Welcome to my course prototype overview for ECI 834 – online & blended learning. Here you will find all the links needed to access and learn about the exciting world of flight innovation & aviation in a grade 5/6 classroom. This unit is specifically a grade 6 science unit. However, in our split classes, we teach and assess two grade 5 units and two grade 6 units to the entire class for the year. We used OneNote within Office 365 as our platform of choice for this online course as it is provided by our school division. Students were learning to use OneNote for the first time during this learning experience. This course was taught face-to-face using school-provided devices.
Ready for take-off?
Please use the links below to view the different aspects of the course overview.
Check out my video outlining all of the details about my second module for my course prototype. I briefly recap my first module, explain some of my changes and revisions, and explain what my second module entails. Students were able to complete this second module as well, and it was great to see what they were capable of within this lesson. Students were much more confident going into this lesson than the first one because they were unfamiliar with the platform. If you have any questions or comments about the module, please feel free to leave them in the comments below!
Getting students excited about learning is challenging at the best of times. I often find myself introducing new topics to my students by telling them first-hand stories of my personal experiences, jumping around the front of the room to make them laugh, or just being downright loud and silly to remind them that learning can still be fun. In the world of online teaching, engagement is even more challenging. Oftentimes it is the audio that is more important, and the way you deliver your lesson audibly is very powerful.
Online collaboration with middle years students can be tough. They have seen online collaboration already in the form of tagging, commenting and sharing through social media. Unfortunately, a lot of these interactions can sometimes be negative, hurtful or even downright ugly. As teachers, we are trying our hardest to show students what positive online collaboration can look like because they will eventually be required to use it if they plan on engaging in online learning in high school and post-secondary institutions.
Bate’s discusses how online discussion forums are not a new concept, but have grown exponentially since Web 2.0 and 3.0 developments. They are designed to have a thread of communication that can be contributed to at any time, are text-based and allows for dynamic sub-topics to develop over time. Essential elements of a community of inquiry require a social presence, teaching presence and cognitive presence (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2000). These are needed for meaningful online discussions to occur. For successful online collaboration to occur in an educational setting, required principles are needed such as:
clear guidelines on student online behaviour
student orientation and preparation
clear goalsfor the discussions
choice of appropriate topics
setting an appropriate ‘tone’ or requirements for discussion
defining clear learner roles and expectations
monitoring the participation of individual learners, and responding accordingly
regular, ongoing instructor ‘presence’
ensuring strong articulation between discussion topics and assessment.
In my course module, I am trying to engage my students by having a variety of different tasks and activities throughout the lesson instead of having the same process each and every time. I know that some students prefer videos over reading, others prefer speaking instead of writing, and some are just more excited to complete assignments on the computer versus pencil and paper. Because my students are completing this module in the classroom, most of my “hook”, directions and checking in are me in person, verbally talking with the class. However, I am learning that I can do this digitally as well even though they are physically in the classroom.
I am very thankful that Katia included Michael Wesch’s video because it had the most impact on me out of all of the other articles posted. It goes to show that videos can be much more engaging than research articles (but I think we already knew that haha). In the video “What Teachers Can learn from Youtubers about engaging students online“, the very first line resonated with me that states “Wondering if I should go on being a teacher, or just get out of the way to make room for somebody else”. This is a regular thought of mine when dealing with the mental and emotional exhaustion of working with a diverse group of students post-pandemic. Each day can sometimes feel like its own hurdle, and making it to the end of the week is an accomplishment in itself.
Nothing is more disconcerting than teaching to an entire group of students through Zoom or Microsoft teams who have their microphones and cameras off for the entire time and it is just you, wondering if anyone is still out there listening or paying any attention to the lesson you have prepared. I felt this during my time teaching online during the pandemic, where students didn’t have much choice in the online delivery method, and also in university classes where we are choosing to be there.
Michael Wesch describes the idea of teaching without walls. He shares how his previous recorded lecture videos were boring, and not exciting and his participation in the class dropped significantly during those times. He realized that his face did not always have to be on the screen for effective teaching. I feel as though this can be true for in-person teaching as well. He set out to discover how he can make content that students enjoy, want to watch, want to continue watching and will engage with.
