Communicate 1 – Communication Definitions

 

5 Units in GA Online Professional LearningThis post is focused on effects of innovation in technology on communication.  It is one in a series of posts for Georgia Online Professional Learning Course.  You can find similar posts searching under the category Communicate or Searching for hashtag #eteachertool.  

 

Communication is: 

  1. A process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior. 
  2. Means of connection between people or places, in particular.
  3. The successful conveying or sharing of ideas and feelings.

      

Communication: Yesterday & Today

How have My individual communication skills changed with the innovations in technology?

I have talked about impact of digital technology on me professionally and personally in the way I communicate across the board in this blog post written for Reflective Writing Club.  In nutshell, innovation in technology has allowed me global connections and continue learning.  The Geographical distance is no longer a barrier against staying connected with family, friends and colleagues. e.g., Because of the social media apps, I am able to talk to and see my parents even when they traveled to India.  I am earning my online teaching certificate, participating in MOOCs, helping texters as volunteer Crisis Counselor and mentoring students from as far as Australia from comforts of my living room couch. 

Innovation in technology is a double edged sword.  While allowing greater global reach, it also robs us of deeper personal connections, encroaches on our time and may be robbing us of our privacy. -Purviben K. Trivedi-Ziemba

On the other hand, now I receive friend requests from not only a colleague or a family member but from random strangers as well as someone I have seen once in my life 30 years ago. Do I want to connect to them?  Do I need to?  Once connected, everyone including me wishes to share some nugget of information they found.  Do I have time to go through all these public sharing?   These superficial communications takes time and effort away from deeper connections that we thrive on.  With net neutrality and deluge of new apps on market, I  have to guard my privacy and time zealously as well.

While innovation in technology has allowed me to rebuild connections which were lost in snail mail era, I have also lost some personal connection because of the instant access.  Rather than meeting in person or picking up phones, now we communicate via texts, emails or online.   Though we have one television in family, at times, everyone is absorbed in their electronic device instead of communicating with one another.    

How have advancements in technology altered classroom communication? Will these change further?

Advancement in technology has radically changed the classroom communications among all stackholders.  e.g., United School District of Marshfield is prides itself on at online integrated education.  Besides, open house at the beginning of the school year, twice yearly parent-teacher meetings, quarterly newsletters and 9 week progress reports via mail,  most other communications  including student registration, paying fees and making appointments for Parent-teacher meetings takes place online.   The school system has provided an iPad as a personal learning devices for each K-12 students and instructors.  Teachers are using Canvas as Learning management system (LMS) and Skyward as student management system (SMS).  Google Classroom and online resources are rapidly replacing paper textbooks and the push is toward going paperless.   Both canvas and Google Classroom, when used efficiently, lets students communicate with their peers via sharing their work with one another, commenting on them and collaborating on projects.

The best measure of effective communication between a teacher and their students is the level of engagement and learning in their classroom. -Purviben K. Trivedi-Ziemba

Communication among students and with Instructor is the key to learning and thriving.  Sharing of the knowledge, assessment of content mastery and assisting students requires open communications in classroom community.  Innovation in technology and diverse needs of student population has forced instructors to change lecture and learn style of communication to hands on learning aimed at differentiating instruction based on student needs.  Today, learning is a fluid experience, the technology is ever changing and we, the educational community, must be ready to match our steps to these changes. Unfortunately, due to time and budgetary constraints, the educator is not always abreast of the changes and the communications- learning- suffers.

Advances in digital technology allows educators from far and wide to collaborate and communicate;  to use peer’s product for our classroom rather than reinventing the proverbial wheel.  Here are some examples of how savvy educators are using technology in classroom to enrich their students’ learning and sharing the resources which others utilize in their on classrooms.

  • Some students find science boring.  Glenn Wolkenfeld, a science teacher is here to help them and peers.  In the YouTube video below, he uses rap to teach mitosis followed by interactive quizzes to solidify the learning.  Teachers can use his Karaoke version to use in their classroom and engage their students. I bet my bottom dollar that students will enjoy learning about cell division using this fun song than just rote memorization.  

 

  •  Any McNabb  uses Graph Art Project  to differentiated student assessment for basic functions.
  • Jim Sadowska’s Global studies students learn at their own pace about Europe via Amazing Race, an interactive online learning experience.
  • Santha Walters, @Santhawalters uses drones in classroom to teach her 8th grade English students about communication.  Fun and learning does not stop here.  She visited Vicky Davis and shared her knowledge  at Cool Cat Teacher

Communications between Instructor(s) and  Parent / guardian 

  • Educators are sharing syllabus, projects and the feedback / grades on assignments with parents using SMS and/or LMS.  Parents can choose parameters for how and when they will monitor student progress. 
  • Teachers and parents contact each other via emails, phone calls and mobile apps  as well as Canvas notifications or Skyward calendar to stay on the same page for their student.  
  • With Skyward and Canvas, parents can see real time results of student attendance & fees management. 

Communications among Instructor – Administrative staff – colleagues 

  • Better transparency in communication as well as timely intervention aimed at student progress is achieved with use of SMS and LMS  
  • By using electronic communications, the administrative staff can save their time and resources which can be better utilized to serve the students. 

Communications between Instructors & community

  • Due to security concerns and providing students maximum learning time, many school campus are choosing to be closed campus. The instructor communicates with stackholders via blogs, social media and webinars.   Without using identifying information, the instructor can share examples of excellent student work with the community and invite feedback.

 


 

Adding More voices to the discourse: 

 

 

 

 

Participate reflection

Participate

I am writing this post as a reflection on Participate module of Georgia Online Professional Leaning course. 

 

Being a student centered, connected educator is a process, an ongoing journey,  requiring us to act in our student’s best interest, stop, reflect, modify the course and repeat as necessary.  Having taught in hybrid classrooms, I am not a stark newcomer to online education.  On the other hand, I am not a digital native either.  My journey as an online educator is in its nascent stage.  As such, I would like to follow my own advice:

 

Upon joining a new community, refrain from showing off. Listen, Observe, Learn. Collaborate. Be a Servant Leader, not a bugle blower. – Purviben K. Trivedi-Ziemba

 

At this stage, I am listening, learning, observing and collaborating. 

@One LogoI am adding to my tool box by being a student again. e.g., enrollment in Georgia Online Professional Learning Course, Reflective Writing Club from @ONE   and Edublogs Teacher Challenges.

 

I am following the master educators including Kevin Hogdson, Shanaya, the Science Teacher and Samaj Shah.  Rather than reinventing the wheel, I can use their tried and true strategies such as math munch, Whole Class test  and Periodic table Game.

 

Slice of LifeI have joined online communities including twitter and Connected Learning MOOC.  I am establishing digital presence by collaborating with peers by participating in Slice of Life. 

 

I am mentoring students across the continent for digital communities such as 100 Word Challenge and Student Blogging Challenge 2018.

 

The Participate Module has taught me that ideal digital learning communities (Ideal DLC) are not created in a vacuum.  It requires:

 

deal DLC is interconnected

 

What have participate module taught me about empowering students? 

Let us look at my blog posts  for the module and my resources to answer this:  First, we need to talk about Netiquette and how rules of real world applies to digital world as well.

 

 Next, We should discuss digital safety and security. We will use this poster to talk about need for precaution, steps to take against cyber bullying and digital vigilance.

Acceptable use policy, joining a reputable DLC and collecting reputable digital resources goes hand in hand. Students can use the symbaloo to bookmark their web searches and use them later.  At this time, we will discuss giving credit when credit is due, creative commons and attributions and checking the resources.

 

Besides being an empathetic educator who practices being firm & fair, leveling the playing field for my students and getting to know them, I am planning to use strategies similar to Mr. Hodgson to entice the students to learn.  

 

The lesson that benefited me most was the Accessing Digital Learning Communities

 

 

Let us review this YouTube video from WebAIM to review how disability hampers access to the digital community.

 

 

ASD Introduction to Web Accessibility Video Transcript

 

After reviewing Web Accessibility in Mind (WebAIM) , I am more aware of making sure that I need to make the material (s) I create for my students meets the principles of accessibility guidelines: Content should be perceivable, clear and understandable; I should make sure to have assistive technology available so the students can have access to the material using all senses and they may access material (Operable & Robust). I used to have funky fonts and layouts.  Now, I tried to stay with fonts such as Vardana, good color scheme (No lime green text if possible) to aid my visually impaired student, so they can read the material without straining their eyes. 

  

What have I learned that I want to pass on from Participate module to my students & peers?

