DT&L Bytes

Digital Teaching and Learning @PCHS │ February 26, 2018

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The Story Begins Here - Reflecting to Learn

At the end of every week my students pulled out their iPads and they wrote. They opened up blogs that they created, designed and personalized, and they shared their stories. They wrote about what they learned that day or that week; they shared thoughts about the lessons or topics; they added images to support their thoughts; they responded to specific questions about what they were learning and they shared overall thoughts. This recurring assignment appeared in our LMS, but it was part of our class culture. We were learning together through this regular process of writing and reflecting.

Telling the story of our learning is a powerful means of processing and sharing that learning. Students construct meaning and apply prior knowledge to their new learning during this process of reflection (Costa). This process helps students to see the significance in what they’re doing, process what went well and what needs to change; and pause to think critically about the content (Alrubail). It’s Google-proof.

We may be well aware of the benefits of reflection, putting that into practice can be something different. Which tool do I use? How often do I have the students do this? How do I assess this process? These are very real questions that need to be considered before you start the process.

The habit of reflecting is what brings about that metacognitive process, so regular practice is key. The means depends on you, your practice, your available resources and your class culture. Paper and pencil are of course an option. That wasn’t an option for me because I wanted students to be able to include images and audio (plus I didn’t want to carry them), but that was my class. Blog and Vlogs are are popular options. Google Sites, Weebly, Edublogs are all good resources for that. Flipgrid is newer on the playing field and provides a platform for students to really exercise their voice. Padlet has added a number of new features to allow students to draw, video, take pictures, add audio and type directly into Padlet. Google Docs or Slides are additional possibilities, too. What tools works best for you? Which tools fits best in your classroom culture?

What do you have students write and reflect on? What questions do I ask? What stories should they tell? Here are some resources to help:

How do I evaluate these pieces? Here are some rubric examples to help you get started:

Additional Resources:

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Tool Time Workshop - Making Note-Taking Meaningful

This week's Tool Time Workshop is Making Note-taking Meaningful. Let's look at ways to bring research together with our digital tools to make taking notes a meaningful experience for students.

Tool Time Workshops are 15 minutes of testing out a new tool that meets a pedagogical need. They start 5 minutes after lunch starts and end before lunch is over allowing you time to get your lunch, stop by the Collaboration Room, have some hands-on time with a new tool, eat your lunch, and get back in time for your next class. You're welcome to bring a device, but there will also be some available. If you want more time with the tool, we'll figure that out together.

What's APPening?

Many of us are familiar with Quizlet as a vocabulary practice tool, but it can do so much more!

New to Quizlet are Diagrams. Create a diagram from any illustration or map or chart. Label that diagram with specific points for your students to study in a more engaging way. Does you diagram have text on it? No problem! You can blur any text you might not want students to see.

And don't forget Quizlet's standard features:

  • study vocabulary and concepts through flashcards
  • search for created sets or create your own
  • try a variety of activities to study concepts and vocabulary
  • upload pictures or choose from Quizlet's gallery
  • embed Quizlet sets into your LMS of choice
  • create quizzes directly from your sets

Quizlet has so many possibilities! Try it today!

Which Digital Tools are You Using?

We've had a lot of freedom at Pine Creek regarding the tools we choose to use. We'd like to continue having you, the experts, continue to be the ones choosing the tools your students use. That's why we are asking you to partner with us.

Partner with us and help us ensure your tools for classes, teams, clubs and activities are approved and ready for to use when you need them. PLAN AHEAD. Visit Pine Creek's Resource List; it includes the resources submitted by you. Don't see the one you'd like to use? Visit the District database. Still don't see your resource? Fill out the Digital Tool Application and we'll get it submitted to District IT for approval. Once the tool is approved, we'll update our list and inform you. This process takes time, especially if a purchase needs to be made.

Please be patient with us and the District as we embark on this new process. The District database is continually being updated as is our own resource list. Our goal is to ensure you have the resources you need while protecting our students' privacy.

Have questions? Contact anyone of your Digital Resource Team members, Susan, Sasha or Steve.

What can your Digital Learning Coach do for you?

  • Share with you what tools we have available to you and your students
  • Show you how to use the tools we have
  • Push out course-specific apps to you and your students
  • Co-teach with you so that you can focus on the content and I can focus on the tool and any digital issues
  • Trouble-shoot issues, iPad and Desktop
  • Share our Vision and what it means as we travel down the road towards making that it real
  • Help you plan and reflect on lessons using digital tools
  • Provide Digital Citizenship tips and resources

I'm here to serve you!