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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

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.
I would not consider this a true choice board for a couple of reasons. But, I'd like to discuss the design of the assessment and then hopefully the freedom for student choice will be evident in the design.

If you don't know what the different E's mean, that's ok. But here's a quick bit of quick physics info:

Eg is Gravitational Potential Energy like the energy stored in an object based on its height above the ground.
Ek is Kinetic Energy is the energy of an object's motion based on its mass and how fast it's moving
Eel is Elastic Potential Energy the energy stored when an object is stretched like a bow & arrow or compressed like a when something bounces.
Edis is Dissipated Energy this form of energy could be observed as sound or heat.

The energy bingo card itself has 3 different categories of submissions. To get a bingo, students will have to complete a mix of these to reach a total of 5 submissions. The different categories are definitions, calculations, and transformations. Although each category has different criteria, each will all be submitted to Flipgrid. I choose Flipgrid because of the versatility of the Flipgrid camera to provide a wide range of student expression including audio, video, text, images, even emojis.

The students are presented with guidelines for each category.

DefinitionCalculationEnergy Transformation
-Identify the term
-Provide a definition
-Explain the factors that affect it
-Give an example
-Provide visual for the example
-Identify the term
-Provide the Formula
-Identify each variable in the formula
-Walk through a sample calculation
-Provide visual for sample
-Identify the starting energy
-Identify the final energy
-Explain how energy transforms
-Walk through each step of the process visually
-Be clear how it is know each type of energy is present at the start and end of the transformation

It is up to the student to find or create an example to use for their chosen definition, calculation, or transformation. These examples could come from:

  • An activity the student records of themselves
  • A video they find online
  • Their favorite video games
  • Pets or other things around their home
  • A drawing or animation that they create on paper or digitally.
The goal is to make it as wide open as possible, I really hope students have some fun with this and use it as an example to get creative and show a little bit of personality. It would have been a little impracticable to have all 30 students recording a video in my classroom at the same time. Leveraging the use individual creation and expression makes sense in a time of social distancing. Creating in their own spaces outside of the 4 walls of the classroom may lead them to see a greater connection between the content and their existence outside of school. 

Like I said, I am using Flipgrid for students to submit their work. I made a separate Flipgrid Topic for each category of submission. Each topic is moderated meaning that each student submission is private with me. 

If you'd like to see the topics that I made, feel free to access public facing versions here:

I created each category as a separate topic is so that students could easily view the criteria for each topic as they created their submission. The topic page has a tons of options for what can be added to assist students. 

But, recording a video is my favorite support. (Remember all Flipgrid videos have closed captions & Flipgrid has the Immersive Reader. Both of these are great to remove potential barriers to student access). In addition to creating instructional videos, I like to create at least one example for each topic. Below are some of the examples that I made.

When students are using the camera to record their response they can also pull up the topic instructions, too. So dividing giving each category its own topic allows students to easily see the criteria that they need to meet.

So while this isn't a true choice board, I still feel that students have a wide variety of options to choose from. I feel that they will have the opportunity to express their own voice in the mode of presentation and examples they use. While I did not spend hours making sure every combination was 100% equally balanced in terms of workload, I have ensured that each Bingo will cover the most important outcomes of the unit. 

I'm excited to see what students create. They have amazed me already the past few weeks with their ability to find the mode of expression that best fits their strengths to communicate understanding. While I lament the loss of some of my favorite activities. I will create with an eye to the new opportunities available. 


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