Do you know what's at the end of this week? That's right! The Teach Better Conference 2022 is finally here. When I first heard about it, it seemed so far away. I knew that I needed  to go to it and connect with my PLF (Professional Learning Family). Over the past three years, my Teach Better family has become more than just online friends, but a community that I love engaging with.  Far too often, we operate in silos and do not take advantage of other educators. The Teach Better Family broke down those silos for me and I have met some of the most amazing people as a result.

But educators aren't the only ones who find themselves operating in silos? Many times, our students do too. The balance between individual accountability and the need to develop collaboration can be a delicate balancing act. This week's blog post takes this idea into account and shares 2 easy ways that you can get your students to collaborate while creating no matter their age.

Reviewing what are the ABCs of Transforming Learning are-

Two weeks ago, I shared the second blog post called B = Building Connections Between Icons and Content. This post continued my commitment to sharing ways that we can transform learning using technology in a strategic and focused ways. A month ago,  I posted a blog post highlighting ways and applications that you can use to better amplify your students' voices which focused on two of my favorite applications: Wixie and Book Creator and how they promote Universal Design for Learning.

This week, we will focus on C= Collaborating While Creating. Creation is a topic near and dear to my heart as an educator. It is essential that we promote creation using digital tools with our students over consumption. But that's easier said than done. This week's blog shares 2 tech tools that meet both needs. They are not only creative, but collaborative as well.

C= Collaborating while Creating

The two tools to the left are great examples of how you can collaborate while creating. They are both truly TRANSFORM tech tools. They offer our students opportunities that they could not have without the technology, are versatile and can be used for a variety of purposes and truly enhance the learning experience. They are also easy for educators to add to their educational toolbox. Flashcard Factory takes only a few minutes to set up using Pear Deck's website and Canva for Education makes it super easy for educators to make classes and have students turn in work to them. Both of these programs value the importance of collaborating. Flashcard Factory has our students work in pairs to learn; while Canva allows our students to collaborate in real-time with the click of a button and create professional looking products that our students can be proud of. Best of all, they are both 100% free for us and our students to use. That's a win-win!

Collaborate While Creating with Flashcard Factory

If there is one program that educators need to know more about it, it's this one! Its simplicity is part of what makes it so great, Students work together to complete flashcards. One student acts as the artist and draws an example of the problem; while the other student acts as the writer (I call them the detective) writes an example. 

When I first encountered this program, I thought it could only be used for vocabulary, but in my interactions with other educators, I realized that it could be used for so much more. One of my favorite uses is for math, Almost every grade level has a standard like this:

 Create and solve single-step and multistep practical problems involving...

This program is the perfect match for that! The detective writes a word problem based on the concept studied and the artist draws how to solve it, Both students have to work together to create these flashcards and when they do, it is truly magical. As the card is finished, it drops down on a conveyor belt on the screen in the front of the room and then afterwards, students can discuss the cards during quality control.

Collaborate while Creating with Canva

It isn't often that a tech tool sneaks up on me and impresses me the way Canva has. Out of all the programs I share about Canva is the one that I only started using about six months ago- but it has quickly won me over. I use it for everything- blog graphics, tweets, Facebook, etc. It is easy to use and creates really professional looking results.

But did you know that you can work on Canva collaboratively? Now if you are thinking, well I can already do that in Google Slides- well, think again. Canva gives you a much more robust platform where students can create almost anything. I love having my students collaborate while creating using Canva. There are so many options such as infographics, billboards, ads, videos, presentations and so much more. All students need to do is invite the person or people they are collaborating with and they can collaborate in real time. Truly awesome!

The 3 Cs of Creation

Whenever I speak about selecting tech tools, I always talk about my 3 Cs of Creation.  Those 3 Cs are Choice, Collaborative and Clickable. Throughout the first three posts of this series, we have hit all of these. 

But this week's post brings them all together.  Both of these programs amplify student choice and we can use them to build connections between icons and content. But most importantly, they promote collaborating while creating. Talk about an ABC moment!

This week's freebie is all about how to use Flashcard Factory. Want to learn more about this dynamic tools, fill out the form to the right to get your free copy of Tech Tools in 20: Flashcard Factory.