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Showing posts from 2020

EdCamp Elmbrook 21

  We had out 5th annual EdCamp this past Saturday and it was a very different PD experience. Due to the pandemic, we help the EdCamp virtually. That meant that anyone across the globe could attend. While we usually only have educators from out region attend, we had educators across the nation and in some in Canada attend. In addition, we had an attendee from Turkey! The conference was conducted using Zoom and Zoom breakout rooms for the sessions. The team did a great job of organization and management. I could go on, but this is my first blog post in a while and I'd like to keep it brief. Below you'll find the session board for the day with notes docs linked. We had some wonderful sessions and the notes documents house some wonderful thoughts and resources. So, I recommend checking them out. Although this EdCamp was only for the morning, there was a lot of learning to be had. We had no technology issues from our end as organizers but I can imagine participants may have had iss

Many Uses for Pear Deck

Pear Deck is a tool I have been using in my classroom for over 5 years now. It is consistently the #1 tool my students say helps their learning in our classroom. So, I'd just like to give a brief overview of the different ways we deploy Pear Deck for Google Slides in our classroom. Instructor Paced Notes This is probably the most traditional use of Pear Deck. Essentially having a lecture session built in Google Slides with Pear Deck interactions built in. This has been wonderful this year when I have a mix of students who are in person and virtual. All learners get a chance to interact and be heard by the teacher and their voice can be shared with the class.  While this might seem straight forward, there are some best practices to keep in mind. Start out with a question to preview content or tap into prior knowledge.This can be a good check to see what the class and individual students already know about a topic. It is also provides an opportunity use their words to help guide def

EdTech Tools That Are Saving Me

With the holiday break only a few hours away, I decided that I should probably get one post in before the end of the year. I haven't posted in a while because I haven't really had the energy too. It's not that I haven't had things to share. It's just that I haven't had the energy to take the time post anything more than a tweet.  At my high school, we are currently in-person everyday. But, students had the option to attend class virtually. In person, we are socially distanced (at least 6 feet) in class and wear masks at all times. This means no sharing of materials, no working in groups, and no physical labs. This has challenged the way I teach even more than when we were all asynchronous virtual in the spring of this year. These restrictions could easily have led me down the path of a sit and get classroom. This is what I spent so much of my 20 year in education moving away from. So, it has been a struggle knowing that I am not giving my learners the science ex

Evidence of Mastery Presentation in Flipgrid

  One of the summative assessment options I love is something I've termed Evidence of Mastery or Mastery Defense Presentation. In this, students will present evidence from the unit to show that they have mastered all unit outcomes and present it to me face to face. When we do this face to face, I can then asks them questions or have them elaborate on points that they may not have covered. It takes time, but it gives me a clear idea of a students understanding of a concept. Due to social distancing in the classroom, I didn't have a good workflow for this in our 1st unit this year. I've brought this summative assessment option back and using Flipgrid to leverage it.  Traditionally, I had students construct their own slideshow presentations from scratch. This time around, I decided to make them a template of what I wanted them to specifically present to me. I put in space for them to present work that they had done in the unit. Specifically in this unit, it was graphs from lab

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, s

Captioning in Zoom

  Last year when we went 100% virtual virtual learning, my district was using Google Meet. This year, students have the option to attend face to face or virtually. To support those students who have chosen the virtual option, teachers are using the Pro version of Zoom instead of Google Meets. While there are many upsides to this, one major downside is the lack of free live closed captioning in Zoom. Zoom does have the ability to have an individual type in live captions, but we don't have the resources for that. There are also paid services that can be added to create live closed captions. But, I was looking for a free support option. To support those learners who would benefit from these captions, there are two workarounds for this. The first is using the tools generated by Google. I use Google Slides and Pear Deck for all of my presentations. When presenting in Google Slides, you can turn on auto closed captioning in the presentation menu. The audio picked up from the microphone i