Skip to main content

Music to Our Ears

I recently posted about the collaboration Megan Peschke and I have created a shared Flipgrid grid between her kindergartners and my high school physics students. We conducted introductions which took on a life of their own. We have moved on from hellos to address to science content. My students are currently in a unit on sound and waves. Flipgrid was a great way to share learning during our energy unit. So, my students are sharing their learning with me and the kindergartners. The one major online interactive hub for exploring sound that is easily accessible across devices and different age levels is Chrome Music Lab. If you are not familiar with it. It is a free set of interactive labs created by Google exploring different aspects of sound.  This exploration and sharing took place over a couple of different activities. In our physics class, these activities were part of a series of applications of concepts students had learned during flipped interactive lectures conducted in Pear Deck.…

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.


Popular posts from this blog

Mo ISTE Mo Presentations!

Well this week was my 2nd time attending the ISTE conference. This year I was able to attend a bunch of wonderful sessions. I even presented. I’d like to that the time to share out the resources from my sessions and the sessions I attended. I’d like to thank the people who were most directly responsible for me attending ISTE. Barbara Bray for inviting me to present as a part of her sessions. Dana Monogue the director of teaching and learning in my district when the opportunity arose for finding resources to support my journey. Dana is now the superintendent of another great Wisconsin school district. Finally, the innovative work done in my classroom is done in partnership with my co-teacher Andelee Espinosa.
Learner AgencyLearner Voice and Learner Choice are two major components to providing Learner Agency in the classroom. Too often, voice and choice are seen as a single aspect. In our session, Barbara Bray, Kerry Gallagher, and I teased out key aspects of and examples for incorporat…

Pear Deck, Quizlet, GimKit Appsmash

As a part of March Madness, my students did a EdTech Tournament bracket. The finals were between Gimkit and Pear Deck. Pear Deck won, but my students love both tools. 

So when someone asked me if I ever thought of an appsmash between the two, I had to try something out. This is a triple app smash that links Pear Deck to Gimkit using Quizlet. The appsmash uses student generated explanations, definitions, and visuals to create a GimKit.
If you are not familiar with Pear Deck Vocabulary it allows students collaborate in the creation of flashcards from a list of predetermined terms or concepts. These flashcards are have both a written and visual component. For all the details on Pear Deck Vocabulary, I’d recommend heading over to Getting Started with Flashcard Factory.
If you are not familiar with Gimkit. It is a formative quiz game that allows students to work at questions at their own pace while competing against their classmates. In addition, participants can go to an in game store to pu…

Canvas LMS Flipgrid Integration

I am really loving the Flipgrid app in Canvas. Why? It allows students to access class grids right from Canvas without having to share out links or codes. It allows me to create a Flipgrid response as a Canvas assignment. Students can turn in assignments as a Flipgrid response. With Speedgrader in Canvas, I can quickly see who has and hasn’t responded to a Flipgrid just like any other assignment submitted to Canvas. So, I wanted to share out how to easily add it to your canvas course. If the GIFs are too small for you, I created a quick video below.
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.