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13184811185_27130d16fd_zImage by Art Schultz via Flickr
I have enjoyed the COETAIL process.  I have loved the reading, and pushing my abilities in presentation.  This process has helped me to work on my weaknesses, and pushed me to try unexplored parts of programs I thought I knew... I had a lot of trouble coming up with blog posts and just blogging for my own blog before.  This process has helped me to push this personally, professionally,  and in my classroom.  My Photography students are now blogging, working in a paperless method... all thanks to our work in COETAIL. As an EdTech Specialist, my presentations have improved.  I work to improve the visual hook to my lessons.  I have made gains in preparing for next year, by making the move of our beginning instruction to a Flipped Model. One area where my COETAIL experience has begun to translate into change at my school was through my final project.

So, on to my Final Project.

In my office, We had just started planning for the start of the new school year.  There are lots of pressure points when it comes to the start of a new school year.  One being, the staff coming in.  We never have enough time with teachers at the start of the year, and teachers have so much information coming at them, that not much of the presented information is actually processed by teachers.  There are a lot of little things that can be presented, that can simplify life in a one to one environment... My brainstorm:  Flip some of the easy stuff.  That could be as simple as setting up a Gmail account, Getting an Apple ID, understanding where to go if your printer doesn't work...

Here is my UBD plan:

I started the process by grabbing some data from teachers that were currently working at my school.  I wanted to know what parts of the school they wished they knew more about, now that they have worked here for at least the better part of a school year.  The data was great. I had made improvements to the plan, from the data, and involved the other EdTech specialists in my school to help me drive the product further. We decided that after running a session on TouchCast, that this would be a great vehicle to use for the flipped learning video, rather than using YouTube to host it.  It gave us better flexibility, and more ability to add more interactivity.  The accounts are free, but videos are limited to 5 minutes.  Vapp Links can be embedded to other videos online, such as YouTube, Vimeo, etc...  For more on TouchCast, look at this other blog post. Here is a TouchCast that I made for one of the Flips. We decided to distribute these lessons via our Schoology LMS and via email to new staff.  As accounts are created, a new video is released to teachers to help them on their way. Once I got started, and showed my idea, and my data from my blog posts, my admin team got very excited.  They are concerned as well as to how to better organise the teacher orientation.  There are lots of pressures on teachers when they arrive in an international school, regardless of their experience teaching. Because of this excitement, different administrators have jumped at the chance to create short introductory video clips to be added to the Touchcasts, giving teachers a way to learn before getting here.  This has made this little project I started, turn into a bit of a monster.  My school has bought in, which also means that this project is on-going, and may run over a few years, to start with...

That all said, here is my Final Project Video.

As Touchcast does not allow for uploads longer than 5 minutes, here is my presentation in two parts. Part 1: Part 2:   Thanks for watching, let me know what you think below, or send me a tweet.

Final Project Reflection

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interact
Image courtesy of David Shankbone via Flickr & Creative Commons License.

While being in the Coetail Online2 Cohort, I have made attempts at engaging the COETAIL Community, via twitter, and through my blog.

Here are a few of my Twitter posts:

  I like Twitter, but I often do not find it engaging.  Maybe I prefer working with people I have met face to face.  Who doesn't?  But I wanted to find a way that I can get some interaction between my PLN and also a bit from the folks I have met in person. So I made few blog posts, using Google Forms to make them interactive.  Like this one. and this one. Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 1.09.58 PM   Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 1.11.07 PM The plan was to pass out the blog post via Twitter, and via email to folks I know...  I asked the readers to fill in the form, and voila... the graphs automatically update.  I like that I was able to use the responses spreadsheet, and a little spreadsheet know-how to create graph-able data.  The graphs were native to Google Sheets. Here is a direct link to the spreadsheet, should you want to have a look. This is a process that I have felt that worked for me, and I feel that I want to find ways to use this in creating content in the future.  I might look at creating an e-book that has interactive elements, such as Instagram or quizzes... My model may not be a direct, back and forth engagement, but I feel it does show interaction with my peers and PLN.  What do you think?  Send me a tweet at @art_schultz or comment below.  

Interaction!

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Hi There friends! I am currently working on planning a Faculty Orientation at my school for a project for my COETAIL course.  This orientation is about Technology and how it works at your school.  Imagine you were starting at a new school.  What would you want to know? I wrote another post asking Faculty at my school for some data as to how they felt their Tech Orientation went.  I'd like to know what your experiences are with technology is at your school!  Just a few questions. If you are interested, look below, and I am graphing the results. Happy to share the final spreadsheet here.  I am using this to help finish my final project...

In what country to do you currently work?

What is your country of origin / training?

Are you working in your home country, or working abroad?

Have you worked in more than one school?

How long have you been teaching?

Are you satisfied with the Technology resources in your school?

Going into your current teaching position, how well were the technology resources explained before starting work?

How does your school deploy it's technology?

I currently can use these technologies with my students at my school....

What do you wish you had better knowledge of (technology-wise) before starting at your school?

