T3 Framework Challenge

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 1 comment
One thing that I really hope to blog about this school year is my re-orientation to classroom technology that is being challenged by the T3 framework. I have been using edtech in the classroom in ways that I am proud of for a while (I fondly remember the xtranormal videos my students created in 2007), but the T3 framework has given me a new perspective and more importantly new intentionality around educational technology.  I've shared a couple of tidbits below.  I would love to continue the conversation in the comment section below, or at a coffee shop, or a twitter chat, or through email....

What is the T3 Framework? 

In a nutshell: the T3 Framework is the research-based way to look at technology use in the classroom. In this framework, edtech practices are seen through 3 lenses: 

1. Translational: This use of technology increases efficiency, accuracy, and quality through automation and consumption. In my current classroom practice, this tier can be seen in  sending emails instead of paper notes, assigning videos for consumption, or using digital testing and grading platforms.  There is value to this level, but these types of tech translations maintain the current status quo and have a small effect size (Hattie 2017). 

2. Transformational: These strategies allow students to produce and contribute in new ways because of enhancements with technology. For me, this stage is represented when I have my students create screencasts, whiteboard animations, spark videos, infographics, blogs, and other digital artifacts. This level is great for proving mastery. 

3. Transcendent: This final use of edtech centers on inquiry design and social entrepreneurship. In this level students are asked to recognize problems in society, imagine solutions, understand fallacious reasoning, and begin to address these wicked problems with an authentic audience. This is a challenging stage, but one that truly teaches agency and problem solving techniques. 

From my perspective, this framework places value on: 
  • Students understanding personal learning goals, their current mastery level, and strategies for increasing mastery. 
  • Students working to solve wicked problems through inquiry, social entrepreneurship, and clear understanding of fallacious reasoning. 
  • Intentional leverage of available technology to add efficiency, create digital artifacts for authentic audiences, and address global challenges. 

Where can you find out more?

If you want to learn more about this framework, you can:

I recently attended a full day introduction to the framework as part of a year long challenge.  Here are my sketchnotes from the event: 

(Sorry the image is not the best quality; this was my first sketchnote in noteability and I'm still learning about canvas size and exporting.  #failforward.)

Why I LOVE Teaching With Collaborative Google Slide Decks

Saturday, September 22, 2018 No comments

What is a collaborative slide deck? 

A collaborative slide deck is simply a google slide deck that has one blank slide for every student (or pair or group).  Students all sign on to the slide deck and work on their own slides simultaneously.  The easiest way to get everyone on a collaborative slide deck is to create the blank template and then share the deck through google classroom with the permission: "students can edit". 

Here are some examples of collaborative slides that I have used lately: 

1. Memes about the impact of technology on communication:  This was an activity that we did after reading/annotating a set of articles and before we wrote argument essays on the topic.

2. Long-Term Goals: This was a beginning of the year activity that helped me get to know my AVID students and what their current long-term goals look like. It led to some really great conversations between students while they worked!

3. AVID Focused Notes: Students took before and after pictures of notes to illustrate different ways we can process and re-visit notes. They can easily insert pictures from the chromebook webcam inside google slides by clicking Insert ---> Image ----> Camera---> Allow!

4. Get to Know You Slides: This was an awesome collab slide template I got from CUE BOLD that can be used for getting to know students at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, we had some technical challenges at the beginning of the year and we weren’t able to make this happen this year so I don't have student work.

Why do I love collaborative slide decks? 

1. We are better together. I try to model my philosophy of education as much as possible and one main principle is that we are better together.  I really believe that learning in my classroom is collaboratively constructed not transferred. When students see the great examples from peers and know that their work has that same authentic audience, it pushes them to do the best work they can with support from the classroom community.

2. I can easily scroll through in real time and give both general and specific feed-forward. When students are working on individual docs/slide/paper, it takes a long time for me to get to each student and many times I can't catch major mistakes until it is too late and the students have turned it in. While students are working on a collaborative slide deck, I am walking around with my wearable desk scrolling through while giving actionable feedforward verbally to specific students and to the class in general. They are able to use my comments to improve their work before they turn it in, which moves writers much further than my asynchronous comments a few days later.

