Going Live!

I’m simultaneously excited and overwhelmed by the possibility of publishing my Music 9 module on Canvas. Mostly, I think my excitement about the possibility of moving all of my classes to a blended mode is making me overwhelmed.

I’m excited because:
  • I see how a blended classroom could completely transform the way that we offer music programming at Balfour.
  • It looks pretty great and all of the links work.
  • I’ve used new tools like Screencastify, Sampulator, and Google Forms which I will be able to use again in my teaching. Trying them for the first time takes away the scariness of using them in the future!
  • I’m happy with the quality of the videos that I made.
  • I am looking forward to feedback on what I’ve done so far.
  • I’m proud of taking on this challenge. I never thought I would be able to do something like this.
  • Once the work is done in developing the course the first time, it is easy to revise before using a second time. With each revision, the course will become better and better in a way that it might not without such an LMS.
I’m overwhelmed because:
  • I want to do this for ALL of my classes.
  • I know that it would take WAY too much time to do it well in all of them if I were to start immediately.
  • I know I will quit if I take on too much to start, and I don’t want that to happen.
  • Canvas will inevitably become obsolete and irrelevant, and then I will have to start over.

//giphy.com/embed/3oriOaivTEk4PotVEQ

via GIPHY

I know. That’s a bit of a Debbie Downer.

In this last week, I’ve polished the appearance of the module, revised instructions, made sure that links are working, shared with friends for feedback, and QUESTIONED ALL OF MY DECISIONS. As I said earlier, I’m happy with what I’ve done, but I’ve gained new skills and am more optimistic about my abilities to use technology, so I will do things differently in lessons moving forward. Like Adam, I am really pleased to have learned about screencasts.

I shared my course to Canvas’s Commons in the interest of open education. It made me nervous at first, but then I considered how much I appreciate it when I find that teachers have shared quality resources. (In fact, the image that I’ve included below was shared with no attribution required!) For some reason though, the course isn’t showing up in the commons, which is really disappointing! I’m still trying to figure this out.

I’ve used many online resources, and I think it’s time that I contribute!

Logistically, I’m really happy that my module is ready to go a week ahead of time. When I was going through the process of uploading videos and making sure that links worked, I experienced some hiccups (mostly to do with poor WiFi connections), and I’m glad that I’m not trying to sort this out moments before it is due. Elizabeth and Angela also noted that it is difficult to put all of the pieces together. This is worth considering when thinking ahead to using an LMS as a norm. I would always need to be working a few days ahead of the kids, and I’d need to have a back-up plan if students experience their own hiccups.

And I will keep moving forward. With one class to start. And then another. I need to keep taking baby steps before I’ll be off and running. I need to be patient with myself. It’s ok if I learn and develop slowly, as long as I continue to grow. I remember when planning a single lesson took hours, and now it’s a sinch! Eventually, I’ll be using technology as second nature.

Until then, like Nicole Marie suggests, I can reflect on this process and use that to become stronger moving forward.


It’s still a work in progress, but I’m excited about that.

This has been an exciting week in the development of our online course because we are finally finished. I have to say that I am really excited about they way it developed throughout the semester and I am happy with the product as it stands right now. Our course isn’t a complete course…yet. But I think Nancy and I are going to continue to develop the course in order to use it in our Technology 9 course or Information Processing 10 course at our school. I feel as though the rest of the course will come together nicely because we have laid out our partial course so nicely that it will be easy to complete it by adding the other modules.

I have to admit that I wasn’t a big fan of Canvas when I first started exploring it. I’m not sure what made me a little skeptical about it, but I didn’t think that it was going to be a very user friendly LMS (learning management system). As I started exploring and using it I was happy to find that it was actually really user-friendly. My initial impression was that it was going to be very crowded and unorganized for the students when they accessed the course. However, it is actually really easy to organize the content without making the course seem crowded or overwhelming.

Screenshot of Icons Used on Canvas

One thing I wish could be changed is the icons that are used to indicate whether something is a content page, file, assignment, quiz, etc. They are all the same colour and the image displayed within the icon is difficult to differentiate if you are looking quickly at something. Another problem I encountered was forgetting to publish the items I created when I finished them. If you don’t publish, the users cannot see it or access them – obviously. There were multiple times I signed in as a student to see how things looked only to realize that I never published my work so I had to log back in as the teacher to publish the items.

Now that I feel comfortable with Canvas I feel as though I’m going to move my flipped classroom content onto Canvas from Edmodo. Edmodo is a great tool for communicating, but as a tool for organizing a course it really isn’t ideal. On Edmodo you have to create folders for your content and it organizes information within those folders based on the name of the files, or perhaps the date you uploaded the files. Anytime you post an announcement on the homepage it bumps previous posts down, so it is easy for posts to get lost. You can pin posts to the top of the page, but if you do that you’ll have a bunch of posts pinned which will continue to bump thing anyways so that defeats the purpose.

Example of posts on Edmodo

I really like how you can organize the different modules on Canvas. I like that you can upload files or links and that you can create quizzes and assignments right on the LMS. When students click on the Assignments tab it gives them a summary of all the assignments that are posted and their due dates. I think this is great for students to stay on top of things and stay organized. Students also have the option to upload files to submit an assignment right on the LMS. You can also create a rubric for each assignment so that the assessment/evaluation is on there attached to the assignment.

Module Organization on Canvas

I am looking forward to completing the course with the help of Nancy (hopefully) and using Canvas to develop my other courses at school. Did you use Canvas? What did you think?


Module-making: finishing touches to going worldwide.

Over the past couple weeks I have been plugging away at my course prototype slowly, but surely. And I’ve been through quite the series of emotions associated with this.

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“Panic stressed” via Giphy

I have panicked(This doesn’t look like I thought it was going to!)

I have gotten excited. (This content is SO relevant and meaningful!)

I’ve second-guessed myself. (Does this accommodate all learners?)

 

I’ve felt challenged

yet confident. (I can do this.)

Where I am.
All I have left to do is wrap-up editing and filming some small parts for the module, otherwise everything is ready to go. I failed to appreciate how much planning goes into making a quality video. Taking into account setting, dialogue, visuals, and background music takes time. It’s not like I didn’t predict this would happen, but when you get into the video-making grind, time flies in a big hurry.

Fortunately, as I went through the creative processes, it led me to continue considering my summary of learning. It served as a reminder to be aware of the fact that simply creating and recording a song is actually a lot of work, even thought I have so much fun with it (Thank goodness I don’t have to make a full live action video to go with it too, it’d be too much). While capable of some limited visual work, it also caused me to revisit the idea: what would an Andres Arenada and Logan Petlak summary of learning combined actually look like (and how much time would it really take)?

Regardless, I hope the module is able to reach learners in my regular classroom, but where I began was to bring my regular classroom worldwide…

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“Where I want to be in the world” via Google Maps

Where I began.
In reflecting on what I set out to do in my original outlines, some new barriers to the creation of this prototype revealed themselves, and it all stems back to the original targets I wanted/needed to specifically address and account for: relationships and learners.

  1. Who are my learners and how will I connect? When you have no idea who your learners are, how exactly do you design an asynchronous lesson according to their needs and styles?

    The simplest way to address this, is universal design. When considering multiple forms of expression, engagement, and representation for the module, does my module do this? Does it have more than one opportunity for each? I think so! (Phew!)

  2. And when you only make one module to begin, can you really connect to other content?

    – In my module I found myself saying: “we’ll have to address this next time”, but there isn’t a next time (yet)! Do you plan for the hypothetical or does this make it less authentic?

  3. Does a class need synchronous sessions to be blended? Or can it be pseudo-blended through Flipgrid or Zoom? It is all online, but the learning functions similar to that of a traditional classroom and has some face-to-face components, but these components are not necessarily live. Is ECI 834 considered blended? Or all online?

 

Closing thoughts

Questions are great, and maybe some of them don’t need to be answered. Ultimately, the course prototype will be out on Tuesday, and I look forward to the learners I reach, and the subsequent feedback I receive to hone my skills. Hopefully it serves my main goal, educating people.

 

– Logan Petlak

 

 


Learning through connections

What do I think are open online spaces?

When I think of open online spaces, I focus on word open. This makes me think of openness of people having access to the information and questions we put out to the world. It is a way to open up to other people we may not come into contact with on a regular basis. It is an open environment where anyone can join and learn from each other. It is a place to have open space technology.

“Open Space Technology is one way to enable all kinds of people, in any kind of organization, to create inspired meetings and events. Over the last 20+ years, it has also become clear that opening space, as an intentional leadership practice, can create inspired organizations, where ordinary people work together to create extraordinary results with regularity.”

From this open environment where people can learn from each other there can be Connection based learning.

