Strategies for “Sticky” Vocab Learning!

Header Image for Post, contains post title and a picture of a dictionary

If you could be a fly on the wall of an average classroom, it’d be pretty likely that you’d hear something like “Don’t forget to study your vocab words tonight!” or “Remember to review your flashcards tonight!”

While there’s been a move away from the rote learning of yesteryear, most educators agree that having a firm grasp of content area vocabulary is still an important piece to the learning process.  I think that there are two important goals for learning vocabulary in content areas: (1) retention of the words (sticky learning) and (2) application of the words.

In Episode 34 of the Educational Duct Tape Podcast, I spoke with Dr. Jared Cooney Horvath, author of Stop Talking, Start Influencing, about both of these goals.

A week after that episode came out, I was joined by dozens of “Duct Tapers” in the #EduDuctTape Twitter Chat to discuss the podcast episode, including these two goals.

Below are some strategies that you can use in your classrooms to increase your students’ ability retain and apply their vocabulary learning.  Some come from the chat and others come from the episode. Continue reading Strategies for “Sticky” Vocab Learning!

Parlay Online RoundTable Discussions!

This is a sponsored post. All opinions, however, are my own.

In my Educational Duct Tape workshops and extended sessions, the participants share goals or issues that they are hoping edtech can solve for them.  We then use the #EduDuctTape edtech integration mindset to identify some possible tools that they can use.

Along with questions like “How can I formatively assess my students?” and “How can my students create podcasts about content?” one of the most common ones is “How can I have my students participate in online discussions about content?

Well, I think that I finally have an answer for that question that I feel really confident in.  Not long ago, a company called Parlay came onto the edtech scene.  I was intrigued from the very beginning.  The tool offers 2 different functions: (1) hosting online class discussions and (2) facilitating live, in-person roundtables and Socratic seminars.

Today, I’d like to focus on the first of those 2 functions: online class discussions.  In the #EduGIF below, you’ll see how Parlay guides the educator through this process:

  1. The teacher creates (or selects) a discussion prompt.
  2. The teacher sends the prompt to the students (via a link or Google Classroom).
  3. The students read the prompt and respond.
  4. The students read each others responses and reply.
  5. The teacher participates in the discussion.
  6. The teacher provides feedback on student responses.
  7. The teacher  (and students) view rich summary data.

I think that this tool has a lot of potenial in classrooms across most, if not all, content areas. If you try it out, I’d love to hear how it goes!

A Pausable version of this #EduGIF is available here.

This GIF walks viewers through the online discussion process as outlined in the numbered list above.

Check out Parlay here.

#EduDuctTape Episode 35!

Promo Image for Craig Klement Podcast Episode

In the 12th episode of Season 2, I talk with Craig Klement about spicing up standardized test prep, Google My Maps choice boards, digital badges, eduProtocols, Google Forms, Google Sheets, pre-filled form links, some Google Sheets formulas, some Google Forms Add-Ons and more!

See the Show Notes Here

Craig Klement Quote: "You can still use the same type of questions, just try to package it in a different way that will engage students and make the learning stick."

Adding Audio to Play on a Set of Google Slides

Not long ago, Google finally added the functionality of adding audio to Google Slides for all users.  And, not long thereafter, we started asking for improvements! 😬  Hey, it’s what we do! 😃

In this post, I’m going to share with you a hack to get the most asked for improvement.  It’s not an elegant hack (that’s an oxymoron, I think) but it’ll do until Google adds the actual functionality.

When you add audio, the main choice that you’ll have to make is
– “Do I want this to stop playing when I advance to the next slide…
– or do I want it to continue until the audio ends…
– or do I want it to loop until the end of the slideshow?”
Unfortunately, there’s no option to have it play on Slides 1, 2, 3 and 4 and then stop on Slide 5.

But what if that’s what we want?  In this post, I’ll show you a hack to set your audio to play for a subset of slides, but not for others.

My first idea for a hack was adding a different piece of audio on Slide 5, but that just leads to both audio files playing simultaneously.  Back to the drawing board.

My second idea worked.  So, here it is…  #EduGIF first, step-by-step instructions next.

This animation shows how to add audio for only a subset of the slides in a Google Slides file. The steps are typed out below the image.

Continue reading Adding Audio to Play on a Set of Google Slides

#EduDuctTape Live Mini 006: AJ Vambaketes talks Gamification, Computer Science and more!

In my 6th mini-episode, I’m sharing an interview with social studies and computer science teacher A.J. Vambaketes from the #TeachBetter19 Conference.  A.J. shares about gamification, computer science, Project Lead the Way (PLTW), MicroBits, using Google Drawings to create gamification visuals and using Schoology’s completion rules.