3. Students serve as examples and feedback leaders. It is so powerful for students to be in the middle of writing, when I call, "everyone turn to slide 7 and see how "Miles" is embedding this quote and click to slide 12 where "Willa" uses this turn of phrase. When real-time student work becomes mentor texts, it makes it feel more attainable for everyone, not to mention the huge swell of pride from the exemplars.  Early finishers are also able to give comments to their peers.

4. They are easy to grade (and print). There are so many less clicks when grading and when I want to print student work to put up for back to school night or a bulletin board, it is a one click printing situation!

What skills must be taught for this to be successful? 

1. Digital citizenship. Yes, students can change each other's slides, but do not let this be the reason not to use this kind of activity!! The classroom should be a place where we teach students that technology gives us all kinds of power, but with great power comes great responsibility.  Students need to learn that just because a digital tool allows them to do something, does not mean they should do that.  (For example, just because they can be a twitter troll, doesn't mean they should!) They also need to see the authentic consequences of their behaviors and have those teachable moments.  ...and if all that fails, I have two words for you: Version. History.

2. How to give constructive feedback. When strong students finish early, I encourage them to use the google slides comment feature to help each other. Before they can do this well, students need explicit models and sentence stems so that they give constructive feedback that avoids negativity and/or just doing the work for peers.

3. How to use peers as models. Since students can see everyone's work, some teachers worry that they will copy.  In my experience, this actually happens a lot less because we are all policing each other instead of just one set of tired teacher eyes.  That being said, I model and directly teach how to use peer work as a model, adopting sentence structures and turns of phrase instead of copying large chunks.

4. How to use slides. More and more of my students are coming to high school with slides experience- THANK YOU tireless middle and elementary school teachers!  I sit my students in small groups so that those with less experience can get quick tips from those with more experience.  I also actively teach my students to use their resources (aka google it)! If you are a high school teacher who doesn't know how to use slides well, I would not let that hold you back from using them with students. Trust me, they don't need much guidance from us on this one!  If you are still wary, ask a tech coach to be in the room the first time you use them.

5. How to avoid unnecessary digital distraction. When we are making collaborative slides with memes or gifs in them, students sometimes get distracted from their own work because they keep flipping around to other people's work. To me, this is a teachable moment that leads to really important discussions about digital distractions at large during homework, classwork, socializing, and driving!  I want them to fail hard and fail fast with digital distractions while I am in the room to debrief about meme slides and not when they are behind the wheel going 65...

What do you think about collaborative google slides?  I'd love to hear your comments, suggestions, or questions in the comment section below! Remember, we are better together <3

Quick Googley Tips!

Thursday, September 13, 2018 No comments
Hi! I hope everyone is off to a fantastic new school year!  My year is very busy so far, so I want to share a quick post with a few Googley tips that help me use G-Suite efficiently in the classroom.

1. Have students work in a collaborative slide deck and watch them in grid view.

I love to have my students work on assignments in a collaborative slide deck.  Basically, I make a blank slide deck with an empty slide for each of my students. I assign each student a slide number and then they work simultaneously on the same deck, but on individual slides. While students are working, I project the grid view so that I can keep an eye on everyone's progress while I walk around and work with individuals/small groups.

2. Use favicons to bookmark efficiently without words. 

My students and I use a variety of tech tools often.  In order to expedite the process of navigating to our favorite sites, we bookmark them in chrome.  If the tool has a favicon (the little images seen below), then we erase the words associated with the bookmark so that we can maximize the space in our bookmark bar.  We know that we will recognize the icon, so it frees up some space to fit all our faves. Not every site has a favicon, but we love the ones that do! (Hint, Hint OxnardUnion.org). Notice that PTC favicon for this blog that you are welcome to add to your bookmarks!  ;)  Here is a screenshot of my book mark bar:

3. Bookmark frequently used docs/slides.

I bookmark my lesson plan google docs, running class slide decks, and other google docs/slides that I need to access a lot.  This saves me a ton of time going though my drive every time I need to get to them.  Here's what the other half of my bookmark bar looks like:

4. Always have students use the sign in with Google option when available.

My students have so many user names and passwords to remember.  To expedite the process of getting logged in, I always require my students to log in to third party apps with google.  Our favorite ed tech sites that allow google sign in are: edpuzzle, wevideo, no red ink, quizlet, Gale, and quizizz.