 

When I think of open online spaces I think of people using technology to connect to one another. This allows people to comment, discuss, question and learn from one another.

Why do they scare me so much?

With an open space anyone can see what you post. Everyone sees what you are thinking and how you are learning. It is place where you cannot hide what you think. This makes me feel extremely vulnerable. With an open space there are people all over the world that access your information. It makes me nervous to know that anyone can read what I am posting right now. With that, I am constantly thinking what is okay to post? Will I get judged? Do people agree with my ideas? Am I posting something to “risky?” With an open space a person is completely putting themselves out there to the world. With twitter and hashtags a person is branching out to anyone who follows them or looks at those hashtags. #scary  #public. With a blog, anyone who googles Justine wheeler edublog can find what I post. They can go into my blog and see what I think on certain topics. There are many positive aspects to open spaces and connecting with others, but it is scary to put yourself out there. It is nerve racking to know that anyone can see what I think and how I learn.

What do I use?

As a teacher I would prefer a closed space for the grade that I teach. In grade 1, they are just learning how to log onto a computer. They are just learning how to write and sound out words. They are just learning how to type and explore the internet. I think throwing them onto twitter is difficult. I love using see saw. See Saw requires a special code to access. It is not open for everyone to see. See Saw allows parents to comment on their own child’s work. It allows students to comment on each others work and gives them a safe space to learn from each other. Parents are also more open to having their young child work in an environment like this.

Photo Credit: securebacklink Flickr via Compfight cc


That being said I have tried blogging with my students. It is very simple. I write a question and the students comment back with their response. I have to send out permission slips to all of my parents before we start this. Not all of the parents let their child do this . They do not want them posting on the blog and adaptions need to be made. When the students post they only write their first name. I feel that the students and I cannot be completely open in this space  as it is easy for anyone to access. I am so worried about what they are posting all the time. I am a lot more comfortable with them using see saw.

We do use twitter as a class. Here I do not post pictures of the students. We use it more to connect with other classrooms and educators on twitter. Last year we used twitter to contact the author of Howard B. Wigglebottom and our favorite group from gonoodle the one and only Koo Koo Kanga Roo.

As a teacher I use open spaces, but my students are more closed and secure with see saw.

As a student I do use open spaces. I go on twitter to connect with other educators. I like how easy I can connect to others. I am able to learn a lot through an open space. This class and others have made me open up to open spaces. I am required to blog which makes me feel vulnerable. I do however, like reading other people’s blogs and commenting. I feel that the openness allows me to learn with them. I enjoy forums. I like our google plus environment. I like how it is a bit more closed and I am more comfortable to ask questions.

To conclude, I think there is a time and place for open learning spaces. I think they are a great way to connect and learn from others. They allow a person to collaborate with a wide variety of people. They allow students to learn in a different and enriched way. I think that a person does need to be careful with how they are used. Teachers should have parent permission and let administration know what is happening due to how public everything is. There is a time where open learning spaces are very beneficial and should be used. You just need to know how to use them.

 

 

Do you sleep with the door open or door closed?

What a title hey? I started thinking about how this course allows for us to have open communication versus having a closed forum, then I though about the door for learning being opened or closed.  I like to sleep with my bedroom door open but my husband prefers it closed.  I guess that having communication forums closed could be a preference for some people but just like my bedroom door, I like it open.

As a learner I have not had much experience outside of this course in terms of open online space.  I appreciate the Google+ Community for so many different reasons.  I love being able to post a quick question or even a fabulous article or medium that I feel reliant to our course.  Our Google+ Community is so supportive and helpful of one another, I find that just by reading different posts it saves me from running into common pitfalls. So far I have taken eight Grad Courses and feel that a Google+ Community would have been an asset to all courses, it allows us to pose different questions, share insights or ask each other for help as needed. University students are often given information in UR Courses but I think the experience would be so much different if there were a way to allow students to communicate in an open space.  I think that our course has really come alive with the use of the Google+ Community. The community can offer us so much more than what is being taught in the course.  Allowing students to become each others’ co-teacher.  Our blogs have also allowed us to learn from others, Amy mentions that “we learn from others’ perspectives while considering our own”.

I agree with Ashley that we must consider the age of the students when we decide to use an open or closed forum. I definitely think that younger students should have closed forums in order to protect them.  Although, I think that allowing parents, caregivers, or even classmates the opportunity to comment or share would allow for meaningful learning.  Amiee also mentions that student safety is a valid concern for educators. Shes also points out that students may have already become immersed into social media, but we should still consider that we are putting them into a wide open public space where we may not always be able to protect them in  an open forum.