Before you came to your school, if videos and readings were available, would you have used them to orient you to your new school?

WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY PLN!

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Image credit: Dustin Smous via Flickr
Imagine you can use your iPad for creating professional presentation videos...  just like those that in professional media... Well you can! In leading up to my final product for Course 5, I was intending on creating a Schoology course for my incoming teachers.  But after creating a session for the Fishbowl classroom, I decided to change it to a TouchCast.

TouchCast is MADE for Flipped Learning!

Imagine creating a Video, that you can have interactive elements that pause while you interact.  You can present information, ask the viewer to do something, and then they can continue.  There are a lot of great features to TouchCast.  Here is a set of Google Slides that help to illustrate what the product can do. So here is the Script that I wrote to work with my TouchCast. I wanted to have prompts of which vApps I wanted in my script, while I was speaking in my Teleprompter, so I could click them in as I recorded.  Hope this helps you! Stay tuned:  The Final TouchCast will be in my reflection post.

Flipped Learning with TouchCast

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15679463463_d7e56bfcec_k Image courtesy of Pedro Ribeiro Simões   I've been working.  But, I'm running a bit late to start posting.  I have been talking to too many individuals at my school to get my project off the ground... Here is a rundown as to what I am planning to do in course 5. I have been coordinating with my school superiors to introduce a "Flipped Orientation" for faculty.  I work as an EdTech specialist, and I hope to change how my school is able to disseminate information at the beginning of the school year.  There are many facets to the overall orientation. First some context. We have a Mac - one to one program in the Middle School and High School, and an iPad one to one program in the Elementary Schools.  Apple Devices may be prevalent in the international school communities, but not always in public schools.  I hope to start the conversation with teachers who are not as familiar with these devices. The premise of the 'Flipped Orientation' is simple.  Give another avenue for teachers coming to a new school to get acclimated before school activities take over.  Many teachers changing schools have a little time between leaving their last school, and starting the next one.  This is the time that curiosity about their new school builds an audience that is waiting to absorb learning. My goal for this orientation is to show teachers the basics of the products we use, and 'get their feet wet'. Our Fishbowl Training Program and EdTech specialists are there to help teachers with the next step, and move the conversation forward. As orientation has many stakeholders, I have been in negotiations with the Admin team, as to what they would like to see.  I am developing a survey of current staff to see what they feel would be good to have ahead of the face to face orientation. As for the finished product before the end of the term, I will have a unit created.  I have been coordinating with others in my department and around the school to create items for the orientation course.  My school uses Schoology, Google Apps for Education, and Powerschool in various ways as well. This is quickly shaping into a monster project, which I hope to not only create content, but to help others in my school to help grow it into a much more useful course.

Course 5 Introduction

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14181585817_debf2340d9 Photo Credit: BackEastPhoto via Compfight cc   For my Final Project, I am looking to create a new unit.  I am looking to help my school with the Faculty Orientation, to give teachers time to get an overview of the technology resources at my school.  But, Faculty Orientations often are time poor.  There are so many things that new teachers need to know about coming to a new school, and faculty orientation dates are filled with classroom setup, meetings, mixers, forms to fill in,... the list goes on. Why not Flip it?  Let's find a way to show some of the tools, before Teacher Orientation.  My plan is to have our new teachers join into our Schoology Learning Management System, and learn how the system works.  The teachers now are the students.  They can experience what it is like to be a student in a class at KIS and see some of tech tools that they might use. This way, teachers, while on break, can learn about their new school while they have time.  They can experience some Professional Learning, and visit some of the on-demand resources before their new school life begins. Why do you think this unit is a good possibility for your Course 5 project? I believe this is a good idea for my project as it helps me to develop more skills in Flipping my Teaching, I can tap into pre-made blog posts and previous Professional Developments I have already created. What are some of your concerns about redesigning this unit? As we do not have a model for this kind of orientation at KIS, and this is completely new, I am unsure as to how it will be received by faculty. As the Faculty are new, I am unsure as to their skill set.  I haven't met them.  Data may need to be collected. What shifts in pedagogy will this new unit require from you? This requires me to further build in front of my normal trainings.  It will also make me use the tools that I train with, but in a more formal method.  I currently show the tools, but I am not actively using them.  For example, I use Schoology, but not in a classroom.  This will make learn to use it more fully. I am excited to try this out.  I have had some positive feedback from my Administration about the concept, and they are interested in seeing some materials.