Note: For the foreseeable future, mini-episodes, recorded live and on-location at a conference or event, will come out every other Wednesday morning.

 

AJ Vambaketes Mini Episode Image

 

13+ Ways to Share Tech Tips with Colleagues

Ways to Share Tech Tips Graphic

TL;DR. This acronym is a huge part of our culture, especially as educators. Are you familiar with it? It stands for Too Long; Didn’t Read.  We are bombarded with so much information that, when it’s long, we often don’t read it. Our email inboxes are the biggest example of this.

And this presents a problem for educators hoping to communicate new tech ideas and tips with a staff of teachers.  Sending emails to some of the busiest people on the planet in the age of over-information? You’re definitely not getting 100% readership.  So what do we do?

In episode 32 of the Educational Duct Tape PodcastSethi De Clercq of eduflip.net and I discussed our recommendations.  Then, on 12/4/19, members of the #EduDuctTape Twitter community got together to chat about it.  Here are some takeaways: Continue reading 13+ Ways to Share Tech Tips with Colleagues

#EduDuctTape Episode 34!

Jared Cooney Horvath Episode Promo

In the 11th episode of Season 2, I’m joined by cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Jared Cooney Horvath and author of Stop Talking, Start Influencing | 12 Insights from Brain Science to Make Your Message Stick to talk about how brain science relates to some edtech issues. We discuss some vocab tools like Quizlet, Memrise, Quizizz and SuperMemo, as well as live closed captioning, sketchnoting, ebooks, collaborative notes and more.

Continue reading #EduDuctTape Episode 34!

My Top 5 Lessons Learned in 2019

Over the last few days, I’ve shared some of my most popular content from 2019 (top posts, top Instagram posts, top tweets, top retweets & top podcast episodes).  However, it’s important to own the things that weren’t popular or successful.  It’s also important to learn from those things!

Here are my top 5 Lessons Learned in 2019!

  1. Practice like you Play – In October, I was a featured speaker at the Quincy Conference in Illinois.  I practiced my presentations on the flight there and a little more at the Airbnb that I stayed at.  I thought it would all go great.  And it did, except for one detail: my AmazonBasics wireless presentation remote was a hot mess.  There were at least a dozen times during the day that it didn’t click when it should have or clicked multiple times when it should have clicked once.  I looked so unprofessional.  I have since purchased a better clicker (I’m looking at you, Logitech Spotlight 😍) and now I always practice with my remote.  This lesson could also be, sometimes you’ve gotta pay more to get good quality.
  2. Prufreed – Er, Proofread.  My Google Translate in Google Sheets #EduGIF has traveled the world (literally).  It had more than 85,000 retweets in Indonesia and nearly 90,000 upvotes on Reddit.  But I didn’t proofread it before I published it and now it’s too late.  There is 1 error in there (the code for German is de, not ge), 1 silly choice (why translate taco from English to Spanish!?) and 1 not-so-great example (it translates bienvenido to you are welcome, rather than welcome).
  3. Back up your backups! I recorded a mini-episode of the Educational Duct Tape podcast with my friend Missy Paden at the Educational Duct Tape Workshop in December.  I edited it and had it almost ready to publish.  It was a great interview.  When I went back to publish it, the audio file had disappeared.  Poof.  I should’ve backed it up.  Instead, I ended up publishing an episode where I reflected on the disaster.  Multiple people reached out to tell me that they found my reflections to be valuable!
  4. Check – In May, I interviewed John Sowash for an episode of the Educational Duct Tape Podcast.  When I went back a few days later to edit the interview, I discovered that I hadn’t plugged in my microphone and, instead, my audio was recorded via my computer’s built-in mic.  Oops! It sounded horrible. I should’ve checked before recording!
  5. Double-Check! – In August, I interviewed Mike Mohammad for an episode of the Educational Duct Tape Podcast.  When I went back a weeks later to edit the interview, Mike’s audio wasn’t there.  We must have disconnected before it finished uploading the audio, or maybe there was an error message that I ignored.  Fortunately, Mike was willing to re-do the interview a few weeks later.  And it’s a good thing, too, because it became the 5th most listened-to episode of 2019.

Here’s to more successes and more lessons learned in 2020!  Happy New Year!

The Top 5 #EduDuctTape Episodes of 2019!

The Educational Duct Tape Podcast launched on January 2nd, 2019, which makes TODAY the 1-year anniversary of the podcast.  In celebration of its first year, let’s look back at the 5 Most Played Episodes!

I’d love to hear what YOUR favorite episode was! COMMENT below!