Although, educators such as myself have to realize that students are developing their own digital footprint, this is where we have the teaching moments! I think that teachers can help students understand that there is no going back once pictures or even text hits the net.

Like Ashley, I too have enjoyed the break from blogging and being able to focus on my content creation has been wonderful.  My group even had time to meet up last week and go over some of the fine tuning of our course prototype. I feel that my group has made some great strides in getting our course up and running.  I know that with just a little more tweeking my module will be up and running.

Have you ever experienced any negativity in using an open forum?


Opening the Doors for Learning

I want to start by saying that I have truly appreciated the time away from blogging this past two weeks. The break gave me a lot of time to focus on my major project and I am happy to say that I am quite pleased with the progress myself and my group made. That being said I’m ready to share some thoughts with you on our topic this week – openness in education.

Photo Credit: Piyushgiri Revagar Flickr via Compfight cc

To narrow the topic a little I am going to be focusing on discussion forums for the most part but I will touch on blogging a little as well. I don’t believe that we need to make a forum public in order to make it authentic to for the learners. I do however feel that making it public has the potential to make it more authentic. Maybe authentic is the wrong word. But I feel that making it public creates a certain level of accountability that can provide more authentic learning experiences. If students know that the public can read their questions and responses they are less likely to post something silly that might make them seem uneducated or immature. I feel like a public forum would raise the bar and make things a little more meaningful. The public space provides opportunities for people who are outside of the class to participate and contribute to the learning within the classroom. This can include parents, students from other classrooms or schools, teachers or content experts.

Photo Credit: PeterThoeny Flickr via Compfight cc

There are a few things that we have to consider when we are deciding whether to use an open or closed forum. The first thing we have to consider is the age of the students. Amy brought some good ideas forwards regarding this. I feel as though students who are younger should have a closed forum that would be open to their parents and perhaps other students within their school who could collaborate with the students in your class. Although privacy issues are a concern for all students I fell like we must be especially careful with students who are younger. Of course having a public forum raises privacy concerns and other issues such as inappropriate content or trolls. The possibility for these inappropriate comments can happen in a closed forum as well but they are less likely to, especially if you can tell who is posting the information – which brings up a new point of anonymity. Regardless of the forum it is helpful when real names are used as usernames so that the teacher and students know who is posting. There may be some cases when anonymity may increase the questions or responses given in relation to a topic that might be controversial or more intimate such as sex education.

There will be issues regardless of whether or not you have an open or closed forum. The important thing to remember is how you go about dealing with those issues when they occur. If it is an open forum you need to set expectations on how to deal with negative comments and what to do if a student comes across something inappropriate. In my technology class students blog and I have them join the Student Blogging Challenge. When they register their blog is posted to the student list on the website so that others may find their blog and read it. I have had a few students who have developed a blog buddy (or at least that’s what I will call them) from another part of the world. These students now look forward to reading each others posts and commenting on each others posts. They get really excited when they receive a comment on their blog from someone outside our school. Of course that being said no one has had a bad experience through comments on their blog so it has been a positive experience. This could all change with one bad comment and I keep that in mind all the time. I remind my students on a regular basis that they need to be aware of what they are posting/sharing and be prepared for comments that may be inappropriate or rude. It is not a guarantee that they will have a negative experience but students must always be prepared for what could happen.

There is certainly a time and place for open forums but for the time being I think I will be sticking to closed forums if I use them. I will continue having my students blog publicly but I need to have a little more focus if I want to start using an open discussion forum.

If you’re thinking about using discussion forums in your class here is some advice.


Agoraphobia in education.

Addressing Educator “Fear of Open Space” (agoraphobia)

In the creation of a digital community for education, do we resist the idea of allowing our students into open spaces? The subject and grade level will help determine our personal stance on exactly how “open” we allow our student’s discussion and learning to be… but if the educator is at the secondary level, is it acceptable to open things up then? Or do we still fear the internet? Are there more educators suffering from agoraphobia than we think?

OPen Space

“Wanda in open space” from Corner Gas

“How could anyone be afraid of open space?”

A quote from season two, episode four, of the beloved Canadian show, Corner Gas. Yes, I am working Corner Gas into this blog post.

