Ed Tech Tips with E. Mosier

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Reflecting on Student Work with a Digital Showcase

Overview

As the end of the year approaches, patience, confidence, and even work quality tends to be on the decline. However, there are easy ways to combat this. One of the easiest ways is to reflect on the positives of the student and their achievements in the class throughout the school year. In fact, there are several simple ways this can be done using a variety of tech tools. Below are a few ways that, no matter which grade level you teach or what subject you specialize in, you can assist your students in creating something tangible that they can be proud of long after their time in your class has ended.

Google Sites for a Student Portfolio

The absolutely easiest way to showcase student work is to have them create their own digital showcase. There are several tech tools available to do this, but the best one, in my humble opinion, is Google Sites. The flexibility and ease of integration with all of the Google apps makes this too difficult to ignore. Students can embed their Google Docs assignments, Google Slides assignments, or even links to their favorite websites from your class. Additionally, they can create a page for each grade, subject area, or even for specific classes of their choosing. Then, once created, they can customize other pages, insert images, and then share out with family members that aren't close enough to see their work each day.

Student Showcase within a Teacher Site

This part can only be accomplished if you have a teacher website, which is quite simple to make. A way to do this would be to use a Google Slides presentation as a carousel of work that automatically plays when guests arrive to that page. Additionally, you can change the size of each Slide to accommodate the size of the assignment. For example, if your students are writing essays, change the size to 8.5" x 11", so it fits much easier on the page. Or, if you create posters, make it 11" x 17" to ensure the resolution stays consistent. Once this is published to the web, you are able to set the parameters to play automatically, how long each slide appears for, and that it loops and plays again when finished.

Showcase student work on Twitter

This is the quickest, most efficient, and simplest way to showcase a student piece of work. If you have a class Twitter page, then take a few pictures of the work, add a specific hashtag to it, and share with the world. In addition to that, make sure to include the building and/or district hashtag so more people are able to see it and appreciate the work the students are doing. Also, if you're using a tech tool for the project, make sure to tag them in the tweet as well so they can be made aware of the amazing things students are creating using their program.

A Vision Board

Allowing students the opportunity for reflection is just as powerful. Combining this with showcasing student work is a home run idea. A perfect way to do this is with a project known as a Vision Board. Kasey Bell from Shake Up Learning wrote on this and I decided to try it out in my class. Each slide becomes a student "vision" or "goal," and they fill each slide with as many pictures as possible. This could be showcased at parent-teacher conferences, or on a teacher's website. It was amazing seeing the thoughts of the students through pictures.

Have Students Create an About.Me Profile

Even if this is geared more towards high school students, this is still quite beneficial. This is a personal information website where they can list their accomplishments, link to their social media profiles, and send prospective employers to external links. Similar to a digital resume, this would be a great starting point for showcasing work.

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