In the 3rd and final part of Episode 17 of Season 2, Jake continues his coverage of edtech ideas and suggestions for Remote or Home Learning during the covid-19 pandemic closures. In this episode, Jake shares the perspectives of 3 educators (plus his own) for tracking students’ progress during remote learning.
Teachers have been scrambling over the last week or so to figure out how to connect with and instruct their students during extended school closures. One of the first questions that many seeked to answer was “How can I do a synchronous video chat or lesson with my students?”
People rushed to test out Google Meet (formerly Google Hangouts), but red flags appeared quickly:
- Students were able to mute classmates in the meeting.
- Students were able to kick classmates out of the meeting.
- Students were able to access the meetings later, without the teacher’s “supervision” to continue chatting (Jake’s note: I’m not sure this is a bad thing. They do this in our hallways and playgrounds, right?)
Well, Google for Education has reacted swiftly and effectively. Last night, they released an update to Google Meet for gSuiteEdu users. This update remedies the 3 issues listed above.
In my tests so far today, #1 and #2 above are already fixed. Issue #3, however, still persisted in my test and it looks like it’s because that part of the rollout won’t be quite as swift (the post lists that it may take as long as 2 weeks to roll out to everyone).
Don’t come down to hard on ol’ Google here
I have already seen some “too little, too late” comments on Twitter about this. I do NOT agree with that.
First off, if you switched to Zoom because of this issue with Google Meet, there’s no reason to switch back to Meet. You’ve got a solution that is working for you. Just stick with it. Don’t ask your students to learn a new platform.
Now, if you want to say “You were too late on this, Google!” slow. your. roll. Like every other tech tool that we’re using, Google Meet was not built for synchronous remote video lessons. They could’ve easily said “too bad, That’s not the intended use of Google Meet,” but instead they said “We’ll fix that for you.”
And not only that, but they went from becoming aware of the problem to fixing the problem within 1 week. 1 week! That’s tremendous.
Not only is that the kind of proactive, growth mindset, seeing a problem and fixing it mentality that we want our tech companies to have, it’s the kind of mentality that we want our teachers and students to have!
Think about that: they tried something out (essentially, a beta, as they call it in the tech world or a pre-assessment as we may call it in education), observed a flaw, listened to feedback and put improvements in place. In the classroom, we call that formative assessment. In the landscape of remote learning? We call that awesome.
In the 2nd part of episode 17 of Season 2, I continue my focus on the use of technology for #RemoteLearning, #HomeLearning or #DistanceLearning in the age of school closures for the coronavirus (covid-19). Multiple guests share their advice for formatively assessing students in these scenarios. Tools discussed include Quizizz, Zoom, Google Forms, Google Classroom, Screencastify, Edulastic, EdPuzzle, PearDeck, and Formative. Also, my son Cohen joins to show off his comedy chops.
The 17th episode of Season 2 is the 1st part of a special episode focusing on the use of technology for #RemoteLearning or #DistanceLearning in the age of school closures for the coronavirus (covid-19). Multiple guests share their advice for using live, synchronous video in these circumstances. We discuss StreamYard, OBS, Zoom, Google Meet, Screencastify and Flipgrid.
In the 16th episode of Season 2, I am joined by Joe & Kristin Merrill, 1st & 4th grade educators & authors of The InterACTIVE Class, to talk about making our classrooms and our students’ learning experiences InterACTIVE. We discuss Apple Clips, Buncee, Seesaw, BookCreator & Flipgrid. Also, a game of edtech BFF!
Video by David Allan (@_david_allan)
This is a sponsored post. All opinions and ideas (unless otherwise cited), however, are my own.
It seems like we are in a renaissance period for audio. Despite the dominance of videos and pictures (hello, TikTok, SnapChat and Instagram…), people are increasingly turning to audio for communication, learning, sharing and entertainment.
Podcast listenership continues to grow (some stats here and here), audio tools like Voxer are becoming increasingly popular for PLNs, educators freaked out when the addition of audio in Google Slides was delayed last spring and, lastly, “podcasting in the classroom” sessions at education conferences are becoming increasingly prevalent.
So, how can you use it in your classroom? Before we get to that, let’s talk about how to create the audio files.
Audio Recording Options
There are lots of options out there, all of which have pros and cons. I’ve discussed some on my podcast (here and here) and other educators have shared about options on their blogs (Eric Curts, John Sowash). As long as you identify your goal and think through the pros and cons, you’ll probably have multiple options to choose from.
One thing that I like to consider when selecting a tech tool for a new endeavor is: Do we already use a tool that can also do this effectively? Not only does that reduce the learning curve, but it means that we’re potentially connecting our students’ login and information with 1 less app or website.
If you like that line of thinking, Screencastify may be the option for you when it comes to audio in the classroom! Did you realize that you could export Screencastify recordings as mp3 audio files? Check it out!