Open online space, to be clear. And let’s face it, there is a seedy side, with a palpable list of awful instances of abuse in the digital realm. But what about the development of a sense of connectedness with strangers. Strangers who can be from anywhere in the world, yet provide us with ideas, opinions, interests, be they novel or similar to our own!

Why exactly do I get so excited about the online community?

Growing up in the infant stages of the internet and social media, I scoured forums for information on video games I played (Super Nintendo, Pokemon, etc). In my searching, it was always exciting to find websites full of individuals who enjoyed what I enjoyed (in similar or different ways). Sharing the same emotions and ideas with individuals you will never really know (by conventional standards), is a mysteriously unifying concept. You just don’t get that in a closed setting. In closed forums in an educational setting, I only ever saw the keeners dominate forums, and much of the time, I resented their contributions because I felt they used higher vocabulary needlessly that either made their points too convoluted, or served to exclude other classmates who wouldn’t be able to comprehend it as well. I hard a hard time thinking it was practice for language development, and normally felt that it was done to elevate or flaunt language prowess at the expense of making others feel inferior.

I say this, yet use words now in my writing that I would’ve probably resented then. Don’t worry, I have yet to feel it in my graduate classes thus far – but I am always so aware of my motives behind sharing or my vocabulary choices, am I doing it for my benefit, or for others?

fry hear themselves

“hear themselves talk” via Memegenerator

In reflecting on my sharing on the group chat in our discussions. In this course (and my previous courses with Alec), specifically in the chat realm, a lot of my contributions have some desperate attempts at humour laced with relevance to the content – and while it keeps me engaged, I’m sure others, at least once, have thought: “oh my goodness, just stop”. And maybe I’m wrong… but have you ever felt like you were in a class where it seems some individuals just like to hear themselves talk?

That is my fear in the closed setting. I’m a claustrophobic educator I guess. My feelings aside, learning can still happen for students when ones who dominate discussion receive feedback to curb contributions or it pushes others to step up. But are the discussion-dominators even displaying understanding or have they simply learned to fake it?

 

“Learned to fake it”

“Learned to fake it” with it being authenticity. There still is learning occurring when individuals learn to fake it and share what they share in these settings. As such, I would argue that: yes, there is some authenticity, because who it is meaningful to has a wide scope. When we consider the scope and who all the comments reach, we’re bound to find some authentic learning. The modelling of “advanced responses” still benefit others who may get too intimidated to contribute. Therefore, while it may not be authentic for the contributor, whose motives may be less than intrinsic, the responses evoked may be authentic, so where do I (and we) draw the line? And what’s the difference in this between an open or closed setting?

I envision that the more open your discussions are, the more opportunities present themselves for learning to go in more directions as it increases your potential contributors and receivers (positive or negative contributions, mind you).

What age do students begin to have open spaces then?

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“Think of the children” via quickmeme

As an individual pushing for openness, I am fortunate to be teaching students mostly sixteen years of age and older. The mentality of allowing students to be exposed or unprotected in the digital realm is not a foreign concept for most of them or us, especially if they have been involved with social media and digital usage throughout their adolescent life.

At the senior science level with open content, the scope isn’t limited to students either. Parents may access the open format if they’re wanting to be involved, yet allow the students to begin to stretch their wings a bit. As long as administration and parents are made aware of the rationale and mentality behind the decision to go public, and concerns are addressed and adapted for as needed, the learning from open commenting and discussion can unfold. If concerns arose like frequent trolling, decisions could be made as a class community (edcuator, students, parents, admin) with how to address them. (All of this is predicated on student buy-in. But… at the senior science level, buy-in is, pretty much, required).

Were I a grade four science teacher, there would be greater restrictions when searching for information and public commenting (as in, it would likely be non-existent as the students would be still, I consider, vulnerable). You would see a closed setting without external influence, but potentially simulated digital citizenship practices in which they’d deal with a pretend troll, or have to select from three information sources to determine which one is most likely false, rather than being thrown to the wolves of the web in my senior science courses. But even then, where is the line where we stop coddling students?

Closing thoughts

While some of my senior students may become “learn to fake it”‘s as I mentioned above, there’s still learning to be had. This learning may be from unknowingly modelling behaviours for themselves, or creating authentic learning for others who may learn from them.

The more open we go, the scope of learning increases. So don’t be afraid of open space.

Open Space Gif.gif

“Corner Gas – Open Space” made via Giphy


Open space…

Open space…

 

Agree? Disagree? Comment below!

