutorials for each new medium. For the introduction to the lesson students create a collaborative Google Drawing. I added a brief Screencastify as a tutorial for Google Drawing. I also chose to have students create Google Docs so that they could submit their assignments to me, again I created a Screencastify to familiarize students on how to create a new Doc. I created a Voice Over PowerPoint for students to respond to using an Adobe Spark page. I also made a Screencastify to help students in creating their Adobe Spark Page with instructions about adding open commons pictures. For the extension activity I created a Screencastify to teach the students how to use Story Jumper to create a Digital Storybook. I feel that this variety of content creation tools will enhance the student’s learning outcomes for this unit on Treaty Relationships. After completing module one students will be able to recognize the land provided everything the First Nations people needed to survive.

The Creative PROCESS: Links to my Previous blog post that outline the phases

RESPONSE to Feedback

Overall our feedback was quite positive. Our fellow teachers enjoyed the topic we choose. They commented on the variety of content creation tools we used to bring our module to life. They thought our organization was great and everything flowed together. Our reviewers thought our prototype was a great starting point for them explore treaty relationships.  Our reviewers mentioned they could take the components of our modules and would be able to incorporate this resource in their own classrooms.

However, we did find some themes that  we need to change such as difficulty level, LMS issues, assessment, adaptations and interaction.

Difficulty Level: One of the concerns addressed in our feedback was around the reading difficulty. Some reviewers were concerned with the amount of text for Grade 3 students.  This course is a synchronous blended course that would allow for teacher to facilitate the course face to face and guide students through modules perhaps in a center type rotation. Students will already know how to use google classroom and tools being used such as procedures for the computer.

LMS issues: Another concern that was addressed was the choice of LMS (Google Classroom) that may have not been the most easy to use with Grade 3s. Google Classroom is being used as the central hub for a variety of tasks.  Students complete very few assignments on Google Classroom, so in terms of visual appeal, it is meant to be less distracting.

Assessment: The amount of rubrics provided to the teachers for lessons within the modules was also mentioned by our reviewers. Students will receive both formative and summative feedback, and the rubrics are part of this feedback.  As this is a blended course, students will have many opportunities for feedback from the teacher.

Adaptations: Some adaptations were not addressed (EAL, attendance issues). Additional screencasts could provide verbal an explanation of the assignment for low readers, perhaps working in pairs would support low readers, also simplified versions of assignments for EAL students. Module 3 involves reading a text, and this allows for differentiation for diverse learners.  This differentiation is built into the assignment as is with the books that are listed. Students with attendance concerns could complete assignments at home if needed.

Photo Credit: marneejill Flickr via Compfight cc

Interactions: Lastly, some reviewers remarked about ways students would interact with others. Teacher-student and student-student interactions can be done on google classroom. With the age of the students, we needed to address also the abilities that they have and the forums that would allow young students to share with an audience. Interactions needed to be controlled and monitored to ensure there were no violations in privacy and terms and conditions.

We did receive positive feedback asking us to expand on our course prototype. We think finishing the whole prototype would be awesome. As we focused on just one of the grade 3 key questions provided in the OTC document, the course would contain more themes if the other three questions were included.  If we were to expand on this course, the remaining inquiry questions for grade 3 are:

    • How were the historical worldviews of the British Crown and the First Nations different regarding land ownership?
    • How do First Nations and Saskatchewan people benefit from Treaties 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 10?
    • How did the use of different languages in treaty making present challenges and how does that continue to impact people today?
Photo Credit: cogdogblog Flickr via Compfight ccCourse LinkCourse Link

Thank you to those who reviewed and critiqued our prototype and provided us with helpful feedback!  If you would like to check out our course, our Google Classroom code is: 9yhj6c