If you’re already using the tool in your classroom for screencasts and other video projects, it might be a great option for you. This is available in the FREE version of the app. Your files are limited to 5 minutes in length, but you can record as many videos (or, in this case, audio files) as you’d like. The paid version provides unlimited video (or audio file) lengths.
21 Uses of Audio in the Classroom!
We all have moments where we realize that we just might be able to do something bigger than we ever thought possible.
I’ve had many of those. I want to zero in on a specific set, though.
The first came on May 8, 2018 when Danieta Morgan, then the Deputy Director of Instructional Systems for New Visions for Public Schools, now a K12 Google for Education Program Manager, sent me an email. I didn’t know Danieta at the time, but I knew New Visions. I had been using their Google for Education (now known as gSuite for Education) Add-Ons, Extensions and Scripts for years!
Apparently they knew me too, because Danieta was emailing to invite me to speak at their 5th annual New Visions Innovation Throw Down! I was so honored! Danieta told me that the event would be at Google’s New York City headquarters and that they would be willing to have me connect via Google Hangouts to present.
Take a moment to let that sink in. They would be at Google’s New York City Offices. I would be in Ohio. I could use Google Hangouts to present remotely.
I sent Danieta the obvious response: “The only way that this opportunity could be more exciting as [sic] if it actually involves me going to the Google headquarters! :-)”
Her response? “If you were able to get to NYC, that’s exactly what it would be!! ;-)”
Well, you can guess what came next. I had to convince my wife that this was a necessary trip. I had to get permission from my school.
Less than a month later, I was on a plane to New York City.
Remember my first sentence? We all have moments where we realize that we just might be able to do something bigger than we ever thought possible. June 1st, 2018. I stepped onto a stage at Google’s NYC offices.
There was a series of talks, each in an Ignite format, which means that I had 5 minutes to cover 20 slides that auto-advanced every 15 seconds. Yup, I flew to NYC to present for 5 minutes. And it was worth every minute of it.
I had never done this talk and I haven’t done it since. It was special for this event because it focused on New Vision Cloud Lab’s tools. But it wasn’t just special for this event. It was special for me. Here’s a video of it:
Education is a team effort. Often, we only think about 2 parts of this team: the educators and the students. But keeping the 3rd part–parents, guardians and/or families–connected and involved can have huge benefits.
I think that most educators would agree that the rankings for “best ways to keep in touch with parents, guardians, or families” are:
- face to face communication
- phone calls
- everything else
But, sometimes, we just don’t have time to do #1 and #2 for all of our students’ families.
Enter #3: technology.
As you probably already know from the Educational Duct Tape podcast, I believe that edtech is at its best when it’s being used as a tool to solve problems, meet goals or address learning standards. So, if we know that it’s important to connect with and involve our kiddos’ families and we know that it’s tough to connect with all of them, how can we leverage technology to support us in this endeavor?
I discussed this with a group of awesome educators recently.
On February 5th, 2020, I had the honor of moderating the #KidsDeserveIt Twitter Chat (all tweets available here). This chat is based on the book Kids Deserve It by Todd Nesloney and Adam Welcome. In the book, Nesloney & Welcome zero in on a set of steps that educators can take to improve the educational experience for our students. Two of those steps are contacting parents regularly and getting them involved in the classroom. So I asked the #KidsDeserveIt chatters 2 questions relating to parent, guardian and/or family contact and involvement:
Here are some of the tools that the #KidsDeserveIt Chatters shared about! Continue reading Tech Tools for Connecting with Parents & Families
In the 15th episode of Season 2, I am joined by Andreas Johansson to talk about things that we can do to support less tech-savvy staff members, especially non-teaching staff. Tools discussed include Google Forms, Sheets & Sites; the FormMule, AutoCrat & FormRanger Add-Ons; the VLookUp, Concatenate & Substitute Google Formulas; Lean Thinking and more!
BONUS CONTENT: This audio was not included in the regular podcast episode, but is available here for listening:
Video created by David Allan.
This is a sponsored post. All opinions, however, are my own.
Recently, I shared about Parlay’s Online Discussions. Parlay has created a platform for rich discussions that has all of the important features for the teacher and the students. However, there’s also value in live, face-to-face discussions.
But, these can be difficult to manage. How do we know which student speaks next? How do we know which students are waiting to speak? How does the teacher communicate feedback or assign grades? There are even more questions but for most, if not all, of them, Parlay has the answer. Their Live RoundTable Discussion tool provides an awesome way to manage your face-to-face classroom discussions, including Socratic Seminars.
Let’s check out what it looks like:
The Student View
In the #EduGIF below you’ll get an overview of the student experience starting from how they plan their responses all of the way through viewing feedback and summary data.
The Teacher View
So, now that we know what the experience looks like for the student, let’s check out what it looks like for the teacher!