Sunday, November 1, 2015

It is Time for Students to Take Charge of their Learning!

This past week, my kids worked with a couple of technology tools to foster the idea that it is time for our students to take more ownership in their learning!  I was motivated by Kayla Delzer to begin this movement in my classroom.  She truly is an visionary when it comes to education and student driven learning!  We worked with a couple of apps this week that aided in giving my students more control in their learning.  We began our week with a mini-lesson on the app, Explain Everything.  Explain Everything is an interactive whiteboard that allows students and educators to animate their thinking.  My goal with this is started as a simple idea.  My plan was to teach the students about a skill, and then give them the tools to dive deeper into that knowledge through the use of an interactive whiteboard and QR codes.  At the end of the lesson, they were challenged to create a how-to video about the skill that day, distributive property of multiplication, that could potentially be posted on YouTube for other students to use.  Their excitement was palpable, and one of my students said, "This is the best idea ever!".  I could not agree more!  I created a video using the ShowMe app, and then created a QR code with a link to that video. I then glued the QR code to one desk within the table groups, and titled it a "Help Desk".  My plan is to create "Help Desks" throughout the year for students to access when they require reteaching.

The students then created their own interactive videos within the app, Explain Everything.  I loved how this app, very effortlessly, lent itself to collaboration and creation.  The videos were great, and the students grasped the concept of distributive property without me ever having to pass out a piece of paper!  Imagine that!  Up next is Aurasma and TinyTap!! More to come soon once my students explore these awesome tools!

One of my students, Denton, wanted to share Explain Everything with my partner teacher to see if she could start using it in her class.  He took it upon himself to show her the app, and he even brainstormed ideas with her about how she could use.  And do you know what happened?  She loved everything about their conversations, and used it the very next day!  Below is a picture of Denton talking to Mrs. Serrill about his ideas.  We posted this image on Twitter, and Explain Everything retweeted it!  I wish I could have bottled his reaction to this when I told him.  He was so proud!  That is what it is all about!!

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