End-of-Year Sharing Event 2016

Melissa Schenck

How did I leverage technology to support a personalized learning environment?

How do I show thee, let me count the ways...
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Collaboration and Connection

This year, I have used Padlet, YouTube, Google Docs and Google Classroom, and Smore (the site this flyer is on - imo easy to use!) to have my students collaborate and connect to others.

With Padlets, students defined what it means to create a successful language classroom, made predictions about each other's lives, shared with each other what they learned about job requirements and interview do/don'ts, posted advice/opinions from different people's perspectives as if they were on a blog. Set up in a doc where you have a series of links to click on and prompts to respond to, students could comment on Padlets at their own pace with their own ideas and opinions.

With Google Docs (and Google Classroom) and all of their linking powers, students were able to work in groups at different stations to accomplish different tasks or comment on/edit each other's work. Individually, they were able to provide input in the creation of vocabulary lists and to select their own links from a playlist of games, videos and other resources to ensure that they got the practice THEY thought they needed. They were held accountable for most work through the use of screenshots or checking the revision history.

Deeper Learning

To create opportunities for deeper learning, I have had students use ScreenCastify, Smore, and Google Slides.

Using ScreenCastify (in some cases with Google Slides too), students were able to present authentic information either about themselves or a specific topic in a format that was both show AND tell but without the fear of presenting in front of the class. Some examples of the use of this app were to create tutorials to teach others how to use a piece of technology and to make videos about their families.

Similiarly, Smore and Slides were used to present information to others. In Spanish 2, they also used Slides to create review tutorials for each other at the beginning of the year!


I think this is where my students and I had the most fun this year. We have played around with Quizlet, Quizlet Live, Kahoot, TEAM Kahoot, Quizizz, SuperTeacherTools (Jeopardy), Conjuguemos.com, Quia Web games (they especially like Battleship), 123teachme.com (remember ShellShocked???) and cram.com (has a Bejeweled-esque) one. With the exception of the websites after Quizizz, you can even save their results to provide actionable feedback. With the others, I had them take screenshots.

With these games, students have been more engaged (they always want to win). Quizlet Live is my particular favorite here since it gets kids to communicate about vocabulary, checking to see who has what and what the word means... and even *GASP* sharing answers with others for a positive cause. You do have to own a Quizlet list to have them play, but you can always make a copy of one you find! They ASK to play it, and I always do 2 rounds with the same teams so they can rematch against the team who won. It's nice too because Quizlet Live shuffles them so the same kids don't always work together. They also get to learn animal names in Spanish (the team names are assigned to them). Win-win!

Student quote (M.Alger): "I honestly feel like I learned more in 5 minutes playing Quizlet Live than with many other activities this year. I really liked playing/competing with my friends."

Quizlet Live

See for yourself!

Self-Directed Learning

Finally, to engage the students in self-directed learning, I have utilized Blendspace, EdPuzzle and Google Doc Playlists/tutorials (or my old Socrative tutorials from last year, complete with YouTube videos and Google Form). The students get to choose the pace at which they progress, the method in which they learn and also the form that their individualized practice takes. In this way, they take ownership for their learning since student choice and learning style preferences are incorporated.

I have used EdPuzzle for note-taking as well as formative listening practice, while Blendspace I typically use just for notes or possibly a playlist of activities to try out. Usually Google Docs is my go-to for playlists because that way the kids can see a description of the link without having to dig.

Example: EdPuzzle

Fyi: Actually in Spanish and a few minutes long.

Professional Learning Experiences

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How did I use my 7+ hours to investigate the topic of personalized learning (through tech)?

To fulfill my professional development hours, I engaged in a variety of activities.

Rhode Island Foreign Language Association Fall Conference 2016

The conference sported a variety of sessions which one could attend. Of note was a session called "Come On, Get 'Appy". In this session, a fellow language teacher provided us with a series of Web 2.0 tools and educational apps that language teachers could use immediately... and we did! My favorites were WeVideo (a video editor), PowToon (a cartoon maker) and EdPuzzle (a tool to assess student understanding while they are watching a video you made or found). Unless it says language specific, I'm sure you can find a way to use it in your own class! ;-)

The collective handout from this session is here: https://goo.gl/LF7bgD

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School-sponsored Tech Seminars (aka Tech Tuesdays)

I attended a couple of tech/blended learning seminars this year. These included the Forms and Flubaroo seminar as well as the Myths and Reality about Blended Learning Webinar in the library. I also went through some of the Tech Tuesday slide decks on my own time, including Gmail: Tips and Tricks and How to be a Search Ninja. Being a Digital semi-Native, these were helpful because I was able to explore some of the more advanced uses of the tools but also clarify any assumptions/misunderstandings I had about any of them. The blended learning seminar helped show how this approach to teaching is playing out in other schools.

For those of you who haven't visited it and want to embark on click trip, here's the ITC Tech Tuesday Page: https://goo.gl/BSyMGC

If you need any help on any of these apps, don't be afraid to ask!

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Professional Development Articles/Readings

The rest of my time was spent checking out professional development articles or playlists sent out either our administration or sites/apps that I use (Schoology, Padlet, Google Classroom) OR by things that I found on my own. The link to my accrued list of articles and investigations into a variety of Web 2.0 tools can be found here: https://goo.gl/tHlocz

For those of you who might say "TLDR", to save you some time, here is the best thing I found by far - a Padlet with embedded Padlets about a variety of tech tools AND their uses. ---> https://padlet.com/edtechpad/megapadlet <--- Be sure to scroll down since there are MANY more tools below what you can initially see. The best thing is that you can even add your own ideas here! Sharing is caring :-).

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