Point Of View – This allows the viewers a different perspective of what they are engaging with and can allow for more video creativity and recording opportunities.
Stock Video & Audio – Layering your own audio over pre-made video and images allows for much quicker development of content and keeps the viewers engaged with graphics and images that are simply nice to look at. Adding background music as well can set the mood and tone of the delivery of the content as well. I do this using Canva Video all the time!
Graphic Design – Using simple shapes and graphics you can create your own customized images that are specific to the ideas and thoughts you want to deliver. Powerpoint is a very underrated tool in my opinion and there are so many unknown hacks and features that the basic user is not aware of.
Animation – Using simple tools you can put graphics into motion and create your own real animation without the hassle of complex and expensive animation software programs. Using the morph transition in PowerPoint is an easy and effective way to have it look like all of your elements are moving just like they would in a true animation.
Screen Recording – This is one of the most effective tools for sharing your knowledge of how to do almost anything on a computer with someone else who is not present in the room with you. Most Youtube tutorial videos involving anything actually on the computer are done through screen recording so you can see the step-by-step process instead of blindly following written steps. Putting these different recordings together can sometimes require a video editor. There are a lot of different options available, and when first starting out always opt for a free version that is beginner-friendly and work from there.
Your lecture is about X – The Y is about why it will be interesting to the person watching. We are quick to tell our students about X, but forget to tell them Y it is interesting, intriguing, or important.
Invite your students to explore the journey of how you came to learn or understand the material that you have prepared for them. We often forget that our students connect with us the most when they can relate to us. Knowing that we also go through the learning process when teaching this material can help bridge the gap between student and teacher. It is not “I am the teacher and I know everything and you must learn it”. This is not inviting or engaging to the student. Learning together is so powerful and showing them your journey using point of view, and other tools listed above will change how you teach your students and engage them in different ways that you never knew possible.
Knowing what I now know about what I can learn from Youtubers, is potentially recording myself with a different point of view or even screen recording to give my students the excitement to start off their lesson on Onenote. They would probably love seeing or hearing from me through their headphones instead of just reading what I wrote down for the instructions. Maybe I can do a screen recording of myself giving the directions and then put that at the top of the OneNote to start off the lesson. It may seem like more work behind the scenes, but I have a feeling that if every student watched/listened to that video once or twice they would be able to figure out the directions and answer some of their own questions instead of coming to me every single minute asking what do I do next? Let me know your thoughts or if you have done something similar to this in the past.
The video that I provided in my course module is from the teacher’s view of the classroom Notebook. For students, it looks the exact same except they only see their own name on the left-hand side of the page.
The collaboration space is similar to a Google Doc where any changes or edits can be made by anyone within the class. This area requires a lot of pre-teaching for students to understand and respect that you are in a shared space. Accidents can happen where text or pictures gets deleted, so this space I usually wait to use this later on once they are more experienced. Students can only see their name on the left-hand side of the OneNote notebook and view their own work with the exception of the collaboration space.
When working within the OneNote page students can zoom in just like they would on a word document or a web browser page to make the text larger and easier for them to read.
I learned early on that creating text boxes for my students within OneNote helps alleviate organization issues when completing different assignments within the page. I also try to remember to tell them that if they delete them by accident it’s very simple to add them back in as well.
The first module will be assessed using just the Flip Grid video recording. I will be assessing the first outcome of Flight 6.1 – History of flight aviation and also an ELA outcome for speaking and representing in both grades. I have a rubric for the Flipgrid response that I will save as a PDF and distribute to all students on a separate page. Then I can go through each student and fill out the rubric with my stylis accordingly. Students can view their marks on the rubric digitally within OneNote underneath each page. I would then enter those individual marks into Edsby. Physical copies of the rubric can be provided as well.
Wifi & Connection Issues – Regardless of what platform you choose to use with your students, none of them work properly without a good wifi connection. Depending on the day sometimes all computers work perfectly, others there are students who are left frustrated and defeated because they can’t complete their assignments due to their pages not loading properly. Additionally, student devices need to be updated regularly or else they don’t function the way they are supposed to. This can sometimes take up the entire work period depending on what needs to be done.
