Category Archives: Weekly Reflections 834

(Flip) Grid!

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?

Blended Learning is a Heinz 57 of Technology in The Classroom

Blended Learning – What is it?

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.

Personal Experience

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.

https://www.reddit.com/r/mac/comments/uvyg1v/
macbook_2007_still_showing_its_terrific_muscles/

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:

BenefitsChallenges
EngagementClassroom Management
Portfolios & CommunicationTechnical Difficulties
DifferentiationLearning Curve
CollaborationPlatforms/Cost
Data AnalysisDigital Citizenship

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!

Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels.com

Welcome To The World of ECI 834

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.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com