Category: 2017-2018

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.

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

Virtual & Augmented Reality

“The immersive nature of virtual reality brings depth to educational content by engaging the senses and allowing exploration to a degree that would be difficult to duplicate within the confines of a classroom, making it an ideal catalyst for curiosity and true learning.” (Ashley McCann, TeachThought) So what is VR and how does it work?

On Thursday 16th of November, I ran a TTT on virtual and augmented reality. We started by engaging teachers in a Google Expedition of the Great Barrier Reef. Google Expeditions is a virtual reality teaching tool that lets you lead or join immersive virtual trips all over the world — get up close with historical landmarks, dive underwater with sharks, even visit outer space! There are currently over 700 expeditions available free for use. I have since found this incredible resource which documents details of all currently available expeditions. It is updated regularly and includes links to lesson plans created by teachers around the world. For those of you interested in running an Expedition in your class, browse this resource and then touch base with me about the expedition you are looking to run. Alternatively, provide me with a brief outline of your unit and I’ll do the research for you. We have 20 VR headsets for use – students will need to use their own phone with Google Expeditions app installed.

Last week I assisted Brian Germain in running two expeditions in his High School Psychology class. The theme was the nervous system so we began with a VR tour of the brain stem, limbic system, cerebrum and cerebellum, a neutron and synaptic transmission. What I enjoyed most, was the second expedition, to Everest, where Brian asked students a series of thought provoking questions, which has them thinking about the science they’d just explored. e.g. standing in the cold at base camp, what part of the brain is responsible for…? What a great way to make content meaningful.

There are so many great VR apps out there – Discovery VR, Sites in VR, New York Times VR and YouTube 360 just to name a few. There are also some excellent iOS apps for VR purposes.

During the TTT we also spent some time looking at augmented reality (AR). AR is the layering of virtual information over the physical world, or reality, using software and devices. Take a look at this Ikea Concept Kitchen to see AR in action!

One of the most impressive educational apps I came across when looking for AR content was Quiver Education. Essentially, students are provided with one of the colouring in sheets and then, using the app, bring their work to life. The Quiver app is free, however, the Quiver Education app (which is now available on the MS/HS Library iPads) does cost. Quiver Education provides the same magical augmented reality coloring experience, but with a greater focus on educational content than the awesome Quiver App. During the TTT, teachers attempted an AR quiz using a plant cell, explored the habitat of the Kiwi bird though sound and watched as a volcano erupted in front of their eyes!

If you are interested in introducing some AR or VR material into your classroom, don’t hesitate to contact me or any member of the Ed Tech team!

Laura

 

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

What Can I Borrow? Checking out Tech Equipment

As you know, the EdTech Facilitators have moved into the libraries to work more closely with the librarians and to make way for the beautiful new ES Design Lab.  So, all the equipment has also moved as well and is ready for check out!

We are now using Destiny Quest to check out tech equipment, just like library books, so come on down to the MS/HS EdTech HUB in the library to(short-term) checkout a great device to help you with your next project.

You will see a variety of items below. We also have two green screens, and one frame.  The 3D printer is not to borrow, but we have three in the library.  They are for use by teachers and students with permission from teachers (for school work).  We also have a plethora of iPads for short term use.

If you want to check something out, come on by or contact Jonathan Song: jsong@isb.bj.edu.cn

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