Author: sgriffin (page 1 of 2)

ES Parent Workshop: Getting Ready For Summer

On Tuesday morning, Ed Tech hosted another parent workshop in our Family Tech Agreements series. This time we looked at the unique challenges and opportunities of media and technology use by our students during the Summer holidays.

We began by revisiting aspects of the previous parent workshop, such as how to work with your children to create a Family Media Agreement, and ISB’s Media Mentor Month.

Family Media Agreement

Family Media Agreements have become a favourite model for parents looking to develop a media mentor model at home. Having open discussion around technology use as a family allows each member a chance to reflect on their own habits and what they hope to see from one another. Workshop attendees were invited to use the ISB Family Tech Agreements worksheets, or, create their own, in ways that best suited their particular circumstances as a family.

How may your family media agreement need to change to suit the different context of Summer Break?

Activities & Projects

Next, we explored some different media/technology tools that may be of interest to your child that focus on creation over consumption. In most cases, the media and technology is actually a conduit for a hands-on activity.

DIY.org (“Do it Yourself”)

DIY is a safe online community for kids to discover new passions, level up their skills, and meet likeminded people. There are thousands of activities and projects available, and users can unlock many different “patches” (badges) as a reward for their efforts.

Instructables

Instructables is similar to DIY and the premise is that users are encouraged to develop instructional resources for the online community. Users can explore many different projects, from technology and electronics, to woodworking, cooking, gardening and sports. As many instructables projects are a bit more advanced than DIY, it can be a great way for parents to work with their children. The email newsletter includes wide-ranging projects as well as regular challenges and competitions.

TED-Ed

TED-Ed is the educational spin-off of TED (Technology, Education & Design). There are thousands of short videos on all sorts of topics, created by lots of different people. A particular highlight are the different problem solving riddles which can be a great way to get families having fun together.

Slides

Summary

Each family is different and as such needs to shape media and technology use in ways that suit them. We strongly recommend developing a media agreement, as well as exploring constructive and creative tools such as those shown above. We wish you a safe and relaxing Summer Break and please be in touch if you ever need any support or advice.

“Parents as Media Mentors” workshop

On Tuesday, March 20, ES parents were invited to the workshop “Parents as Media Mentors: Tech and the 21st Century Family”, hosted by Clint Hamada, Rebecca Taylor and Sam Griffin (ES Ed Tech) and ES Counsellor, Kevin Kooienga.

The workshop offered parents an opportunity to explore:

The session began with a clip from an American experiment where children were allowed unconstrained access to technology over a period of a few days. From this, it wasn’t hard to see the importance of setting boundaries as the children clearly became tired and agitated. Interestingly, the children themselves acknowledged that unlimited technology was unhealthy.

Parenting Styles

In a previous post, Clint outlined Alexandra Samuel’s three styles of parenting when it comes to access to technology at home:

  • The Digital Limiter: prefers to keep their children away from the internet, and often strictly limit screentime. These children are often Digital Exiles, kept out of the digital world for as long as possible;
  • The Digital Enabler: respect their children’s’ abilities to make their own choices online and take cues from other families on how to use technology. These children are often Digital Orphans, left to explore on their own;
  • The Digital Mentor: enjoys spending time with their children online, cultivating their children’s skills and fostering online learning. These children are often Digital Heirs, inheriting their parents’ values and skills.
Quality vs Quantity

Working in table groups, parents in the workshop discussed the different ways technology is being used at home. For example, are we mainly using technology to consume media (such as watching YouTube clips or playing games for entertainment)?  To what extent do our children use technology to create (for example, making games using Scratch or Minecraft)? Or are we using technology to connect with others (social media, Skype etc). In many cases, our children are often doing several of these things in combination (such as watching a YouTube clip of a Minecraft tutorial while simultaneously creating their own Minecraft world). All of this highlights the need for monitoring, discussion and awareness of the quality and quantity of technology use at home.

The ISB RUA

In the ISB Elementary School, our Responsible Use Agreement has been designed to reference the school rules of Be Safe, Be Respectful and Be Responsible in the context of classroom technology. Students, teachers and specialists work with Ed Tech to ensure positive use of technology, supported with a range of proactive (and, where necessary, reactive) measures.

Family Media Agreement

Family Media Agreements have become a favourite model for parents looking to develop a media mentor model at home. Having open discussion around technology use as a family allows each member a chance to reflect on their own habits and what they hope to see from one another. Workshop attendees were invited to use the ISB Family Tech Agreements worksheets, or, create their own, in ways that best suited their particular circumstances as a family.