 

Be Kind. Use common sense. Be vigilant & gide your privacy.. Be mindful of your digital footprint,

 

 

 

 

Participate Capstone

 

 

Effective educator

 

 

 

When reviewing the blog posts and resources for Participation module of George Online Professional Learning, I realized that learning never stops for an educator.  Common sense rules still applies online.  The most important thing we need to remember is to be empathetic and effective educator online requires planning, organization and redirection of wayward students when needed.  Our action speaks louder than our intentions online just like in regular classroom.  Please click on following links to view the artifacts submitted for the Capstone.

Participate 1 – Ideal Digital Learning Communities

Participate 3 – Digital Resources and Netiquette 

Participate 4 – Digital Safety and Security 

Reviewer Choice Lesson for Participate

Participate Reflection

  

 

 

Create 3 – Open Educational Resources

 

 

Open Educational Resources

&

Creative Commons Licences 

 

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
  • Some Example of OER: MOOCKhan Academy, CK-12, Harvard Open Learning Initiative

 

 

Open source material does not mean, we can use it without giving proper credit or attribution. 

Text Square

 

 

Create 2 – Web Tools for Differentiation of Teacher Instruction

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.

 

 

 

Desmos is a fantastic Online Graphic Calculator
Desmos

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

Transformation of y= X^3 using Desmos , an online graphing calculator

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. 

Create 2 – Web Tools for Differentiation of Student Assessment

Content, Process and Product can be differentiated online

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.

 

 

 

 

Create 2 – Web Tools

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.

 

 

        Twitter 

Twitter

  • Twitter is a free social media micro blogging app that can be used for instruction, networking and professional development
  • Twitter for Teachers, a blog post by Kathy Schrock explains how an educator can use twitter in her classroom to maximize learning. To learn more, please refer to Stephanie Norman’s post on same topic. 

 

 

 

     Pixabay

Pixabay

  •  A no cost, copyright free images and videos for use in post, presentations & lessons and student assignments

Use of Safesearch filter blocks out violent and explicit images

All contents are released under Creative Commons CC0, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist – even for commercial purposes.

 

 

 

     Prezi

Prezi

  • Prezi has a Zooming interface compared to a linear one in PowerPoint
  • Cloud based = mobile tool =  on the go access
  • Price varies from free with upgrade possibilities and educator discounts
  • An educator can use Prezi for delivering instruction with an oomph and as an assessment tool.
  • Students can use this web tool for collaboration and showing their content mastery just as I have done Show & Tell section of this post

 

 

Remind

Remind App

  • A messaging app with very good privacy settings that allows files and media attachment send with real time text messages to individual, group or selected recipients
  • Free for an individual educator, available to purchase for whole school use Educators can use this app for sending announcements, assignments and important information home.
  • Students & Parents can use Remind  for keeping things on track.

 

     

 

    Coogle

Coogle is one of the content mapping and  Mindmap tools Coogle_Mindmap Toolwhere 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.
  • To see it in action, please click on my post  Create 1 – Content Map

 

Symbaloo:

  • Free, bookmarking tool that can be accessed across the platform 
  • Easy Sharing, Collaboration & following other educators 
  • Students can use this bookmarking tool for easy access to instruction & creating projects.
  • I have  bookmarked some of the web 2.0 tools & created the Symbaloo here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

P

Create 1 – Appearance

Discovery Education
Image: Discovery Education

 

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:

 

Cluttered and Uninviting Instructional Websites:

 

MIT Open Course Website

 

Canvas

MIT Open Courseware

Carnegie Melon Open Learning Initiative

Film and Technical Institute of India

 

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:

 

 

GA Dept of Education Website
                                                                 Image: Georgia Dept of Education

 

ck-12

Khan Academy

Georgia Standards   

American Association of School Librarians

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Princeton University

These websites have pleasant text design, fonts and visuals. Balance of text, white space and sound design elements invites readers to explore these sites further.  

 

 

    

Create 1- Content Map

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.

 

Graphing Functions: Content Map

Navigate 1 – Delineating Asynchronous and Synchronous Learning

For this post I have  created a flyer using Smore  to describe Synchronous & asynchronous learning in a virtual classroom as discussed in the Navigate module of GA Open Teacher Training Course.

In a virtual classroom, the educators and students are not required to be in the same classroom, or even the same continent.  In the same virtual classroom, I may have a student from same town and another from a continent away.  By its design, an educator & the institution they are employed may choose to deliver content by various means such as blended learning, hybrid learning, synchronous learning and/ or asynchronous learning. It is common to have some overlap of these styles as well.  The common elements in each of these methods are: 

  1. The instructor facilitates learning by having content available to the students as per course guidelines.  Students are required to be familiar with the syllabus and expectations and take proactive approach by making sure that they have access to internet, learning device and know how to get help when needed.
  2. There is a set time frame where overall learning needs to take place. e.g., a unit may be completed over 9 weeks in a K-12 virtual school or A student at City University must how content mastery by end of the semester. 