-Logan Petlak


In the Spotlight: Open Education

What happens before you have to stand on stage with a blinding spotlight trained on you, following your every move? A crowded audience lies before you, the heat of their eyes piercing your skin.

Photo by marfis75 via flickr

You practice. A lot.

This is the effect of asking students to do work in open online spaces like forums, blogs, or Twitter. When I am asked to post a blog it means that I spend extra time trying to perfect syntax to convey appropriate tone; I double-check and cite sources; I try to inform or persuade in a somewhat entertaining way. I also want to write things that are enjoyable, unlike in traditional closed classes where I care about enjoyability less because only the teacher reads what I write. Then, I don’t care quite as much. (But really, I am a bit of an over-achiever regardless.) The process is also more fun for me because I love getting comments on my blog and responding.

But does this really make the process of learning more authentic? How much of what is being said is being said just to get a mark and how much is driven by authentic engagement? Would I be writing this blog post right now if I wasn’t taking this class. Honestly. Or as the kids would say, TBH. No. I wouldn’t. However, it is definitely more authentic than writing just for one teacher.

Blogging also makes me more accountable because I want what I post to the whole world to reflect what I really think and who I am. This is not to say that sometimes I exaggerate just how excited I am about a new app or tech tool in the moment I’m writing the post. I might discover a tool, and think it’s pretty cool after trying it out and will probably use it at some point in my classroom. But I’m not going to write exactly that. Instead I might say, “I just found the most AMAZING tool! It’s free, it’s fun, it’s relevant, it’s intuitive. YOU SHOULD USE IT!”

So, when would I ask students to blog? What would be worthwhile for them to discuss in open spaces? I think that in music, I would still advocate for posting videos of progress on blogs or forums and having students comment on each others’ playing. It takes the pressure off of performing live, and kids have fun sharing and  listening to each other. I did this in EC&I 831, and appreciated the encouragement and feedback from my classmates.

Students could practice using music terms and develop literacy because they would have time to provide feedback in a forum. I think that this would be authentic to an extent. Again, as I mentioned last week, some participation would need to be mandatory, but that also protects people who want to share from being labeled overachievers or nerds, stifling key contributors. And we all know that we music types have enough of a stereotype to overcome already. I know what you’re thinking. I’ve never seen this movie, and I still know this…

I think that we could generate a culture where students would be excited to check in on students’ videos of their bands, ensembles, duets and solos. It would be a great way to generate excitement leading up to live performances.

Once again, as I said last week, we would need to practice skills of posting and commenting and set expectations as a class for the types, length and frequency of comments.

With this buy in from students and moderation of appropriateness by a teacher, I don’t think that my grade 9-12 students’ parents would have any concerns about them participating in an open online environment. They already are exposed to or participating more potentially unsafe spaces.

SO LET’S TRY IT, PEOPLE!


Issues on Creating Interactions

My Issue

Photo Credit: Ekspresevim Flickr via Compfight cc

In my prototype we are using google classroom with grade 3 students. Student collaboration and teacher support is very important which was shown in our articles we read this week. In ECI 834, I have also seen the importance of this communication. We have a lot of support with google plus, blogs and twitter. It is easily accessible to ask someone a question, collaborate and work with Katia and Alec to support an issue we are having. Thus being said, I am 26 years old and know how to use all of these programs.

For our prototype I am struggling with creating these same interactions with the students I have in mind for this prototype. I am creating a prototype for younger students who do not all have easy internet access and people who may not be able to support them. This is a struggle for me. How can I get such young students to interact with each other? What can I do if students do not have access to the internet? The best solution I have came up with is to create a flipped learning environment.

Here is what I know..

Remind works. In my school I use remind. People have cell phones and can get text messages. Therefore, I will use Remind for students to interact with me. I can send messages out to them and they can respond with a text message. Yes, grade 3 students do not all have phones but their parents do. I know parents want to support their children in any way possible and will use remind to allow them to communicate to their teacher.

Students get 15 mins at school every morning and do have recess during the day. Our school does have a computer lab and does have iPads. Students can access the videos I have recorded before class using school technology if they do not have access to the internet at home.

Students will be using google classroom. Students can comment using google classroom. We will have to make sure our settings allow students to comment and interact with each other as well as their teachers. I have seen students ask questions using google classroom and get a response from the teacher.

Here is what I am thinking…..

If I can create a flipped learning environment the students can collaborate and interact with me on the project part at school. Blended learning is a combination of face to face and computer time.

