This post discussing is created as a part of a Georgia Online Professional Learning course.
Wikipedia is one of the first online entities that proposed open learning concept
Once upon a time, all educational material and resources were tangible- books, microfilms, magazines and the reference librarian. It was common sight to see the educators standing around a copying machine and lugging heavy textbooks for lesson planning. Now a days, information is available online, at a click of a button. We are no longer bound to books and paper copies of facsimiles of magazines to compile resources. With privilege of information at the fingertips comes the right to educate ourselves to fair use of material. When we use the information that is not owned by us, we need to give proper credit and attribution. It is a good idea to provide a link to original post or source as well. Not sure how to do it? Help is closer than you think. Go ahead and review the information The Edublogger has on Fair use of Images, copyright and Creative Commons
Not enough time to review the edublogger article?
That is fine. Here is a quick overview of CC licences from Creative Commons website
You ask: What is an Open Educational Resource?
Open Educational Resources is any educational and learning material that is:
Educational material or resources that is “open” = free to use as opposed to commercial / paid
In public domain or introduced with an Open licence
Material that can be used freely, adopted or modified and shared again
This post is created as a part of Georgia Professional Learning course. Creating differentiated instruction involves using best tools to make learning fun. We will discuss Desmos, a web 2.0 graphing calculator to facilitate student learning about marvelous mathematics.
Not to give away my age, but I learned to graph with paper and pencil. Graphic calculators were not out till I graduated from the college. Graphing was tedious and time consuming. Teachers pulled their proverbial hair out when the students failed to grasp graphing function. Then came graphing calculators and sanity everywhere was restored. Desmos graphing calculator with online presence and apps for android and iPad app is another example of technology making life interesting.
I am using Desmos to differentiate instruction in my Algebra 2 classroom. The ease of use and accessibility of Desmos as on the go instructional tool allows me to reach my students regardless of their comfort with mathematics. With minimum fuss, the students can observe the rules of transformation in action while working at their own speed and I can assist them as needed without hurting their dignity.
Let me share two screenshots from the concept Transforming Basic functions.
Parent Graph: y = X^2
Manipulating the graphs, no problem! Having fun? Definitely.
Parent Graph: y=x^3
As you can see, graphing is no longer boring task but can be a fun learn used in exit tickets, team competitions and real understanding of concepts. Students can continue creating graphs while waiting for lunch to be over or little brother to come our of the school, they may go to Red Bubble and make $$ by selling their creations. Students look forward to the summative assessment Desmos Art Project for Graphing Functions, to show their prowess and earn bragging rights. I can truly says that this tool has made math enjoyable for my kids and me. I still can remember the day when my 14 year old student came early to class so he can show me the cool logo he created and share his knowledge with the class! I was in teacher’s heaven that day.
This post is created as part of Georgia Online Professional Learning course. Here, I will share an artifact to demonstrate how a web 2.0 tool can be used for differentiated instruction and assessment.
The content differentiation requires educators to be proficient in the subject they are teaching and know their students to device the content geared toward the student’s abilities and interests. Process differentiation can be achieved easily with preplanning and organization. Product differentiation is the easiest of all three of them.
By providing clear, detailed guidelines that the students must meet & concepts that they must illustrate to show their understanding of the content being studied, an instructor can differentiate the product that the students will look forward to producing with pride.
Collaboration allows us to share and use tried and true artifacts from our colleagues rather than reinventing the wheels. During web walking, I came across Amy McNabb‘s post about Desmos Graph Art Project which she has created and used in her class for differentiated summative assessment The students are asked to show their content mastery of graphing basic functions by creating a picture using Desmos, an online graphing calculator. Along with clear guidelines and a rubric, Amy has provided an example of the product to assist her students further. She have used Google Form as an exit ticket to gauge student reaction about the project. We can see that, the students find the project fun, challenging and have responded with gusto. Please click on the link for the original blog post from Amy where she shows the some examples of art her students created using ingenuity and Desmos, a web 2.0 tool. What an excellent way to achieve differentiated assessment while inviting students to have fun. Thank you, Amy McNabb, the Mathematician for sharing the project on your blog.
For this post we are tasked with exploring five instructional web tools that offer variety of opportunities for the learners. We also need to answer following questions:
What is the intended use for each tool?
How might you use each tool in online teaching?
How might a student use the tool?
Is there a cost associated with the tool
There is a plethora of web 2.0 tools available to an online educator. Google Classroom is a learning management system in itself and allows an educator paperless instruction, grading and home-school collaboration. I will share six of the web tools I have used recently.
Coogle is one of the content mapping and Mindmap toolswhere we can easily drag-and-drop icons & images from desktop to diagram
Cost: Individual account: 3 private & unlimited public diagram free, with ability to upgrade,Organization account for $5-8 /month; Schools can get in touch with customer service to set up bulk accounts that can work with school firewalls and directory authentication.
You are in beautiful New York City for a conference and looking forward to listening to the dynamic Rita F. Pierson this afternoon. You decide to soak up the city’s cultural offerings during the lunch. Would you rather visit a cluttered, dilapidated and shabby museum or an aesthetically pleasing, visually stimulating Guggenheim? The rule about appearance, functionality and presence is true for websites, buildings and people.
