Archive for November, 2010

Too Much Presenters’ Dazzle, Not Enough Depth at Conference

I recently attended a conference presentation where the presenter ran through 20+ applications in a 50 minute presentation. I was dizzy at the end and could barely remember anything.  When will presenters stop doing this razzle dazzle and instead  talk about how a particular program will help  increase a precise learning goal? When will they show higher thinking examples of the programs instead of  “I made this cute  little demo” examples?  When will they be honest about how much time it takes to learn the program and how much time it takes to create something in the program? What will they talk about implementation issues? When will they not say,” I’m showing you the paid version which is different from the free version”?  When will they stop sounding like salespeople with a new cure-all and more like educators focused on student learning?

I would prefer the presenters to show a few like five  programs in-depth; this is what you can do and cannot do with this program. Here are three examples all at the highest level possible for this program. If presenters took their time to show in-depth information about the programs, more participants would feel comfortable with the programs and want to use them.

Less is more in any form of professional development or learning.

When you present to others, do you razzle dazzle or do you do an in-depth presentation?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Formative Feedback Through Technology

Some ways to for teachers to give formative feedback as part of formative assessment  to students through technology. The feedback has to lead to the students’ direct and immediate improvement on the specific goal. Within the formative assessment process, students need “personalized” feedback which focus on their specific learning gaps.

– Orally with audio/screen capture programs

– Add in comments in digital word processed documents

– Refer to YouTube etc. video made by teacher, peers, or others

– Suggest a specific website that explains it in another way

– Provide an exemplar to re-examine from class website, wiki

– Develop “PowerPoint” quizzes that explain the wrong answers to understand the right ones.

You can view some other ideas at

http://formativeassessmenttechnology.pbworks.com

and add your own by joining the wiki at

https://formativeassessmenttechnology.pbworks.com

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Please avoid cultural stereotypes in images/pictures


Do you creative negative stereotypes by showing outdated pictures or by  showing a picture representing only a small portion of the of people or things from other countries?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Animoto (Movie trailer) movies for education

 

I’ve been looking at some Animoto (think  movie trailer) videos.

The Free version makes a 30 second video.

You select a style ( background),  put in your or their images,  and select music from your  selection or theirs.  The program will put it together in about three minutes for 13 slides.

Here some of  my creations (some of which are around a minute).

Catholic Religion in Costa Rica http://animoto.com/play/PVNZenyqO4FqNy93ys9g0g

Research Paper (mostly text)    http://animoto.com/play/rWG9zzVEZWdfFDxehJaChQ

In-class writing http://animoto.com/play/foCfW0w0T0dMEzeUbEJ57A

Pros:

Creates an exciting media display of pictures

Easy to use  with only three parts (style, images, and music).

Ease to import pictures; can multiple select numerous pictures at once.

Can arrange the images in order ; just click and drag them into the order you’d like them to appear.

Can add a  text slide by using the “T”.

Can select either 1/2, regular or double speed to show images. (At 1/2 speed about 6-13 images depending on the tempo of the music.)

Can email URL, get URL or post to popular social media sites from the  Video Toolbox which is located just under the right side of the video.

Can remix it if you don’t like the original.

Cons:

In the movie, it might  be hard to see  the details of an image.

Some text may be cut off from text images; keeping your image in the 3:4 ratio might help  avoid this.

Keep text screens to less than 15 words to be able to be read the words easily.

More music without singing would be helpful.

Knowing the tempo of the music might help to figure out how many slides will be shown and for how long.

More styles that show the  largest image size possible.

Interesting/Hints

If you have a critical point, put in two of the same images since one of them might be shown in a way that is it not easy to view.

Some styles  seem to show more of the image; play with the various styles since each treats visuals slightly differently.

Select the highlight feature to keep an image on the screen longer.

My Animoto videos to date have been introductions/overviews  of  the topics.  I’m still trying to figure out how to use this technology to get in-depth student  learning.

Apply for their educational version.


Some educational possibilities:

Students can:

– Show the major points of their research topic.

– Show what they did in the important parts of a long project.

– Show  the major themes from a work of literature.

– Put together pictures for others to quickly talk about (Foreign Language).

– Contrast two works of art, two artists, etc.

– Show critical vocabulary  for a topic.

– Show what their neighborhood, village, city is like. Or its history.

–  Create visual travel brochures of the important places to see in a location.

– Promote a cause such as recycling at school.

– Show the categories or traits of something

– Pose  short questions for the viewer to answer.

 

What other ideas do you have for using Animoto in your class?

 

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

 

Improve learning through a screencast program.

Some uses of a screencast/screen capture program such as Jing. I prefer the paid version ($14.99 a year).

* Create a mini- teaching lesson so that students can view it 24/7.

* Create a mini-teaching lesson that you will teach  more than once. Instead of  your having to say the same information for five classes such as explaining the fall of the Spanish empire, create a movie to show.  Save your voice.  In addition, you can observe the students as they watch the movies.

* Provide a video as homework. You can create short videos that prompt the students to think or do something about a topic before the next class.  Foreign languages teachers can provide a picture and have students practice answering the video questions about it.

* For a project, do a screencast of the instructions and assessment so students and parents can be sure of what is expected. For example, walk the student through the “comparing two works of literature” project.

* Create a screencast of some exemplars or model work so students can understand the high quality of learning expected. You can narrate what makes each work exemplary. A Social Studies teacher can tell  how a “history in our community” screencast represents several different historical time periods.

* Produce a formative feedback movie in which you suggest and show several ways to overcome a common learning gap. Students can view this as often as they want as they practice their  new strategy in the privacy of their own homes.

* Narrate or provide appropriate sound  over your PowerPoint so that you can emphasize certain points by changing your voice quality.  Simply record your voice as you go through the screencapture of the PowerPoint.

* Make a video in which you  narrate  a series of pictures.  A science teacher can narrate a walk through a bog to explain each part.

* Make a screencast of how to use a new program. For example, you show your students how to use the  new class wiki.

* Capture a short  first part of a show from a DVD, NetFlix, Hulu, etc , a middle part  and a near-the-end part  that are all on the same topic such as the  Mexican economy  so you can show all three together without having to search for the next part.

* Record some short  instructional movies for when you are out.  Your sub can show the movies and you’ll still be teaching the class the way you want it!

* Have students make their own Jing movie in which they peer teach.  Students can record themselves as they explain  a difficult concept. They can come in a few minutes early, record their planned out video, and show it in class. Also, Jing can be part of a learning station in the class where student groups  produce their peer teaching movie.

* Interview people in the community who use your subject area content  and show students that video. For example,  a builder talks about the various angles in building a house.

How have you used a screencast program in your class?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Do we help students improve?

I recently talked with a student who had taken a college remedial writing course. Each week in the course she wrote an essay on a writing prompt such as “My weekend”.  Her instructor  plastered her paper with corrections such as “Tenses!” or “Watch your grammar”.  However, this student  did not understand what the exact  tense problem was or how to correct it.   Each week she repeated the same errors. Her instructor did not review whole class errors.   This student did not learn any new pattern or formula for writing  the essays. She only did one type of essay.  She learned how to write better by asking her  friends.

Do we really help our students to improve? Do we give them meaningful formative feedback that helps them improve? Or do we leave our students sinking in their own learning laps? Do we provide them with several strategies from which to select? For example, my formative assessment book on writing, Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, offers many different strategies for each phase of the writing process.  Formative assessment provides continual improvement and success for students.

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.


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