Video Conferencing with Young Learners

12976210_1008812569185734_1677280597_nTechnology has given students and teachers amazing opportunities to make global connections to learn and share with each other. Video conferencing allows students to meet each other in real time – a powerful experience for all.

However, managing a live video conference call with our younger students can be challenging and chaotic without careful preparation and structure.

These guidelines were put together with teachers and students in Early Childhood and Primary classrooms in mind for planning and conducting meaningful & productive video conference calls but are applicable to all levels.

Video Conferencing with Young Learners Guidelines and Resources (PDF)

Guidelines created by…
Ann Lopez, ECC teacher
Marina Rabelo, Kindergarten teacher
Diana Beabout, Learning Innovation coach
at Shekou International School

***Inspired by involvement in The Traveling Teddy Bear Project (Pana Asavavatana & Joe Sergi)

Formative Assessment using Keynote

Good questioning invites further inquiry from students. As a way to formatively assess learners, it also allows teachers to collect information to make inferences, pique curiosity and create new learning opportunities.  Additionally, when teachers make formative assessment an integral part of their lessons, they are able to benefit from a clearer picture of student understanding and then adjust and pivot to make more informed instructional decisions.

This past week Eddie Bywater approached me with an application that seemed to encapsulate this idea but done in real time and without creating the additional work that would usually dissuade a teacher from trying something new. The software is called Poll Everywhere and as an educator and learning innovation coach, I quickly saw the immediate potential a tool like this would have in transforming a teacher’s learning environment.    

In one sentence, the cool thing about this app is that once you create and invite your students the poll, the information collected is automatically embedded and refreshed directly into your keynote presentation in real time giving you immediate results.

For more information see tutorial.

3B Connects and Collaborates for a Mystery Skype

Nicki Ruthai‘s grade 3 students connected with Luke Fitzpatrick’s grade 3 class through an event called Mystery Skype. Using the video conferencing platform Skype and the game of 20 Questions, the students used their geography and reasoning skills to figure out where the other class was.

See Mrs. Ruthai’s post “Mystery Skype” on her classroom blog for more details about this event.


Additional Resources

Mystery Skype (Skype in the Classroom)

 So You Want to Do a Mystery Skype (Pernille Ripp)

How to Set Up and Run a Mystery Skype (Mr. Solarz)


Twitter and a Kindergarten Classroom

3389655485_c981a3e973Carlene Hamley’s kindergarten class has been using Twitter to enhance classroom discussions, make connections around the world and provide an authentic audience for writing workshop. Through their class Twitter account, @KC5105, Ms. Hamley and her students have made connections with classrooms and individuals within the SIS community and beyond. They check tweets on a regular basis to find out what is happening out beyond their classroom which leads to relevant and meaningful discussions among students and with their Twitter followers. Tweeting has also been incorporated into daily writing workshop sessions, as seen in the video below.

Posts about using Twitter in the Kindergarten Classroom by Carlene Hamley

Twitter in KC: How and Why
Tweet, Tweetered, Twittered…We are in KC!!
It Started with a Tweet!

Stay FITT This Summer

As the school year comes to a close and we spend time reflecting on different lessons and projects this year, it is important to remember that our students are learning all of the time.  Learning doesn’t simply finish with the end of the academic year, and this is especially true when it comes to physical education.  With so many of our HS students taking part in Knoflick FITT this past year, Colleen is continuing the challenge through the summer:

Post Your Pushups Around The World!

Join our P.E. students this summer by taking part in the Summer FITT Challenge.  All you have to do take part is to take a picture or short video of yourself doing pushups with a geographical landmark in the background and post it to the Knoflick FITT page.  We want to see where in the world you are working out.  Students have already been abuzz about where they will be and what pictures they will capture.  John Burns will being doing pushups at the renowned Gold Coast beach in Brisbane.

Here are just a few of the great reflections that Colleen has received from students as they thought back upon this year-long project.

Dabin Song’s PE Radio Show

Not another iMovie

There are so many ways to have your students showcase their learning through the iPad. One particular summative project is to have your students film their learning. Miss Lauder has been having her students do this particular process, but has a twist on how it can be more relevant to your students’ learning.
“In the past I typically steered my students summative project to showcase their learning by making a quick film clip that I and / or their peers could watch in class. Whether it was myself assessing their film or peers, the learning that they captured was the same. This process soon became very bland, so I decided to infuse students’ summative assessment projects with empathy and design to get better overall showcasing of learning. 
Students were put into groups and given a biomolecule (carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, vitamins and minerals, proteins) to study. Once in their groups they researched their biomolecule and followed the rubric to finalize their film. This can easily be integrated in your classroom, where the focus is researching a topic to meet a specific standard or even a topic that the students want to learn themselves.” 

Calculating my Future

Making learning relevant in Sarah Qavi’s room. “Its really easy” 😉

What is an everyday math objective that your students must meet?
They have to apply themselves and I feel I give them enough reason and relevant content that they want to learn the current standard.
How do you differentiate instruction for your learners?
It’s really easy. I do a flip classroom, mainly  through Educreations, depending on content, I also use Khan Academy. The students watch the lesson at home, the following day they come back to class and apply their learning.  
During every math class I set up stations, they are typically the following:
Art station- art of math ~ graphical representation.  
Technology station – math and technology – i.e. Google Earth for coordinates. 
Consultation station – 1v1 facilitated with me to check for understanding
Game situation station – games, cards, board games and dice.  
Application station – time to implement their learning into a project. 
Complex thinking station – This is for students who show exemplary standard of that particular math strand we are currently working on.
How do you assess your students?
During my consultation station, I am able to assess where my students are in the current math unit. From there I can keep them or have them stay longer with me for further coaching. Those that move on, apply their learning to the application station.
How do you make this relevant and have your students autonomously apply themselves to learn specific math standards?
There are plenty of resources online to make mathematics relevant… but is it really relevant. To me that answer is no because it depends on location, meaning, in what city are you currently teaching your students? The reason is, I teach at an international school, I am exposed to traveling to many countries, eating a variety of foods and use many different currencies. I easily apply what I go through on an everyday basis and on holiday with the math standard I teach in class. This is what makes learning math relevant to my students because they too are going through the same experiences. With obvious different twist, this could be applied to any subject.
What are examples of this in your classroom?
The system of math, in particular systems of equations and inequalities. I applied this to budgeting a trip. All my students travel so this easily resinates with them.
Another example that I have students meet the standard of percents, mark ups, simple interest, compound interest and rates. The summative assessment I give my students to complete is a project called “University, managing finances.” The project is completely directed at them in regards to what university they currently see themselves attending and living on their own after they graduate high school. As mention before, project requires the students to apply percents, mark ups, simple interest, compound internets and rates. I receive a lot of positive parent feed back on this project because it’s an easy talking piece at home that both parent and child can have a constructive conversation about.
Resources:      University Project           Student’s Project