Workshop Slides

Looking Ahead

Please look out for future parent workshops in this series over the coming months. We are keenly interested in hearing your views on the types of workshops and resources you would like to see in the future – or anything else we can help with – so please be in touch any time.

 

Seesaw for Student Led Conferences

Here are some recommendations for how to get the most from Seesaw in the upcoming Student Led Conferences. We would love to help you in any way we can – invite us to a team meeting, make a time for a one-to-one chat, or invite us to your class to guide student activities.

How can Seesaw enhance SLCs?

  • Begin by creating an “SLC 2018” folder for students to categorise their most effective SLC posts
  • Establish criteria that leads students through the process of reviewing their Seesaw journal and curating posts that highlight their learning most effectively;
    • Posts that demonstrate individualised student choice
    • A range of in progress and finished works (formative/summative, process/showcase)
    • Work across a range of L21 Skills and disciplines
    • A demonstration of incremental learning over different timeframes
  • Once students have added their best posts to the “SLC 2018” folder, they should review each post to make sure that the point they wish to articulate in the conference is clearly communicated (this could work well as a peer feedback/critique activity).
  • Students can then create a new comment with appropriate reflection and clarification if necessary to guide their conference.
Thanks and we hope to hear from you soon,

 

Sam & Bec

RAZ Kids: Editing your class roster

We have some new students joining us in the Elementary  School, along with some students finishing up at ISB, so now is the time when teachers will need to update their Reading A-Z (RAZ) class rosters. It is quite simple to do, here is a brief run through in case you’re unsure:

  1. Log in to Kids A-Z
  2. Hover over “My Classroom”
    1. To remove a student from your class, click on “Class Roster”, select the student and click “remove”
    2. To add a student to your roster, click on “Add Students”, add the names and create passwords. If you are using RAZ Plus, here is where you can set the default level based on student age & year level.

As always, please be in touch with Bec or I if there is anything we can do to help.

Sam

Seesaw Parent Workshops

Today, Bec and Sam hosted a workshop for parents to experience the features of Seesaw and practise effective feedback on their child’s posts. Included in this post are the slides and resources from the workshop, as well as some additional information about how Seesaw works, feedback guidelines and the importance of family engagement in education.

What is Seesaw?

This video offers an overview of how Seesaw works. The first few slides in our presentation below run offer some examples of what this currently looks like at ISB.

Family Engagement

We know ISB families value engagement in their children’s education and thanks to Seesaw, we can now see what some of this engagement can look like. By regularly checking, commenting and discussing your child’s learning activities through seesaw and fact to face, you are:

  • Showing your child you value the process of learning as well as their effort and achievement
  • Enhancing your child’s accountability for their learning
  • Providing opportunities for feedback that moves learning forward

References:

The Importance of Family Engagement in Education (Seesaw)

Full Study (Henderson & Mapp, 2002)

Translation Tools

Seesaw has the ability to translate content for our EAL students and international families. Watch the video below for a full demonstration.

Seesaw Feedback Guidelines

For a long time we have understood the importance of feedback in education and thanks to the work of John Hattie and Dylan Wiliam there is a lot of supporting data about the efficacy of effective feedback in learning. Effective feedback, however, takes practice, and for this reason we encourage you to observe the following guidelines in order to ensure that we always provide feedback that moves learning forward.

Download Seesaw Feedback Guidelines

Monday’s Workshop Slides

SeesawES_ParentWorkshopOct17

Here are the slides form Monday’s parent workshop for your perusal.

Please feel free to contact ES Ed Tech at any time!

 

Bec Taylor, PK3 – Grade 1: rtaylor@isb.bj.edu.cn

Sam Griffin, Grade 2 – Grade 5: sgriffin@isb.bj.edu.cn 

Susan Su, Ed Tech TA: SSu@isb.bj.edu.cn

Seesaw: Getting started

How to make your first welcome announcement to your families and students

  1. Take a picture or a few pics of your new homeroom class
  2. From your school iPad open the Seesaw app, or, if you are on your laptop, log into https://app.seesaw.me/
  3. If this is the first time you are logging in to Seesaw, you will need to select “I am a teacher” and log in with your ISB email address and password
  4. Click on the large green “+” symbol
  5. Select “Send Announcement” > Send To: All Students and Families (if some parents aren’t connected yet they will receive instructions on Monday afternoon)
  6. Type your welcome message to your students and families
  7. Upload your class photo(s) from your camera roll
  8. When you have completed your message, click the large green tick button and it will appear in student & parent feeds.