Standard Fonts and color choice aided with Arrangement of material including text poppers, White Space, videos, visuals and isolation of some text with text images will enhance the website.
When exploring instructional websites, we can see that some of them adhere to sound design ideals while others ignore them relying on content alone. Here is a representative samples of each:
These websites show poor color choice, seem cluttered and have little white place. The poor design elements may make it harder for visually impaired readers to get best out of the content. The design may overwhelm the senses and put off readers to dig deeper despite the excellent content they provide.
Instructional Websites with Sound Designs Elements:
Content mapping is a useful skill for an online educator. The educator can use it for outlining the concept being studied for helping with creating a lesson plan and timeline of how they may deliver the content. There are many online tools available for content mapping. After experimenting with Bubbl.us and Mindmap tools reviewed by Saikat Basu, I choose to create my content map for Graphing a function using Coggle. This content map shows the topics I will cover for the unit; it does not show the time line or assessment and participation tools I will use to gauge students’ content mastery. My next step in lesson planning will be reviewing the resources, reflection on instructions from last time I taught Graphing function, assembling assessment and collaborating with my team for delivery of the content.
This post is one in a series for a MOOC. You can find similar posts by searching the category Georgia Online Professional Learning or searching for hashtag #eteachertool for more about this MOOC.
Here, we will talk about five time management tools, their use and relevance to the online world. We will look at how each of these tools is used and if it is used for personal or professional use.
What is Time Management ?
Why should an educator care about it.
Time turners and science fiction tales aside, regardless of one’s’ station in life, each person has only 24 hours in a day. I am no exception to this fact of the life. Time management allows an educator proper work-life balance. There are many online time management tools available: some are specific to the educators while others are available to any interested digital citizen. These tools, when used efficiently will allow an educator to maximize their time while planning lessons, establishing schedule and collaborating with colleagues to deliver the content and become a proficient educator. The tools I am sharing below are used by me in both professional and personal scope.
Google Calendar is master calendar; I have a school calendar and personal one aggregated in a single calendar by using it. I can share it with others and others can share their Google Calendars with me which makes creating an event which fits everyone’s schedule an easy job. It is integrated with Gmail. As it is available on anywhere internet is available, I can use it on different platform including on my phone. I can use it for task list, appointments and get reminders to keep me on track. It has a search feature (Not a big surprise as the Google Calendar is a Google product after all).
With Google Calendar, I prefer to use a daily planner for creating lists and checking them off to keep everything on track. After using many different planners over the years, I came across a complete time management system developed by Allyson Lewis, 7 Minute Life Daily Planner. Though I use the notebook version, it is also available as an online device. This planner focuses me to prioritize my goals, keeps me connected with my stakeholders and energizes me to take care of my health. Which other planner on market has a space for tasks you need to accomplish today, list of emails you need to send, the expense tracking, the calls you need to make and daily appointments? It fits both my personal and professional needs. I heartily recommend this planner to everyone.
Note taking & Content Management:
Not long ago, you would have found me lugging a rolling cart to and from the school each day. Not any more. Now I use Dropbox.
With Dropbox I can share large documents securely which is not always possible via email. The basic Dropbox account gives me 2 GB space for free with choice of update for a monthly or yearly fee. I can sync files across the devices giving me freedom to work on them from home or work without worrying about saving documents and bringing them from one place to another. Finally, with Dropbox, I can shared folders and links with colleagues and collaborate with them in real time. As a mom, an educator & a learner, Dropbox is an essential streamlining tool. You may also wish to consider OneNote and Evernote- other good tools that is used to take notes, clip website material and carry them across the windows and Mac platform on different devices. Preston Gralla‘s October 2017 Computer World review may help you to decide if Evernorte or OneNote is a better choice for you.
Staying connected with Parents on Short Notice:
Parents are integral part of success of my students. Using Google for Classroom allows me to stay in touch with my parents. Access to Skyward, E mails and newsletters are good But what if we are on a field trip? What about if we are coaching a team or planning an event? I recommend Remind app for classroom use and First Touch app for coaches. Both remind and First Touch requires parents/ students to receive a class-code to activate the account. Both allows for use of phone for contact between the educator &
Remind App is used more for classroom use. It is safer as Personal contact information stays private. Phone numbers aren’t exchanged between teachers, students, and parents. Students below 13 years are required to use their parent’s contact information rather than their own.
Sending real time text messages to phone of an individual, selected people or everyone in the group
Allow the educator to see who has or has not read the messages
Send attachments with the messages & Receive replies from the group.
First Touch is more geared toward Teams. Team or organization must be registered for First Touch. The app protects privacy because only coaches, players and family members have login access. It may be less secure than Remind App. Lets look at its features at a glance.
Education is always evolving organically. We have come a long way from writing on papyrus to using personal learning devices. The use of iPad, graphing calculators and mobile devices in a classroom is a norm. Virtual schools are becoming a viable alternative to brick and mortar Schools. As a result of these changes in instructional delivery, the educators must keep honing their skills to teach net savvy students. In addition to having content mastery and good classroom management skills, we must be an exemplary digital citizen and be prepared to deliver the instruction in online environment.