New Platforms – Introducing a new platform is always challenging for the teacher. Even if you have visual step-by-step directions on the board that you very clearly explain to them verbally and demonstrate step by step with your device, there are still constant questions. You feel like you spend the entire work period running around from student to student helping with various questions and issues that by the end of the period you are exhausted.
Some changes that I will make for Module 2 in the future is definitely allowing for more time during class to complete the assignment. I have found that in general, my students end up needing more time than classes I have had previously across all subject areas due to a more diverse set of learners. Especially considering this is a new platform for them, they need time to get comfortable navigating it.
If I continue to use OneNote throughout the rest of this unit I would want to make sure that each lesson is different to keep the kids engaged. Utilizing different digital instructional strategies keeps the lessons from being too repetitive or predictable.
I will be going in and making sure that my assessment for Module 2 is more clear and I will be able to give an example of what a completed assessment looks like from my first module as well.
For my second module, I will try to find the best way to either hide or blur out my student names on the left-hand side for privacy reasons. I can slide the column over to the left to shrink the size of the column a bit but all of the last names are still visible.
Questions I still have:
Something that I am currently struggling with across all subject areas is accommodating for my EAL learner in my classroom. They speak very little English and are also quite shy as well. I end up leaning a lot on another student in my classroom that speaks the same language as them for translation and other technology tools. Over the past few months, she has learnt to translate assignment directions and work towards simple responses to show some understanding of the topic. I have been working towards using more photos, visuals and videos so that they can picture what is happening based on what they can see. I plan on reaching out to my EAL teacher at my school and showing her my module and asking her for some feedback and what she would do to make the lesson more accessible to English language learners.
Accessbility & Equity
Within this course, I have currently made some instructional and academic adaptations for students in my class that I already know have different abilities and require modifications for them to be successful. This includes both my EAL student and students who are on a transitional learning plan and record of adaptation.
For students to have the most success using this platform and devices in general I have always encouraged them to use a computer mouse instead of the trackpad. This year we put computer mice on the grades 5-8 school supplies list and it has been extremely helpful. Students struggle to learn the concept of what a left and right click is without a mouse, and it can be difficult to copy and paste with a trackpad when fine motor skills are still being developed. Students who did not have their own mouse are provided one of the school-purchased mice that we have had in storage for years from old desktop computers. See below a video discussing the pros and cons of mouse vs. trackpad. Keep in mind that my students are using Windows computers and not Macs.
In addition, students require their own headphones for viewing videos independently. This is treated the same way as the mice where they are on the school supplies list, but we also have extras in the classroom for students to use.
Navigating OneNote at home can be challenging if the student does not have a computer or tablet. Using OneNote in the app version on a cellphone can be difficult because it is so small.
Hey everyone! Check out my video below where I give a walkthrough of my online course prototype shell and first module. Please feel free to leave any questions or comments afterwards regarding my video.
My aim is that this lesson will take up our entire 40-minute block for science for most of my students. By the time I explain the task and have them all set up on their OneNote pages on their devices ready to begin, they will need to work diligently to get through everything I have planned. I have left some wiggle room for students who may struggle with navigating OneNote on their devices or for recording their Flipgrid responses and more time can be allocated if needed. We often have to take turns sharing the quiet spaces throughout the school for recording in a more private area so students feel comfortable in their videos. They often record in the hallway, library, or empty classrooms around the school. Enjoy!
For this week’s task of exploring a tech application, I decided to learn more about Flip (previously known as Flipgrid). I have used Flip twice as a user and the experience overall was quite simple. When I was applying for the connected educator program within my school division, we had to give a 1-minute “elevator pitch” video that explained why we should be chosen to be accepted into the program. This program is offered for individuals who have aspirations to use technology to the fullest within their classroom. This program provides one-to-one devices for you and your classroom only. I already had an account made from this, and my video response was still saved from over nine months ago!
Flip is a video-based tool that allows for discussion across digital devices, but in a fun and engaging way that makes it ideal for use in education. I turned to Tech & Learning to learn more about Flip and all that it has to offer in the classroom setting. Flip can be used in any mode of blended learning and encourages students to use their voices to enhance their learning.