Please note, as new parents will not yet be connected, this welcome post will be made in the student announcements for all users to see. In the future (when all parents are connected) teachers will be asked to use “Family Announcements” to ensure student journals don’t contain parent communications.

On Monday, Tina, Angela and I will distribute printed QR codes and instructions to all homeroom teachers, for families to connect to their child’s Seesaw journal. Families will need to follow the instructions to download the Seesaw Family app and scan the code in order to see any Family Announcements or student posts.

Throughout Monday, we will prioritize our time to support any teachers who require help with Seesaw. We’ll be available for 1:1 help all day including after school. Please be in touch or stop by the ES Library office if you need any help.

What is Seesaw?

Seesaw is a student-driven portfolio platform that is used across the ES to empower students to document, share and reflect upon their learning journey throughout the academic year and across their years in the elementary school.

As part of our Seesaw Common Agreements, there are certain tasks and setup procedures that each teacher should do once their class has been created. There are also some introductory lessons/ideas that can help you get started using Seesaw in your class.

You can use this checklist to guide you.

Setting Up Seesaw

  • Ensure preferred names are correct in your class list
  • Invite all specialist teachers as “co-teachers” to your class (except Chinese as they have their own Seesaw classes)
  • Manage settings: student likes & comments, post moderation, parent comments (as appropriate to your age and class group)
  • Create color-coded folders for portfolios (L21) and content areas:
    • Innovation & Creativity (Purple) 
    • Communication & Collaboration (Yellow) 
    • Inquiry, Critical Thinking & Problem Solving (Blue) 
    • Leadership & Responsibility (Green) 
    • Global Thinking (Red) 
    • As well as folders for Math, ELA, Visual Arts, Performing Arts, PE, Science, Social Studies
  • Create any additional folders as required
  • Print out your class account QR code so students can join your class
  • Send home “parent note” generated by Seesaw

Teaching with Seesaw

  • Post a “Welcome!” message to all students/parents.
  • Teach (or co-teach with your Tech Facilitator) an “Intro to Seesaw” lesson
  • Teach (or co-teach with your Tech Facilitator) a RUA lesson based on Seesaw use
  • Plan (or co-plan with your Tech Facilitator and/or grade level team) a variety of ways to integrate Seesaw into all curriculum areas

You can also get a digital version of this document/table.

Icons as a Visual Scaffold

Seesaw is like many applications in that it uses icons to create a visual fluency to help learners navigate the different features and tools available to its users. Many of these icons are consistent with so many other iOS apps and it makes sense for us to scaffold our learners in how these tools can be explicitly applied in the process of learning.

Recently, Pana Asavavatana shared a series of useful posters designed to assist Pre K – 3 students in their deliberate use of processes and features in Seesaw. She wanted her students to move beyond simply checking off everything they post and think more deeply about what they were doing in Seesaw and why. Each poster links one of the Seesaw tool icons with a student statement that encourages students to make a conscious decision about what they are doing and why.

The posters are available in English and Mandarin and are free for you to download and use (thanks to @PanaAsavavatana). As always, let myself or Bec know anytime you would like any Seesaw resources or support for you and your students.

Download: Thinking with Seesaw (English)

Download: Thinking with Seesaw (Mandarin)

Sam

Categories vs Tags

It’s important to organise the information we share through our blogs to allow users to effectively access previous posts. Two ways to do this are through categories and tags – but what are they? How are categories and tags different and why should we use them? In the following video, Bec shares the different ways categories and tags make it easier to organise your blog’s content.

Scheduling a meeting in Outlook

In last Monday’s TLT, Bec and Clint showed us how to use Scheduling Assistant in Outlook to book a meeting. It is still a bit tricky when making a time with teachers, as class times do not currently feature in calendars, however, this is our recommended method for making a time to meet with specialists… such as Bec and I!

Sam

How to update Seesaw class settings

The ES are doing great things in Seesaw, including lots of student, teacher and parent activity. There are a range of different settings you can explore to find ways to customise the Seesaw experience to your class or grade level. In the following video, I’ll show you how to:

  • Add specialist and co-teachers to class journals
  • Edit students’ preferred names & icons
  • Add parents & allow parent access
  • Add/edit folders & skills
  • Allow student comments & “likes”

We will continue to add Seesaw resources to the Ed Tech blog. In the meantime, please let Bec and myself know anytime you have a question or celebration around Seesaw or if there is another resource you think would benefit the school.

Sam

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