Can you believe that we are already in November? Last weekend, I was honored and excited to be a featured speaker at TCCA 2023 in Houston, TX. In the next two to three weeks, my schedule is a little calmer as I prepare for my upcoming sessions.
First, I am presenting at PASCD in Hershey, PA on November 20th. The following week, I am presenting at VASCD 'in Williamsburg, VA on November 29th. Then, I will be heading to the Innovative Schools Summit in San Antonio on December 1st. Finally, I will be presenting closer to home at Learning Forward in Washington DC on December 5th,
New Blog Post Alert on TCEA's Tech Notes
Have you checked out my latest blog post for TCEA's Tech Notes? If so, definitely check it out: Check out this article: Boost Mathematical Understanding with Versatile Tech Tools - https://blog.tcea.org/mathematical-understanding-technology-tools/. It shares how you can enhance and amplify your students' mathematical understanding based on the National Council of Teaching Mathematics' Guiding Principles by using visualization, multimodal thinking and interaction and features three of my favorite tech tools: Desmos Classroom, Microsoft Flip, and Pear Deck's Flashcard Factory.
Podcast Episode on the Edtech Bites
While at TCCA last weekend, I got to record an episode of the Edtech Bites Podcast live with Gabriel Castillo. We had such a great conversation all about instructional coaching and its impact. Definitely check out our conversation using this link: Episode 180
TransformED: Amplifying Learning Using Tech Tools
Two weeks ago, I shared a blog post called TransformED Reflection and how we can not only learn new things to improve our craft but also share this new learning with our network. In today's schools, it can seem easier to stick with what you already know, but it is essential that all of us not only set goals, but pursue learning to meet these goals.
This week, I will focus on how we can craft a vision either for using technology tools to amplify student learning. This vision can vary in scope, being more individualized for a classroom or a grade or being broader for a district, school or nationwide. In this post, we will focus on two very important questions to help us get started. First, why are we using technology tools and second, how do these tech tools enhance or amplify learning?
How can technology tools help us transform our vision?
Why are you using the technology tools?
How do the technology tools amplify learning?
Wixie: Wixie is a kid-friendly creation tool that I often use with my students in grades PK-5 that is made by a company called Tech4Learning.
How does Wixie amplify learning? Wixie truly provides my students with Universal Design for Learning or UDL. It allows my students increased accessibility through both speech to text and text to speech capabilities. In addition, educators can add in videos and audio to support our learners. Wixie also promotes increased expression of learning. Students can respond with text, speech to text, audio, video, paint tools, and even images.
An example in practice: Last week. my kindergarten students used Wixie to demonstrate their understanding of the pumpkin life cycle. They were able to use images and text provided to label their diagram. Students could use the text to speech capability to help them as needed identify these words and pictures. When they finished this, students created a video where they explained the pumpkin life cycle they shared.
Want to try out Wixie for free for a year, click here to get the link.
How does Desmos amplify learning? Desmos Classroom is one of my favorite resources when it comes to math. It truly helps our students to better understand math concepts using a variety of tools and scaffolds. One of those tools are the sliders and models they use. Students are able to better understand math concepts as they explore using these models and sliders. In addition, Desmos Classroom offers students the opportunity to share their learning in more than one way. They can dictate responses, use drawing tools and even include math type. Last, Desmos Classroom's polygraphs are an amazing way to build in math discourse in your classrooms.
An example in practice: A few weeks ago, I worked with one of my second grade teachers as part of her coaching cycle to create a polygraph (think Guess Who for math) on place value concepts. Then, on October 20th, we cotaught this lesson together during math. During a polygraph, students are paired together where one student selects one of the 16 pictures and the other student asks yes or no math questions to determine which picture it is.
Edpuzzle: Edpuzzle is an interactive video platform that allows our students to interact and engage more with video content.
How does Edpuzzle amplify learning? Edpuzzle takes any video- YouTube or self created and allows you to make it interactive using its amazing tools. Educators can add notes (using both text and audio) to center student learning by providing additional resource links, images, or even emojis to set the stage for student learning. Students can also respond using both audio and text if educators open the audio options when designing. Educators can include open ended prompts to encourage reflection and active viewing.
An example in practice: When my fifth grade learned about the impact of plastics on the complex systems of the ocean, I used Edpuzzle to help them learn more about this issue. They were able to more fully engage in the content with the addition of emojis in their learning targets and by adding images to questions and offering audio options.