Course 4 Final Project: Flipped Teacher Orientation

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Photo Credit:  fishbrain.randy@sbcglobal.net
I was meeting with a team of teachers brainstorming what their school would look like in 2020.  This team has been developing concepts for a Design Learning Center, where students can follow a Design Thinking model to show 21st Century skills, and the 4C's: critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity. This discussion reminded me of reading John Larmer's blog post, Project-Based Learning vs. Problem-Based Learning vs. X-BL The room of teachers were broken down into 3 groups:  Specialist teachers, Upper Elementary teachers, and Lower Elementary teachers. When I was talking with the teachers, there seemed to be two schools of thought:  PBL and PBL.  They both thought PBL, but didn't really understand that they were talking about similar, but not the same idea.  These ideas are Project Based Learning and Problem Based Learning. The Specialist teachers seemed to show more of a collaborative approach, with the Project Based Learning model.  Their ideas were to collaborate, and develop whole school projects.  They were discussing ideas about how the school could create a community garden or creating a school play, bringing working collaboratively across the school and local community.  Building in concepts that each area of study can contribute. Where the Upper Elementary Teachers approached the topics more with a subject based lens, and their ideas followed more of the Problem Based Learning model.  These teachers were looking how to bridge the curriculum through thematic units, that tackled problems that could be taught across the grade level. The 3rd Group, the Lower Elementary teachers tended to lean toward a more blended approach.  They were also very concerned that adequate time needs to be spent on the basics, so the learners have the skills to communicate their ideas. The Lower Elementary teachers are normally not concerned with Multidisciplinary studies, because that is what they do best.  Shifting from one type of learning to another happens all the time in Lower Elementary classrooms. This group was concerned with how to scaffold the problems for their learners, so they can communicate their ideas effectively. At the end of the task, all the teachers were concerned with how to best engage their learners with their curriculum.  Understanding how PBL (whichever version you like) can add variety and show new ways for students to showcase their new learning.    

PBL vs PBL

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Connectivism.  How can it change education? First I'd like you to look at this.  I summarised a post I found on Buzzfeed, which I summarised below into the slides. I believe that technology and personal learning connectivity can lessen the gap between the privileged and the less privileged.  Having the ability to ask questions online, find your own learning network is what connectivism is all about. Greater access to technology, can help shorten the distance between where they are and where they want to be.
What is the chance of a student from a poor developing country, such as Haiti, to be accepted to the most selective University in the world? 98 Million students cannot access higher education.
In Shai Reshef's TED Talk, he speaks of a connectivist approach to a University, where professors out number the students 2:1.  University of the People is an online University that helps students to obtain opportunity for free, in virtual classrooms, helping students to interact with each other from all parts of the world.
If you educate one, you change a life.  If you educate many you change the world.
Students living in areas where opportunity is blocked due to location, culture, physical disability, and other means, can be given a shorter distance to the basket.  Not quite a layup, but the technology can bring better answers to the student's questions, driving them toward a goal. I understand that not everyone can get online.  But that gap is bridging as well.  New Technologies, such as Lantern and the Outernet helps bring internet website data to areas where the broadband data is not an affordable way to connect, using satellite dishes to download and cue topics of interest. I believe that Connectivism can change how learners interact with the world.  Bringing better opportunity to people that have less opportunity.    

Connectivism… bridging the gap.

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flip Photo Credit: Ian Sane via Compfight cc  Image modified by Art Schultz
Flipping your Classroom is a great way to change up a workflow, and challenge students. But it has advantages and some interesting challenges.  In the Case Study by Clyde Freeman Herreid and Nancy A. Schiller, there are lots of ideas that inspire this blog post.  Here are my tips based on this article.

Flip to Inspire / Introduce.

I have never been a fan of lectures.  In my education, I have never enjoyed sitting and listening to an instructor for long lengths of time.  I also hated reading texts that were "required reading" that didn't seem to connect for me. A short video to Inspire the reading, what to pay attention to, would have guided my learning, made it more fun. Why not guide the students through the related text, and give their reading time purpose?  The author has already written the book, just push the student toward the best parts for their understanding.  This scaffolds their learning, helps them to better use their time.

Make your Video Interactive.

There needs to be a takeaway / activity.  How do you know the student has actually watched your video?  Why not use a Google Form to create a short online activity to complete while watching your video?  Jon Bergmann has a lot of tips on this issue.

Keep it Simple.  Have a Short message.

Bad Flipped Videos... are lectures.  The exact activity that you would have done in the classroom, but on camera.  Teachers are time poor.  Do you actually have time to record a whole lecture? Keep your videos to "Knowledge Points".  Think bite-sized pieces.  One concept at a time.  This allows for re-use in later courses, extending students, or for students to use as a review.  In the case study, this concept for videos or podcasts
"indicated that students found the podcasts useful, easy to follow, and effective in helping them understand new material."
Not only does it make it easier for the instructor to keep the flipped video shorter, use time more effectively, but it helps the students as well.

Reflection

As a teacher, and EdTech Specialist, I have always had trouble having enough time.  My classroom has been about hands on experience, building relationships between the learners and the technology.  I need to work to build more "on-demand'' professional development sessions, to compliment my classroom and extend it forward to the greater educational community. I have worked to keep my blog, KIS Fishbowl as a resource, but I would like to create a series of short (under 5 minute) tech takeaways to compliment the blog.  A tip, tactic, or quick hint that helps to inspire the learning that will happen in the classroom.  I think that flipping might just help.

Let’s Flip this thing….

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