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Make it Your Way: Summative Assessments in Flipgrid

This year, our students have the choice to be in person or virtual. So in my physics classroom, roughly 20% of my population is virtual. This has resulted in me making major changes in terms of labs (not sharing materials for in person and coming up with solutions for virtual students.) But this week is our first unit assessment. One assessment structure I used last year during virtual learning was so effective, I decide to use it again this year.This structure was a bingo choice board in which students submit responses using Flipgrid. What I love about Flipgrid is that it provides such a wide variety of expression options. So when I tell students to create a video using Flipgrid, they have so many options in terms of creation. They can use audio, they can add text, they can capture video, they can upload video, they can upload images, they can add emojis. In addition, they can annotate live over everything. On the Bingo board students choose the content of the video. On Flipgrid, stu…

Innovate, Lose, Grow

One of the great stories of Innovation shared in Innovator's Mindset is that of Blockbuster and Netflix. A part of the story that I’d like to reflect on is the failure of Netflix. Most of us didn’t know about it because we didn’t have a personal interest in Netflix, yet. The graph below is taken from a series that Derek Bennington did at Chief Innovator.  As you can see Netflix was not an instant success. They lost money for years before they began to grow.

In a meeting four years ago, our assistant superintendent for teaching and learning Dr. Dana Monogue began by drawing a curve on the board similar to this:
She noted that the gains in our district had flatlined. Yes we were one of the highest performing district in the state now, but we weren’t preparing learners for tomorrow.  She put forth the challenge that we needed to change our model before we lost touch with the workplace of tomorrow and saw negative gains.
She next drew a second curve that represented a shift in practice, an attempt to innovate.

As you can see by this graph and the Netflix graph, they begin with loses. That day Dr. Monogue told us something I had never heard an administrator say before.  She communicated that our test scores might go down at first, but that’s ok. She let us know that she believed that short term losses are what long term success is built upon. Innovation requires a commitment to your goal and sticking to it.
It is one of those moments that I cling to as an educator.  It told me that my administration trusted me to be an agent of change, my failures didn’t define me, and they knew learning was more than just a score.  They understood that to innovate one must lose before growing.


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That's a Bingo: Rethinking Assessment in Virtual Learning

In this new landscape of Virtual Learning, I've lost many of my favorite activities and labs. But thanks to ideas from my Professional Learning Network and the support of my administration, I feel like I've been given the freedom to think differently. To not simply retrofit activities and assessments into a virtual model, but to try something different and leverage the change in instruction and environments.

In a recent podcast, Kasey Bell presented 12 practical tips for remote learning that forced me to rethink what I was trying to do. It was a fantastic episode that moved me to question my current practice and try something different. So, I took a tip from another one of her episodes on Choice Boards. As we finish our energy unit, I wanted to create a more unique opportunity for learners to demonstrate mastery. So, I created an Energy Bingo Board.
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Canvas LMS Flipgrid Integration

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From Setting in Canvas, go to the Apps tab.

This sets up a specific Flipgrid for your course. The Flipgrid can then be accessed via the side navigation by you or students.
You can easily create assignment submissions to be Flipgrid responses during assignment creation.
Students can easily submit their assignment directly to Flipgrid from the assignment page.
Here’s the video compilation of the GIFs.

Mo Hellos Mo Connections

I have been lucky to do many collaborations with Elementary School teachers with my physics classes. I’ve had great collaborations with Jessica Ebert, Kate Sommerville & Angela Patterson, and Katie Spadoni. Our transition to Virtual Learning has put a halt to any ability to have a face-to-face collaboration. But, my experience with Flipgrid and a new friend has allowed me to start a new collaboration between High School Physics students and a class of kindergartners.It all started when  I had this Twitter conversation with someone in my district.
Now, I’ve only met Megan Peschke face to face twice. (And, I only remember one of them. I’ll leave it to her to tell the story of that one.) Well, the idea was launched in that conversation of using Flipgrid as a place to create a connection between the two classrooms: My 2 sections of Physics and her Kindergartners. I’ve been using Flipgrid with great success with my Physics students all year and it has really taken off during our virtual…