This will give these young students the opportunity to still get support. They can turn to their neighbor and ask a question. I would use this because I know with flipped learning all of my students in some way will have internet access. I know that they will have the programs they need to use on the computers in our school. I know that students can collaborate. I know that they will have interactions.

Now that being said, this prototype is not supposed to be all in the classroom and does have a blended aspect to it. Students can post on google classroom to ask questions and interact with each other. With google classroom, they will be using this to post their assignments and see the videos. I know that they will be using it because they have to see it. This way I can guarantee that they have access to it. Like I stated earlier even if it is before school, at recess or during the time they get to work on their project they will be on google classroom. I also know Remind works for my school and students. I will use remind to allow students to interact with me.

As you can tell I am still trying to think this through because I am at a loss with these 2 big issues with interactions and this prototype.

So how can I asses this?

In the article, Effectiveness of Using Online Discussion Forum for Case Study Analysis, there were 2 tables that stuck out to me for assessing interactions. One talks about reading articles and showing evidence that the responses have to with the assignment and the other is about number of posts.

I thought these would be a good starting point to create guidelines. They would obviously need to be adapted. I was thinking I would assess students on talking about the assignment and the video I posted. In the video there are questions I am asking throughout. Students can comment in google classroom on these questions which I could assess them on based on participation. Students will be able to discuss these questions there. I could even leave a prompt in google classroom to encourage conversations.

The other part I could assess them on is if they are asking questions and interacting with each other for the assignment. With google classroom I will be able to see if they are asking questions and answering each other. With remind, I can see if they are interacting with me. I would assess this on participation if students are asking questions and interacting with others they would get a participation mark. I think at this age it is difficult to create a specific rubric. I think if they are asking questions and interacting with each other that is great. I think at this age creating collaboration and supporting one another is more important than a summative mark. It is more for their benefit and is more formative.

To conclude I am going to leave you with the question, what do you think I could use to help with my issues?

EXTRA EXTRA read all about it… details about my LMS that is

Hi Friends, This week I wanted to give you a bit of a run down on how I intend to facilitate my Blended Course.  These are just my preliminary ideas and are possibly subject to changes, as I find I am learning more as I go. Sarah has some fabulous ideas in her blog this week in terms of establishing boundaries and participating for her older students.  Although, I think that working with young grade 3 students there is only a need for pre-teaching about “Netiquette” and digital citizenship

how to start a blog in 4 stepsI think for student/student-instructor interactions I will implement a blog. This form will be used so that students can publish their assignments and respond to readings or video’s. I think that once students get the hang of commenting on each others posts they will quite enjoy it. Although I believe that it may be difficult to create a community, this is something that the students have to do for themselves. Elizabeth had a great point when she said “we can try to foster a welcoming, open environment in which students feel a sense of community, but we can’t ensure this in all of our classes”. Image Source 

Choosing this form of student interaction is beneficial because grade 3 students are smart and full of great ideas and they will be able to share their thoughts with their peers online. Perhaps there is a way to moderate as the facilitator so that student blogs and comments can be reviewed before being posted. I also like the idea of commenting on students post, they will see that the teacher has read and thought critically about their post.

Cute small kid girl thinking holding the head. Isolated closeup potrait on whiteWhen facilitating an Blended Classroom I will make sure interactions between students and teacher are genuine.  I believe that awarding marks for participation is a starting point for students.  By encouraging participation with marks, students will begin to explore using blogs and commenting on their peers work and do so in a appropriate manner. This is the first step in meaningful interactions. Students will gain confidence by having fellow students reading and responding to their blogs. I think that both peer assessment and self assessment have value in a blended classroom. Elizabeth mentions the importance of teaching students to use pingbacks in their blogs as it “further encourages them to read other people’s blogs at their leisure and quote them in their own. It is important for students to read other people’s work, and to know that their work will also be read. This will help them see the value and importance of blogging, and the importance of reading something over before submitting it.” Image Source

I thought that I would check out the hyperlinks that were found in the document  Mastering Online Discussion Board Facilitation for some assessment ideas.  I was very disappointed to find out that all the hyperlinks that I tried were broken.  I think that it is very important when setting up a Blended Classroom for students 3-500x254to make sure that all links are working.  By not checking for dead links an educator can run into a lot of wasted time in terms of having students refer to a link provided.

Well this is my starting point, oh yeah and rubrics.  Have you ever used a blog platform in your classroom, which one?