Modelling Isn’t Just About Runway Swagger!

Okay, so no one can argue that this 80-year-old model has got that swagger that fashion designers dream about!   But, I’m afraid this isn’t the kind of modelling that I’m going to be talking about.  (Sorry to all of you fashionistas and catwalk queens!)

By “modelling”, I’m referring to the act of “serving as an example” (dictionary.com).  As Ashley stated in her post, and as Andrew reiterated, we are truly hoping to model the blended learning format that Alec and Katia have created for us in their series of five ed tech courses.

After MUCH deliberation, exploration, frustration, determination (and any other “tion” word you can imagine!), I believe I’ve finally decided on the ed tech tools that I will be using for my module.  [Backtracking for a moment…  Ashley and Andrew both already shared our overall group plans to include a Twitter hashtag for our Digital Citizenship class (with encouragement to use Tweetdeck or Hootsuite), a blog hub (with the option to use Feedly),  along with making full use of the assignment and discussion capabilities of Canvas (as our main learning management system).]  My (additional) chosen tools are Flipgrid and EdPuzzle.

JUSTIFICATION / PURPOSE OF EACH TOOL

Twitter Hashtag

Like so many of you have mentioned (Ashley, Andrew, and many others!), to busy people, Twitter can just seem like a waste of time.  I intentionally avoided Twitter, Facebook (still avoiding that one!), Instagram (intrigued by this, but not yet a user … can be a great tool to use to send students on a scavenger hunt, per Catlin Tucker!), Snapchat (laughed my head off at this one the first time Ashley showed me what the filters could do!!) …  but, I now feel that Twitter has become a reliable resource for me.  It connects me to educators from faraway places.  I can follow entire groups of people who are working toward goals that are similar to mine (ex. #skteachers or #21stedchat).

More than just being able to communicate easily with one-another, Ashley, Andrew and I want the students in our Digital Citizenship course to learn how to use this tool effectively, respectfully, and responsibly.  We will provide clear instructions about expectations for use and we will model good “tweeting practices” throughout the semester.

Blog Hub (likely WordPress)

My first experience with blogging was last semester for EC&I 833.  Completing my very first post took me several days, as I typed, deleted, restarted, and grew more and more unsure of what to write.  After reading the blog posts of so many incredible classmates (colleagues), I began to understand the true meaning of blogging.  (If you’re still unsure about it, WordPress has some great tips here!)

In both EC&I 833 and 834, I have acquired SO much knowledge – simply from reading the posts of classmates, clicking on their links, following up on my own pingbacks, etc.  For our Digital Citizenship class, we’ll use the blog hub as a place for students to share their work, view the work of others, and comment on what is being created.

Discussion Board on Canvas

According to the resource guide, Mastering Online Discussion Board Facilitation,  one of the benefits of using discussion boards in an online class is that, “Students are able to reflect upon their ideas before sharing them with the class, leading to more reflective responses and in-depth learning.”   Although I have had little experience using a discussion board (unless Google+ qualifies as a discussion board ??), I anticipate it being one of the key features of Canvas that my group members and I use for our modules.

With the discussion board, we’ll actually be able to create groups  – and we can assign different questions to different groups.  We could then let these smaller groups return to one large group to share what was discussed about their particular topic.  (A jigsaw activity, of sorts.)  For my particular module, I plan to let the students brainstorm their final assignment plans using the discussion board (in small groups).

NOTE:  We’ll also be using Canvas for posting assignment instructions, etc.

Flipgrid

I’m already a huge Flipgrid fan.  Thanks to Alec for introducing us to it at the start of EC&I 833!   Given that my module will be the first one for students to complete for our Digital Citizenship course, I plan to use this Flipgrid as a way for students to introduce themselves and hear the voices of their classmates.

My specific plan is to start my module off with asking the students to create a Flipgrid in response to the question, “In ninety seconds or less, talk about a time when someone used technology in a way that annoyed or frustrated you.”  This will be the “hook” of my lesson.

EdPuzzle

I’m a new EdPuzzle user (I’ve created one so far, but I haven’t had a chance to share it with students yet, as we’re just wrapping up a different unit).  Finding a quiet place to record my audio was the trickiest part of using EdPuzzle!  For my module, I have selected a TEDx video about digital etiquette.  I’ll add some questions for the students to respond to as they watch the video.  There will be either an activity or short quiz at the end of the video.

PowToon*

For my final assessment of student learning, I will ask the students to use technology to create a teaching lesson for a younger grade on the topic of digital etiquette.  Although I’ve never used PowToon, I’ve watched several that other’s made… including Natalie’s summary of learning from last semester…  and I think it will be just the right fit for children learning about DigCit.

It is QUITE possible that I will give students to option to create their teaching project using MySimpleShow instead of PowToon.  I recently checked it out after reading about it in Carla’s blog post…  it looks fantastic.  Maybe I’ll give the students the option for their final assignment for my module.

CONCLUSION

So… you might be thinking …. “Wow – this seems like a LOT of different ed tech tools for the students to be expected to use!”  … and you might be right.  We plan to provide the students with a quick “cheat sheet” about all of the tech tools they’ll be using.  (Focusing on the tool’s purpose and our expectations for frequency of use / application of the tools.)

In response to the question, “Can there be too much tech?” … the answer is “yes”.  But, as super techy teacher, Nakita Gillespie states in a video shared by Jen H. …

“Using various devices and apps in the classroom each day means [students] will become more and more fluent… it won’t be something they have to learn later to be successful.  That will just be second nature to them.”

Technology is not decreasing.  Its use is expanding into new areas all the time.  I acknowledge that, with the good, comes the bad but, hopefully, with good teaching, students begin to respect technology and its users so that the growth in this field is never viewed as a colossal mistake.

I’d love to hear your comments … or your experiences (good or bad!) with any of the tools that I’ve mentioned here.  Does this sound like a feasible plan (for our group to roll out and for the students to complete)?

Thanks for reading!

Nancy

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