When I read the above precept, I knew that I can’t be sitting on my laurels; I must continue to equip myself with knowledge so I can serve my students and bring my A-game to classroom. My quest to become a Proficient Instructor lead me to the Effective Online teaching course designed by Georgia Virtual Learning and offered by GA Department of Education. This course is designed to challenge educators to step out of their comfort zone & act as students. By exploration, research & implementation, I am required to learn, to adapt & to apply the knowledge learned in this class in my own classroom. Just like students in our classes, while mastering the content of the course, I will be earning badges as a result of my exploration & achievement in the course. These badges are:
Come & join me in my journey of being on other side of the desk, becoming a student once again.
If you choose to use any of my content for your blog or use, please make sure to give the credit to me & link to my post.
Thanks. Yours in Learning,
Georgia Professional Learning Quest image source: http://www.openteachertraining.org/
We, the educators & parents expect that our students, our children will grasp the content quickly & will have a deep knowledge of the subject. some of our students lag, despite following curriculum guidelines, providing differentiated education & personalized learning. We try to accommodate & reflect: What do I need to do? Am I teaching too fast? Is the material too hard? What can I do so all of my students will love the subject & not think of it as a bore? Have you ever thought what if the shoe was on the other foot? Would you grasp the knowledge as fast as my students? Being a non-native digital citizen, would I flourish or flounder? Let me share slice of my search for tagging & annotating bookmarks for a class I am taking for GA Virtual Professional Learning.
A simple device that enhances our reading pleasure. Who among us have not used it? Are you reading a book & need to stop? Bookmark the page. Don’t have a bookmark available? Please do not fold the page. Yes, you may use a receipt, piece of thread, a hairpin or even scrap paper for a bookmark.
In a physical book, a bookmark is used as a place holder. But we, as a society no longer use physical books as our reading source. Now a day, we read on Kindle, hop on web for search and stay connected through social media. Is the bookmark still relevant? Yes, it is. Now more than ever before, we use digital bookmarks for place holder in our meandering on the web. With a click of a button, we find our information and from there we hop around to gather more knowledge as our fancy takes us. What if we need to come back to a page we liked? What if we want to avoid searching for that page repeatedly? Well, to aid us in our search for pages we have liked, we use bookmark tool. For
Using bookmark tool is relatively easy. In most browser, when we like a page we are reading & want to bookmark it, all we should do is click on the star in search bar & Voila! We bookmarked the page. Depending on the browser and extensions, we can put this bookmarks in folders, tag them or annotate them. Easy, right? Not so much for this Digital non-native.
Creating the bookmark was piece of cake for me; tagging & annotating, not so much. I found that google bookmark manger does not allow me to share it publicly. I also failed in my search how to annotate or tag a Google Bookmark after spending a considerable amount of time. So I headed to Firefox Bookmark manager. direction, I was able to import & tag my bookmarks from Chrome. Annotation? I am still scratching my head.
That brings me to Symbaloo. An excellent social bookmarking site. I created a Symbaloo Webmix. I found out that if I add bookmark extension, I give Symbaloo permission to add or change data. So again, no annotation on Symbaloo for me. My goal was to bookmark with tag & annotations. I can tag but need more research on how to annotate a bookmark. It will have to wait for another day.
So what did I learn? I learned that my students may be confused, need more time or just zoom through when presented with new information. I need to give them time & truly personalized the learning. I also learned that at times forging ahead is the only choice & web makes it easy. Finally, I realized that hard learned lesson will bring joy to all learners, including me.
Though I have often think of creating a blog, it had remained just a wishful thinking and ideal thought till today. I am creating this blog as a requirement for Georgia Virtual Learning Open Online Teacher Training. I chose to create my blog on edublogs as it was easy to navigate and manage. I will write this blog from perspective of an educator, a learner & Mom of my Awesome, Amazing kiddos.
As a mom, I want my kids to do their very best regardless of if they choose to be a bricklayer or a neurosurgeon. As a teacher, I want each one of students – the whiz kids and the struggling learners- to experience little successes so they can build on them. Being a student not only keeps my brain sharp, it allows me to keep things in perspective. When I am sitting on other side of the desk, as a student I experience the anxiety and uncertainty of waiting for the grade after submitting an assignment. As a learner, I experience joy of the light bulb moment and euphoria of acknowledgement from my mentor. Being a student allows me to empathize with my struggling student. My struggling to learn a front stroke in swimming is not any different than a kid leaning to master fraction, Na?
Therefore, once again I am a student, a learner, a seeker of new knowledge. I want to do well, get good grades and learn just like all the students in our classes. I want to add in my knowledge toolbox. There are some assignments I will sail through, while for several I will have hard time comprehending and will need assistance. At times, I will agree enthusiastically, while other I will ask what purpose this assignment serves? I will ask for guidance, look for collaboration, dance with joy upon succeeding and shake my head in frustration when struggling.
You, my reader, are an important voice in my journey. We can engage in positive dialogue with respect and without any negativity. Feel free to give a feedback and come back often.