Thursday, February 14, 2013

Making Meaning With Mobile Apps

Yesterday afternoon my follow-up presentation to my keynote on collaborative learning with technology was titled Making Meaning With Mobile Apps. There were quite a few requests for the slides so I uploaded them to Slideshare and have posted them below. (The blank spaces are where I had video clips that I have licensed but cannot redistribute).

Making Learning Collaborative

Yesterday, I had the privilege of giving a keynote talk to a great group of school administrators and teachers in Westchester County, New York. The topic of my talk was using technology to create collaborative learning experiences. Many people asked for the slides so I uploaded them to Slideshare and I have embedded them into this post. (The blank slides are ones in which I had licensed videos that I cannot redistribute).

A Crash Course in Chemistry

This post is for my friend Walter Perry and my brother-in-law Dr. Nathan Hnatiuk who teach chemistry. The next time your students are in need of some chemistry review materials to watch online, they might want to visit the new Crash Course Chemistry series from Hank and John Green. In the new series Hank teaches us about Chemistry. In the first video in the series, embedded below, we learn about atoms and their properties.

UtellStory - Tell a Story With Pictures and Voice

UtellStory is a new service for creating and sharing audio slideshows. To create and share your story through UtellStory you can upload pictures, add text captions, add audio narration to each slide, and upload a soundtrack to support your entire story. Completed projects can be embedded into your blog, emailed to your friends, or shared through your favorite social networking sites. Watch UTellStory's introduction here.

Creating my first UTellStory project, available here, took me about ten minutes after registering on the site. To create my story I uploaded pictures that I had saved on my computer, but I could have also pulled images from Flickr. Then I added the narration to each slide. In the free version of UTellStory you have thirty seconds per slide and up to two minutes of total audio. I rearranged my slides after recording by simply dragging them into the sequence in which I wanted them to appear.

Applications for Education 
UtellStory could be a great way for students to create and share short stories about things that they photograph. When your students are on a field trip ask them to take pictures to use in an UtellStory report about what they saw and learned on the trip. Or have students search for Creative Commons and Public Domain images to use as part of an audio slideshow biography about a notable person in history.

UtellStory does offer a paid version for educators. The paid version allows you to create and manage student accounts.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Collaboration is a Daily Activity

This morning I am giving a talk about using technology for collaborative learning. One of the points that I plan to emphasize is that collaboration should be happening in your classroom on a daily basis. Collaboration in the classroom isn't new, what's new is that it can happen in real-time and it can happen 24/7. Collaboration can happen in the manner pictured above in which the first grade students I worked with last week helped each other with GoAnimate projects. Collaboration can be using TodaysMeet to exchange ideas to support a classroom discussion. Collaboration can be using a Padlet wall to create collaborative KWL walls. Or collaboration can be asking your students to text a parent during class to get additional perspectives to add to a classroom conversation.

Certainly, technology enables you and your students to undertake collaborative projects that in the past would have taken weeks and complete them in shorter periods of time. Think about the peer-editing process for written work. In the past a student would write his or her paper, print it, bring it to school, swap papers with a classmate, and then read, edit, and return the paper. Now you can use Google Documents and speed up that process which in turn allows you to spend more time on the writing process and less time waiting for the process to happen. Bigger projects like video creation projects can now be completed by a team working remotely. I like WeVideo for this purpose. By using the combination of the website and the Android app students can work from anywhere to make contributions and edits to their projects.