5. Run chrome through a flash drive.

In my classroom, I use a shared computer, with a generic login that is owned and updated by Oxnard College. Much to my chagrin, the computer DOESN'T HAVE CHROME and I cannot have chrome installed. Gasp. Not to worry, google and growth mindset to the rescue! After some googling and belief in the power of yet, I found out that users can run chrome through a flash drive without technically installing it on a computer. Here's how.  It stays signed in and everything!  Yay.  I know I am in a unique position in terms of classroom computers, but I thought this tip may help other people in the district who change rooms/locations and don't want to sign in and out of chrome everywhere they travel!

What are your time saving googley tips?  Leave questions, comments, or suggestions in the comment section below.  Thanks for stopping by!

A Few Ways I’m using Padlet

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 No comments
Padlet is one of our new district edtech resources and I am excited about to use it! OUHSD has the pro subscription coming soon, but in the meantime we can use the free version to create a few Padlets. (Just go to Padlet.com and sign in with google!)  Padlet is basically an online bulletin board where students can add digital post-it notes. However, unlike a traditional bulletin board, you have endless wall space and students can access the information from anywhere that they have an internet connection. And unlike a traditional post-it note, students can add images, videos, and links in addition to text. They can also comment, upvote, and organize these post-its! 

Here are a few of the ways I am using Padlet in my classroom:

I'd love to hear how you are using Padlet in the comment section below! 

1. Creating Peer Mentors: When we are learning a new skill, like embedding quotes or using transition words, I ask students to add their sentence to a padlet. Then, they up vote the best examples and we discuss characteristics of the quality answers. It is really powerful for students to use real time peer writing as mentor texts and students love when their sentence gets picked by classmates. Click here if you want a copy of the note-taking sheet that we used with this activity. (If you want to use it, please don't request access! Click File > Make a Copy!) Here's a screenshot of my students using padlet to identify speaker, occasion, audience and purpose while practicing the expectations of high school writing conventions.

2. Brainstorming: They say that the smartest person in the room is the room.
Collaborative brainstorming usually leads to better creations for everyone but when we brainstorm in whole group discussion, less vocal students and students who take longer to process information can be left out of the conversation. Padlet makes it easy for all students to contribute ideas at their own pace. Below is a screenshot of students brainstorming ideas at a summer college application boot camp.  The resulting list of ideas sparked a lot of wonderful topics that may have been overlooked.

3. Sharing Resources: When we are exploring a new topic, Padlet is a great way for students to share resources that they collect, which, as a bonus, can de-center the teacher as the keeper of knowledge. For example, our next unit focuses on inquiry about ways that technology is changing language and the way we communicate. My students will search for images, memes, videos, articles and other resources related to the unit and add them to the Padlet. We will use their resources in writing assignments throughout the unit. This is a quick and easy way to give students more voice in the curriculum. Follow me on twitter if you want to see how this one works out! I'm sure I'll be tweeting about it in the next few weeks.

4. Sharing Screencasts and other Video Projects: Sometimes when  my students create screencasts and video projects, I want them to share them with each other but not necessarily play them on  the big screen one at a time. Padlet is the easiest way for students to share videos. Here's a screenshot of students sharing short screencasts about what motivates them.

5. Curating Professional Resources: I've been lucky to attend PD opportunities where professional resources were shared using padlet. At Oxnard U, Mona Piñon shared a padlet full of growth mindset resources and at the OUHSD blogging cooperative, Jenn Brickey helped us create a collaborative padlet of resources to support blogging in the classroom.

I'd love to hear how you are planning to use Padlet!  Leave a question, comment, suggestion, or idea in the comment section below and we can keep the conversation going!  I hope you are all off to a fantastic new school year.