Category Archives: Leverages Technology
In Alberta, students in grade four study Waste and Our World where they look at their local, national and international environments and see how they can make a difference in being eco-friendly.
There are a variety of resources available for this unit for teachers and students to interact with. What I’d like to point out is how teachers can structure this unit so that students not only consume the pertinent information but that they also have time to collaborate and then create/demonstrate their learning.
- 2Learn Waste & Our World curated resources
- Curriculum Map created by ORC connected to resources
- Watch Japan’s Town with No Waste video
The village of Kamikatsu in Japan has taken their commitment to sustainability to a new level. While the rest of the country has a recycling rate of around 20 percent, Kamikatsu surpasses its neighbors with a staggering 80 percent. After becoming aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide associated with burning garbage, the town instated the Zero Waste Declaration with the goal of being completely waste-free by 2020.
- 7 Day Household Waste Challenge and then make a copy of this Google Form to tally the results. How can your home, classroom or school become a Zero Waste environment like Kamikatsu? Post your findings and ideas in an online environment to get feedback from other experts and/or classrooms around the world.
- Make A Difference Presentation template – create a Zero Waste proposal for your teacher, your Principal, the Superintendent, the Mayor or even a local community store. Post this to a classroom blog or other online environment.
- Videoconference with various Waste Management experts, other schools who have or close to Zero Waste
- Waste and Our World Action Plan
- Waste Reduction Challenge
SOS: 25 Things You Didn’t Know is a teaching strategy that allows students to explore resources and filter out important details. Students identify new information from media resources and share the information in order to create a collaborative list of facts.
NOTE: the link goes directly to a Discovery Education account. If you do not have a license for this resource, feel free to contact @DiscoveryEd for more information. If you would like to try out this fantastic instructional strategy, check out some of the ideas below!
When looking at a new concept or topic, have students break down the ideas and share it then with the whole class. Gather students into 5 smaller groups and either share the specific resources for that section OR have them research it on their own. It is important to set up the expectations beforehand. Do you want multimedia information, print materials, etc.? And how many of each? Would you like the list of references? Once the groups are put together and they have the materials that they are needing to digest, ask each group to create a list of at least five things that they did not know about their assigned concept or topic. Have them share it via a collaborative tool such as:
- Google Slides – assign each group ONE slide to showcase their give things. Ask for images, text and video if that is what you are looking for. Once all groups have their information on their slide, the whole class can have the information as a study tool after each group has presented.
- Padlet – create a Padlet whereby each group can have a title and then add one sticky “note” per idea that they find. You should see at least 25 new sticky notes that may contain text, images, video, etc.
- Adobe Spark (teacher needs to sign in) Post or Page could be created and students can then input their findings. A unique link would be created.
- If you want it text (and list based), you could share a Google Keep note with each student and one person per group would add their item to the list. Each student would end up with at least 25 listed items! Teacher could add an intro image.
- Realtime Board (free edu version) allows up to 30 people on a board to draw, work with images, post videos, mark up PDFs, write notes and comments using stickers.
Overall the idea of having students digging into the curriculum and sharing with their classmates is quite appealing and makes the content a little bit more memorable. Once can even review the 25 Things You Didn’t Know at the end of the unit of study to see if students know them all, found out some new ideas (think KWL) or still have some questions.
Below are five different ways to engage students in an online environment with any grade level and almost any subject area.
- Innovative Project Ideas for Students – A curated list by edtechteacher of a variety of grade levels and subject area edtech project ideas.
Not sure what kind of projects to start on? Check out this curated list to get some great ideas for your yearly plans.
- Daily editing builds students’ skills! With Every-Day Edit exercises, challenge students to find and fix errors in spelling, capitalization, punctuation, or grammar.
I like the challenge that this presents to students. Easy and fun yet relevant to literacy skill development.
- Note Taking By Crayon – Use crayons or markers to teach note-taking skills.
Who doesn’t like to use a crayon? Note taking is a skill that is developed over time. This is just one way to try it out. If you want to delve further into the phenomenon of Sketchnoting, I suggest to check out Kathy Schrock’s page.
- NASA Langley has developed a variety of classroom content and lesson plans for teachers to use in their classroom.
Science teachers rejoice! NASA has always provided some spectacular photos and video and now they are also sharing content and lesson plans. Your Science classes will be astounding.
- Creative writing prompts to make your students love writing.
A variety of writing prompts help students to get started. I also show students, especially from grades 3-12 that they can write in four different ways based on the access to technology in our schools. We have a divisional license for RW4GC and use it extensively. So the four ways are: using a pen/pencil, typing on a keyboard, RW4GC Talk&Type (or GDocs > Tools > Voice Typing) and RW4GC Voice Note. It is amazing what students can “write” about when they are shown the different ways that they can demonstrate their learning through their writing.
No matter what season, content area or grade level, Google Suite Apps for Education have a variety of supports and resources for students to use in the learning environment.
Google Drawings holiday templates – each slide has a link to the specific template with examples.
Whisper is a free Chrome extension that lets teachers message their class as whole or individual students without interrupting the work. Notifications show up on the student machine as a browser notification that can be viewed in the moment or any time later.
Use Google Tools to Create Choice Boards – a great way to engage students while honouring their differences.
SOS: Make It Concrete is a teaching strategy that uses concrete, or shape, poems to allow students to demonstrate understanding. Students reflect on their learning and create a visual to represent something they have learned from a media resource.
NOTE: the link above is available for any Discovery Ed account users.
Ideas for your own classroom:
If you do not have access, you can have students create a list of keywords/expressions that tie in with a video, audio or an image that you have presented to them. Students may create this list individually or in small groups.
Students then take their keywords and input it into a word cloud curator. There are several available online such as:
- Using a Google Doc, the keywords are typed or dictated onto the document. Install the Word Cloud Generator add-on and run it. Drag or screenshot the word cloud and insert into the Google Doc. Students may want to either do a Gallery Walk to check each other’s word clouds OR all word clouds could be put onto the same Google Doc or even Google Slide.
- Tagxedo where word clouds can be put into specific shapes. Students would type their generated list of words right into the Tagxedo text box.
- Wordle is one of the original word cloud generators and works similar to Tagxedo except with no specific shape choices.
- Wordclouds, Word It Out, ABCYa! Word Clouds are all great generators
For fun, these word clouds could be printed off and then students could draw images around their word clouds. As well, they could either create a short video or audio explaining their word cloud. This video/audio would then be linked to the original word cloud via a QR code and hung up on a hallway bulletin board for others to view and scan.
Samples for you to check out: