Another week, another conference!
Today I have the privilege of attending the Northwest Council for Computer Education conference in Seattle. It’s a little bit weird to be here for professional conference instead of my usual anime and video game conventions – overall pretty exciting and nerdy, so here we go! Once again, this is very stream of conscious, so hang on through the roller coaster of thoughts and musings!
(Given our tech focus today, I am going to also keep a running tally of the number of times something doesn’t work, for amusement purposes.)
Session #1 [8:30am-10:20am]: BookCreator and Chromebooks
Website – http://app.bookcreator.com
Link doesn’t work – Tech – 1, Human – 0
So the purpose of this session is to utilize an app that is an alternative way to present thinking or work. It kind of reminds me of Slides, but more simplistic. A little more intuitive, but allows for a “collection” of student work to accrue in a library that they then can view or work on collaboratively.
Oh hey, you can put a video and photo directly into the book – without using Screencastify. I am low-key super irritated with Screencastify nowadays because the quality is super low, which not only makes the recordings I’m trying to assess them with sound like garbage, kids hate doing it because surprise! They also don’t like sounding like crap. Many actually will record with their phones and then upload via the Google Classroom app because the quality their phone is usually quite a bit better.
I digress. But now I’m going to digress further, because I just had an idea..
What if I have them upload their work in this format instead of through individual Google Classroom assignments? It would be an easy place for them to be able to access their collective body of work (like a portfolio), instead of disjointedly having them in Classroom. Students could then comment or add feedback on each others work instead of me having to release the info/sharing privileges within Google Drive which can be a time consuming pain in the butt.
Hmm, you also could put a button in there to record a sound bite. Another way to give feedback, either verbally or by demonstrating the correct notes if it is an issue of intonation and/or pitch. Cool.
Session #2 [9:20am-10:20am]: Tell It Like It Is – Giving Effective Feedback on Digital Work [Theron Hayes]
This guy wins tech cool points for using a wireless keyboard to control his presentation instead of the click-y remote.
Learning Target: Learn Google tools that help with the speed and differentiation of how feedback is shared to your students.
Insert Comments in a Google Doc
- Use Suggesting mode in a Google Doc
Use Google Classroom for feedback; Comments Bank and private comments
See Doctopus + Goobric + Google Doc to get a rubric and audio options
- See the Talk and Comment Google Chrome Extension
Screencast with Screencastify or WeVideo to make videoed feedback
So I used
strikethrough for what I’m familiar with, and then made new-ish or unfamiliar things in red.
Insert Comments in Google Doc – “It’s like a digital sticky note.’
- The idea of the “Reply” option – opens the door to further questioning and thinking, instead of just reading it, leaving it, and then asking for a grade.
- Start small – a simple compliment. Changing it to a few compliments, then a command. Transition it to a question – if they don’t respond, ask it again. And again. And again. Until you get a response.
Suggesting Mode in a Google Doc – “It depends on the level of maturity of the audience.”
- Can result it in a shut down or just a lot of eye rolling and in-action
- Also can result in a conversation or other questioning similar to the comment option
LMS = Learning Management System – I just learned something!
Google Classroom for Feedback – Comments Bank + Private Comments
- The ability to comment and leave feedback in the same format as a Google Doc, and private comments directly to the student for more impact or additional attention
- Comment Bank – it creates a database of responses that you can select or access if you want; also, you can create a database of mini-lessons with videos or links that relate directly to the comment (I really like this idea for performance assessment videos – I could easily link a technique video if I see something looking weird in their playing or singing.)
Doctopus + Goobric + Google Doc
- I already do this which is pretty cool – we’ve also made an effort as a district to streamline our rubric language 6th-12th for performance assessment between Paul, Ben, Sarah and I.
- It does take a boatload of time to set up – but the nice thing is that once you have it set up, it is there forever.
- I also really like the audio option – it’s super easy to lay on my couch and watch videos, record a quick audio response of me telling them how to improve, and then send it immediately back to them.
- The biggest struggle is taking the time to grade them all. A class of 40 takes about an hour to record feedback for, score, and then input it into Skyward.
Talk and Comment in Google Chrome Extension
- Using the chrome add on, I now have a link that then directs to an embedded audio clip (I also like this – could easily do that when making part recordings…)
Link failed to work again – Tech – 2, Human – 0
Screencastify for Video Feedback
- I still irritated with Screencastify. The quality is pretty crappy if you don’t have a premium account which is frustrating.
- However, can be used as another way to give directions or feedback.
Session #3 [10:30-12:20]: Break Out! Escaping the Doldrums of Teacher-led Instruction
Constructivism – very hands on, exploratory approach to learning through discovery; high student engagement; collaborative experience; teacher directed
I’m a little bit wary of this, because I’m a little bit OCD and hate group projects by default because I’m a millennial. Plus I’m sitting next to two strangers and my urge to introvert is strong. (Bet you didn’t know that I’m a closet introvert!)
After solving the breakout room – my brain hurts. It was fun to experience, but I’m not sure how much I actually learned. I’m more of an observer in this kind of scenario, that chimes in every once in awhile with a really out of the box train of thought.
I’m actually pleasantly surprised to see that there are quite a few packs for music specifically. There’s also quite a few options for the more normal subjects like math, science, and ELA. Kind of cool, but the price point hurts me – $275 for two boxes and a set of locks. Ouch. Being the dollar store diva that I am, I feel like I could figure out a cheaper version…maybe.
There also are quite a few team building options. Also handy since 98.5% of my job is getting kids to work together at the same time. Without killing each other and/or doing something that requires me to fill out paperwork.
Session #4 [1:00-1:50]: Listening Comprehension – Strategies and Tools for Digital Learning
Link – gg.gg/d8zch
Fun fact, I kind of suck at listening. Yes, I teach music. What I mean is that I am very visual learner, so I definitely do not succeed in situations where I just have to sit and attempt to retain by listening. I also am a chronic multi-tasker, so I constantly am doing several things at once – interestingly enough, I cannot focus and get work done if I have music playing in the background. (That’s why I get so irritated when people put “spa” or “classical” music when giving me work time during a meeting or session. I’m sorry that I can’t focus on breaking down learning targets when you have Peruvian pan flute going on simultaneously…)
Anyways, according to research kids tend to understand and comprehended content more so by listening up until about middle school age. Interesting to think about – I wonder how emotional maturity and social-emotional age factors into this. My less mature students absolutely struggle with basic listening skills – there is a huge focus for them on their own self and world, not necessarily the classroom and instructor/instructions presented before them.
The presenter had us look at the listening standards to see how successful we are at teaching listening comprehension. I would actually argue that I am pretty close to grade level, just by the fact that kids are constantly listening to themselves, reflecting on their performance, by the very nature of what we do. Even the beginners have to do this to some degree, constantly. Usually the second they stop listening is the second they, “Start sucking.” (in their own words, not mine). Perhaps I can incorporate technology more frequently, but it actually is probably good for them to get the listening comprehension piece in a different way than other content mediums.
Next, we did an example of back-channel conversation, which essentially is a way for students to ask questions or share thoughts, and a way for everyone to view the sheet and respond to another’s thinking.
Not going to lie, I got super distracted from all the typing that was going on, instead of listening to the video they were asking us to ponder. I did appreciate the strategy of pausing midway through to allow us to time to type – I just couldn’t focus because there was too much stimuli for me personally.
Session #5 [2:00-2:50]: Digital Citizenship with Patrick Green
Suggested books to read – Danah Boyd “It’s Complicated – The Social Lives of Networked Teens”; Jordan Shapiro “The New Childhood”
Beginning with a really dark topic – how many young people are diagnosed with internet addiction? Surprise! Not something that is diagnosed. Not really shocked there – despite the increased amount of screen time, we still don’t see it as something “wrong” with people because it is so socially acceptable.
“What are you doing?” – Starting with a compliment to approach them.
I like this idea. One of the ways I make connections with kids is talking about whatever they were looking at if they were off-task. (Usually it is looking at YouTube content when they should be doing something else – they have yet to realize that it is a dead giveaway when they start laughing or pointing something out to their neighbors…)
“Ask students what works. What are you on?”
I like this idea. Goes back to my self-regulation soapbox – developing skills that work not just in my room, but in life. I
“Be Aware of Bias.”
This makes me sad. Being a product of video game culture growing up, there are so many benefits to gaming that we tend to write off because of lack of understanding or unwillingness to even try it because it is viewed as “pointless”.
I’d love to get a group of teachers together and teach them how to play a MOBA or MMORPG. It would be highly entertaining to watch, and a good way to get them to experience the collaborative and social aspects of gaming.
“How to determine what if screen time is good? What is it replacing?”
I think that’s a pretty legitimate question to filter through whether or not the screen time is more beneficial than the non-digital version.
“Misuse is not a tech issue – it is a behavior issue. There is no tech solution to every issue.”
Can I get a YAS from the back? One of my biggest annoyances is when parents say that tech is the evil thing making their child do bad things – NOPE. Your kid is making a bad behavior choice, and using tech as an avenue to do it – the tech didn’t choose to send a message telling another kid that they were ugly, THEY DID. Also, instead of asking for something to prevent what you see as an issue, teach them why that is a poor life choice to do that. Good gravy.
Sorry, that topic makes me so angry…GRRRR.
Session #6 [3:00-4:50]: Computational Thinking Through Music
THE ONE SESSION WITH MUSIC IN THE TITLE FOR THE ENTIRE WEEK. YAY!!!
“Build a bridge between computer science and the Arts for ALL.”
“How do music and computer science relate?”
- Computational thinking – the process involved in using algorithms to solve problems
- Music can be defined as the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a compostion having unity and continuinty.
- There’s an order and there’s a language.
Everything this woman is saying is the most life affirming moment for everything I believe and do as someone who truly loves both the Arts and Computer Science. Sorry while I cry in a corner with my blanket of validation.
What connections can you make?
Computational Thinking/Computer Science Terms:
- Sequence – the order of statements in a computer program
- Procedure – a pre-defined bit of code that tells a program hot to do something (e.g., “draw a square”)
- Melody/Rhythm – the order in which notes appear in time
- Phrases – sequence of notes/themes/motifs heard repeatedly in a composition (verse, chorus, bridge, etc.)
Holy crap, I never thought of the similarities – I wish that both parties (music and tech) would talk more so that we can focus on what we have in common, not be annoyed/scared/ignorant of the other.
“If you are not specific in your instructions (like in algorithms), there will be an error in the end result. The same applies to music – if you don’t follow the specific instructions in the music, then you end up with an error/incorrect version.”
“Letting kids have tinker time is one of the most important things they can do.”
Sound stops working – Tech – 3, Human – 0
I’m going to need to play with this. BUT IT’S SO COOL – my brain hurts a bit.