Flip is designed to help with group discussions. The ability to re-record responses helps take off the pressure, making this a very enabling tool for education. Students can also trim and edit their videos as well. This is very comparable to the video feature that my students use on Seesaw. Anyone with the link can respond to the topic created by the teacher, which opens up the floor for students from any classroom, school, division or even country to participate in the conversation as long as they have the link.
First, I created the group that my class is going to use. This is where I can find all of the different topics that I plan to use for my unit. You could create separate groups for each class or subject depending on how often you plan on using Flip.
This is what the home page of the group looks like from the teacher’s view. Once I created the group it gave me some cute cover photos to choose from and I was ready to create my first topic.
I will be using flip as one of the first digital activities within my course profile. Students will be given the link for this flip grid within their OneNote lesson. I want them to record a 1-minute video about everything that they already know about flight. This is to replace a traditional KWL chart.
Once I was finished creating the topic, it gives various options for sharing the link with students. It is integrated with Google Classroom and Microsoft. You can also share it with various social media applications as well if you wanted to get responses from the general public about a topic. I will be copying the student link into a OneNote lesson and distributing it to students.
When students are recording their videos on Seesaw I often will send a few students to work in various places in the schools where they can record in a quiet place without feeling as though they are being watched by their peers. I usually send them to the hallway, the library or one of the workspace rooms that we have to use. If students have headphones with a microphone attached it helps for better sound quality. I will do the same thing for recording Flip videos as well. When students record their videos they can add text, emojis and stickers to personalize their responses.
This program has options to like and comment on each other’s videos. I have turned off the comment feature because kids can unfortunately sometimes be cruel and right now I want to focus on recording their own videos first instead of watching and commenting on others’ videos. For my student’s privacy, I will not be sharing the link with anyone except for my students right now. I can also moderate and approve all videos that are submitted with my link to avoid posts that do not belong there.
Do you use Flipgrid with your students? What are some ways that you have connected with other classes or schools while using it? How have you incorporated it into your classroom before?
My target audience for this course prototype is my current classroom of kiddos. I have 27 students in a grade 5/6 split (11 in grade 6 and 16 in grade 5). We are located at St. Bernadette School in Regina, Saskatchewan. I have been teaching there for 5 years and we are a connected classroom. We have one-to-one devices that we will be using for this course prototype. All of the student work will be completed on their devices, in the classroom. My students have been working to enhance their digital skills and this project will be the next step up for them. There will definitely be a learning curve for some, however, I am confident that most will be successful.
Students will be completing this course through a blended learning model. It will be further to the left of the blended learning continuum with face-to-face lessons in the classroom while utilizing classroom aids such as learning management systems (LMS). All coursework will be done synchronously during class time.
Platform: The platform that I will be using for my course prototype is Class OneNote. My school division already uses Office 365, so my students have easy access to this application on their Clever homepage. This Microsoft program allows my students to view module lessons and individually distribute assignments where they can complete coursework independently. They can also use an area called a collaboration space where all students can contribute to a shared page that everyone has access to.
Instructional/Communication: Students will be able to access their daily lessons on the subject tabs on the left-hand side of the home screen. This will then be broken down into lessons organized by topic and date where students can find a particular lesson. Within that page, students will find instructions, links to websites, videos, pdf documents, images, and tasks for students to complete. Students can complete their tasks directly on the page and I can view the work that they have completed from the host’s perspective. In addition, they can work in small or large groups within the collaboration space to complete group work and brainstorm ideas together. OneNote is flexible in that you can incorporate other websites with it so that students are staying engaged and aren’t completing repetitive work over and over again.
Assessment Tools: As students complete their lessons, I can view each individual student’s work that they have completed. I can type (or write with a stylus) comments on their work to give them both formative and summative feedback on their assignments. Student can upload their own documents to the OneNote page as well. They can create Word documents, PowerPoints, digital posters, voice recordings, and videos which can be uploaded for myself and the student to see. All work that is completed by the student is private from the rest of the class unless it is in the collaboration space.
Course Content & Learning Objectives
My course will be focusing on the Grade 6 Physical Science unit of flight. The main outcome that will be highlighted through this prototype is FL 6.1. I have also included all of the indicators from this outcome from the Saskatchewan Curriculum. I will pick and choose certain indicators as a guide for each lesson.
Flight 6.1 – Examine connections between human fascination with flight and technologies and careers based on the scientific principles of flight.
Observe and describe physical characteristics and adaptations that enable birds (e.g., ravens, hawks, loons, geese, hummingbirds, sandpipers, cranes, and sparrows), insects (e.g., mosquitoes, dragonflies, grasshoppers, bees, wasps, and butterflies), and bats to fly.
Show how First Nations and Métis art and storytelling highlight understanding of and respect for birds.
Research technological problems that had to be overcome to develop devices that fly (e.g., balloons, kites, gliders, airplanes, helicopters, and rockets) and explain how various creative solutions to those problems have resulted in the development of flying devices with different designs.
Discuss historical and current contributions of individuals, including Canadians, who have contributed to scientific understanding and technological developments related to flight.
Explain how inventions based on principles of flight have changed the way people work, live, and interact with the environment locally, nationally, and globally (e.g., bush planes in northern Saskatchewan, scheduled airline travel, supply of cargo to remote communities and mine sites, and transoceanic air travel).
Describe career opportunities in Canada related to the science and technology of flight.
Students will be assessed on the completion of weekly lessons within the course. Some lessons will be completed individually, some in partners, and some in groups. Each lesson will focus on one of the indicators listed above. Each lesson will require some type of work completed by the student/group whether it is a typed, recorded, or uploaded response. Each lesson will be assessed on our division’s assessment scale provided below.
EAL – I have one student who just recently moved to Canada from Vietnam. I have another student in my class who is fluent in both English and Vietnamese who I lean on for translation from time to time. OneNote has the feature of using Microsoft Translator where the text can be read or listened to. She requires an additional explanation of lessons & tasks in smaller chunks that are simplified directions. I can modify her specific page so that she is working on what is appropriate for her due to the language barrier with access to the translator feature.
Adaptations – I have one student who is on a transitional learning plan (TLP) for math and writing. Specifically, with writing, she struggles the most with sentence structure and spelling. OneNote’s feature of speech to text is very helpful for her which is known as dictate. She can also utilize the spell-check feature to ensure her spelling is correct. Other students will also benefit from these features as well. Other students will also require more direct instruction when learning how to navigate the program itself. I encourage students to ask and help their neighbours when learning something new as well.
Digital Citizenship & Classroom Management – Students will be expected to follow the same set of expectations and rules surrounding digital citizenship and the use of our devices. We spend a lot of time reinforcing proper digital procedures to ensure we are promoting positive digital citizenship within the classroom. This includes a variety of different items such as privacy, security, cyberbullying, information literacy, etiquette, handling of devices, and approved school websites.
Attendance/Wifi – Students will not be expected to work on this course from home unless they are absent for an extended period of time. Students can access their office 365 account from any device using their school credentials and login information. In addition, students will be given ample time to complete their work within class time and we just received a new wifi booster in our classroom. This should help eliminate the slow internet speeds we were experiencing before Christmas.
I have chosen to use Class OneNote as my platform because I have a little bit of experience using it in a portion of my EC&I 832 major digital project. In this project, I explored OneNote, Canva, and Minecraft Edu for the first time. Within Class OneNote, I had students complete comprehension questions for a class read-aloud. This was a very basic use of OneNote as it was a learning experience for both myself and my students last year. I want to refresh my understanding that I already know and learn about the new and different features that I wasn’t utilizing then. My goal is to have more variety within each lesson and incorporate various different tasks for students to complete throughout the modules.
I decided to teach the grade six science unit on flight because the outcome specifically talks about human fascination and technologies used in the area of flight innovation. It seemed only fitting to use technology to do so. Also, I have pre-interns that will be coming back to join my classroom for the month of March. I thought it would be beneficial for my interns to see what a digital unit could look like in action with the subject that they will be teaching when they are here. When they are teaching they will be focusing on outcomes 6.2 and 6.3 of the flight unit. I am looking forward to my students experiencing their first fully digital unit in my classroom and seeing how it goes!