 A = not,        Syn = same,       Chrono = time

Synchronous Learning: Students and educator(s) meet at online at set time to learn and collaborate online in real-time.  The educator aims to present formal instruction and offer continued student interaction.  A video conference between Dr. J and his students of Critical Reasoning Class to discuss effects of passing of Net Neutrality bill is in example of synchronous learning.

Asynchronous Learning: Educator facilitates content delivery such that students learn access the material, lessons & activities  at their own pace & do not require to working in real time.  A discussion board question among Dr. J and his students of Critical Reasoning Classon effects of passing of Net Neutrality bill where students are required to response and give feedback to three of their peers is in example of asynchronous learning. 

 

 

 

 

The Asynchronous & Synchronous learning pictures are made using Quotes Cover

Will Rogers picture is created using adletters

 

Further Reading: 

San Francisco-based writer, Paul Signorelli‘s Building Creative Bridges blog post, Synchronous Sessions, Asynchronously: Blending Meetings, Learning, and Digital Literacy


Michigan State University College of Education’s Learning 3.0: Face-to-face, Online, Hybrid


The Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation’s interactive Blending Learning Model Definitions


eLearners article: Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Classes

Georgia Online Professional Learning

Are you ready for the New Wave? Personalized Learning

 

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. 

 

Sit still = Get Run Over

 

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: 

 

GA Online Professional Learning
         Online Professional Learning Quest

 

                 Participate

                Navigate

                Communicate

                Create

                Evaluate

 

 

 

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,

Mrs. Trivedi-Ziemba

 

Georgia Professional Learning Quest image source: http://www.openteachertraining.org/

Newspaper Headline and Chalkboard images created using http://www.addletters.com/

 

 

 

 

Participate reflection

I am writing this post as a reflection on Participate module of Georgia Online Professional Leaning course. 

Participate

 

 

Being a student centered, connected educator is a process- an ongoing journey where one need to act, stop, reflect, modify the course and repeat as necessary.  Having taught in hybrid classrooms, I am not a stark newcomer to online education.  On the other hand, I am not a digital native either.  My journey as an online educator is in its nascent stage.  As such, I would like to follow my own advice:

 

Upon joining a new community, refrain from showing off. Listen, Observe, Learn. Collaborate. Be a Servant Leader, not a bugle blower. – Purviben K. Trivedi-Ziemba

 

At this stage, I am listening, learning, observing and collaborating. 

 

The Participate Module has taught me that ideal digital learning communities (Ideal DLC) are not created in a vacuum.  It requires:

 

deal DLC is interconnected

 

What have participate module taught me about empowering students? 

Let us look at my blog posts  for the module and my resources to answer this:  First, we need to talk about Netiquette and how rules of real world applies to digital world as well.

 

 Next, We should discuss digital safety and security. We will use this poster to talk about need for precaution, steps to take against cyber bullying and digital vigilance.

Acceptable use policy, joining a reputable DLC and collecting reputable digital resources goes hand in hand. Students can use the symbaloo to bookmark their web searches and use them later.  At this time, we will discuss giving credit when credit is due, creative commons and attributions and checking the resources.

 

Besides being an empathetic educator who practices being firm & fair, leveling the playing field for my students and getting to know them, I am planning to use strategies similar to Mr. Hodgson to entice the students to learn.  

 

The lesson that benefited me most was the Accessing Digital Learning Communities

 

 

Let us review this YouTube video from WebAIM to review how disability hampers access to the digital community.

 

 

ASD Introduction to Web Accessibility Video Transcript

 

After reviewing Web Accessibility in Mind (WebAIM) , I am more aware of making sure that I need to make the material (s) I create for my students meets the principles of accessibility guidelines: Content should be perceivable, clear and understandable; I should make sure to have assistive technology available so the students can have access to the material using all senses and they may access material (Operable & Robust). I used to have funky fonts and layouts.  Now, I tried to stay with fonts such as Vardana, good color scheme (No lime green text if possible) to aid my visually impaired student, so they can read the material without straining their eyes. 

  

What have I learned that I want to pass on from Participate module to my students & peers?

 

Be Kind. Use common sense. Be vigilant & gide your privacy.. Be mindful of your digital footprint,