Tuesday, September 17, 2013


(In Online Learning)

Any learning involves engagement.  The extent to which you employ various online strategies in your flipping and blending will call for even more intentional engagement.  

EVEN if your students will be in your classroom engaged in a well designed Blended unit divided up into manageable module chunks you will need to actively  design engagement on various ways.  

Some Engagement Ideas: 
1) Build puzzles/mini web quests  into any screencast videos you make. 2) Include brief mini quizzes in those same type of videos. 
3) Plan a module where students collaborate analyzing content in some way so that the knowledge developed can be employed in some valid fashion. 
4) Allow students to self-select mini breaks (10-15 minutes in a 90 minute block)  from the normal lesson flow.  They can be assigned to use content from the regular modules to form a search for a website that has relevant information to their studies.  THEN they call you over and explain how it is relevant. 
5) Discussion Boards - Content: This will add back in some of the person to person interaction (discussion, polite argument) that would be missing in an individualized online based unit.  
6) Discussion Boards - “Water Cooler”: Let us be honest with each other, they live in the world of Facebook, Twitter, etc.  They may have ossues they can share and discuss in a discussion board dedicated to social interaction. Even YOU can participate in it.  Don’t be the leader, but a participant.  

We can come up with more ideas, but you would have more fun doing it for your specific needs.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Video as a Learning Tool


(An Educreations video: Less than one hour to plan, construct, record, and post!!!)

Videos are just one way to present content information to your students. You can easily make engaging videos that allow students to see and hear you sharing stories about content in a way that flexibly meets their needs. THEN..... You pair them up with a formative assessment (Can you say Google Forms?) and you know whether THEY know.

Questions Asked:

Are you considering using iTunesU for your purposes?
I have not use itunes U yet, but am not against it. (Can anyone post a comment or new entry giving some information about it?)  I do have a Youtube channel where I put instructional videos I have made. There is another server where some of my instructional videos are hosted that were made with the program Camtasia.  
I also use the ipad app Educreations which allows you to make narrated whiteboard videos and post them to their own server.  
Here is the link to THAT video location.  
Here are links to all of the locations where you can see examples of the instructional videos I have made. I am not the Master of this, just a teacher trying to reach his students.

While it is true you can easily find relevant videos on Youtube (think Khan Academy), I have found my students MORE engaged when it is their teacher speaking to them.

YouTube Channel

Educreations video spot:

Screencast Videos (made with TechSmith’s Camtasia):

Now I am not saying you should use only videos as your instructional tool when Flipping and Blending your instruction.  I am just advancing them as one tool that you can use to your advantage.

Is there a next step after basic videos??? YES!!! Interactivity, which will be discussed at a later time.