Blended learning is the continuum of face-to-face learning with synchronous and/or asynchronous digital learning as well. Some examples include classroom aids, flipped, and hybrid learning. Blended learning helps encourage self-directed learning and independence. It is not necessarily a 50/50 split but can be tailored to fit the student and teacher’s needs at that moment in time. As soon as you bring technology into the classroom you are essentially blended teaching and learning.
By going off of my definition above, I have experienced blended learning for a good portion of my schooling. I remember in grade 7 our elementary school received one laptop cart for the senior end of the school to share. This was around 2007 when Desktop Mac computers were just beginning to be replaced with laptops and more access to devices in classrooms. I remember it being extremely exciting however we usually had to share a laptop with a partner, and everyone was saving documents to the desktop and USB sticks. The cloud certainly did not exist at this point. Digital citizenship hardly existed and it seemed as though our teachers were definitely learning with us in the moment. The fact that kids were typing on a white laptop also showed how dirty our hands are because they quickly become grey/brown. Throughout high school, we often used computer labs in various classes as well. My graduation present from high school in 2013 was a Macbook Pro laptop that I am currently still using to type this blog post! Ten years is a pretty good life span for Apple devices nowadays.
The first experience that I can remember of a more traditional “blended learning” class was during my undergraduate courses at the U of R. Kin 180 – Human Development was one of the only classes that I took that was specifically offered as blended learning. We had two classes per week for 50 minutes each instead of 3, and then online tasks and discussion forums to complete asynchronously. As students, we quite enjoyed this model because it eliminated the third 50-minute class from our weekly schedule. This was huge when taking five classes that had both seminars and labs and I’m sure the professor appreciated it too.
Benefits & Challenges of Blended Learning For Teachers:
Portfolios & Communication
During the pandemic, my students were using their devices much more often at home during isolation periods and hybrid learning. However, this school year I find that students want little to nothing to do with digital learning at home as it equates to doing homework for them. Today, my students use devices every day in the classroom. We use devices throughout all subject areas and for a variety of different lessons, assignments, projects and reflections. Even though we have ample access to technology and platforms, my class still struggles with balancing technology enhancing their learning versus it becoming a distraction. Here are a few examples of what we use our devices for on a regular basis. This is not a comprehensive list, but these are a few of the main tools I use and some require paid subscriptions on the school and division levels.
Seesaw Digital Portfolios (Parents connected to student accounts)
Sora (Digital Library Website for E-books & audiobooks)
Mathletics (Supplemental math lessons connected with Saskatchewan Outcomes)
Canva – Digital design space for creating artwork, posters, slideshow, videos
Office 365 – Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Teams, OneNote, Outlook
What are your favourite platforms or websites that you enjoy using with your students? Let me know in the comments!
Hello everyone! Welcome to my online space where I will share my thoughts and ideas regarding online and blended learning with Katia’s class. For those of you who have never visited my blog site before, welcome! I enjoy sharing information that I have learned from class and my classmates as well as my personal experiences from the classroom, colleagues, and teaching over the years.
I currently teach grade 5/6 in Regina, Saskatchewan and I have been teaching for five years so far. My Twitter handle is @msmihial and I enjoy sharing things that are going on in my classroom and school there as well as topics we are discussing in this class. This is my fifth educational technology class and I have always enjoyed them because I have gained so much practical knowledge that I can use directly within my classroom. I enjoy using technology in the classroom and implementing technology use with my students in an authentic way that benefits their learning and supports various learning styles.
My personal experience with teaching online and blended learning are strictly thanks to Covid-19 protocols. I taught online from March-June of 2020, and a few weeks in December 2020 and April 2021. Additionally, I taught a bit of blended/remote learning in the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school years as well due to students isolating for multiple weeks at a time and being away from school for longer periods. This included sending home a combination of homework packages and digital assignments and trying my best to help students and answer questions over teams when I had the chance to check in on them. The platforms that I am most familiar with are Seesaw and Office 365 including Teams, OneNote, Word, Powerpoint, and Sway. In addition, I have enjoyed using Canva, Minecraft EDU, StoryboardThat, Mathletics, and Mathigon for supplement learning.
This year I am fortunate enough to have been accepted into my division’s connected educator program, which provides my students one-to-one devices in my room specifically from year to year. This allows for ample access to technology and I am looking forward to utilizing it for our Course Prototype Development assignment.