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Tag: DX

Video Options for Online Learning

Video is an important element for continuing the learning through an online environment. At ISB there are several options available to teachers and students for uploading and sharing video content and responses. Unfortunately, there is no perfect option that will fit everybody’s needs, so it is important that you look at all the options available, weigh the pros and cons, and make the decision that is best for you. This flowchart can help you decide the best way to handle video content that you have created. Use the links at the bottom to learn how to do any of the options in the flowchart.

If you have any questions about what is best, contact EdTech or ICT and they can help you decide.

Uploading Videos to DX or Seesaw

In Middle and High School, you can upload a video directly to DX using the “File Upload” option. Technically, there is no file size limit but the smaller the video (compressed), the faster it will upload and the faster it will transcode for students to watch. If you’ve uploaded your video to Stream or Dragons’ Tube, you can also just paste the link to the video in the post.


In the Elementary School, you and your students can record a video directly into Seesaw, with a limit of 10 minutes recording time.

You can also upload a video that you have created and compressed to Seesaw using the “Upload” option. Or, if you have saved your video in OneDrive or ES 365 for others to use, you can paste the link into your message. If you use the “Insert Link” option, the link will work but it will create a preview image that is not very attractive!

Using the “Upload” option to a video saved on my computer

Using the “Link” option to a video shared on ES 365.

Pasting the shared link to a video on ES 365 into a note. If you want to make this a bit nicer, you could use a link shortener like tinyurl. Do not use bit.ly since it does not work without a VPN


Embedding Slideshows from Office 365 into DX

Teachers use a lot of Powerpoints. And most of those Powerpoints, for us here at ISB, are stored in Office 365/Sharepoint Online. So how can you give access to those Powerpoints to your students in DX without making them download the file? How do you help the students find the resources that they need easily? The answer: Embed them into your unit pages!

  1. Make sure your powerpoint is stored in a folder that has “granted access” to view for everyone except external users. (Note: you could just make this file available to your specific students, but then you need to make sure you do this for every file that you want to embed. By changing this permission at the folder level, anything you add to that folder will be able to embedded easily.)
  2. Open up the PPT and copy the embed code (use ⌘+ C).

  3. In DX, on the materials page add a “link/embed” block and paste (⌘+V) it in. Resize and reposition it as you need.
  4. When the student views the page, it may say that they need to sign in to Office 365. They just need to click the “Sign In” button since we use Office 365 to log in to DX anyway… it will then show.
BTW, this works with other Office Online docs like Word and Excel too…

Parent Access to DX

Currently, parents can access Dragons’ Exchange (DX) to see the deadlines that have been set for their children and to see how

In order to access Dragons’ Exchange, use the quick link at the top of the ISB web page/Dragons’ Gate or go to http://dx.isb.bj.edu.cn.

Click the login button:

When logging in, use the same email address that you use for Dragons’ Gate: first.last@isb.bj.edu.cn:

and use the same password:

Once logged in, you will see your children in MS or HS listed:


From here, you can either click their name to see a list of their active classrooms, or click the “to-do” link to see their full calendar.

Current Active Classes for this Student


Monthly Calendar of Deadlines

As a parent, you can also select the calendar function in  to see overdue and upcoming assignments and tasks for each student in DX:

Please note that parents do not have access to classrooms beyond the “About” page or to specific classroom resources.

Online Discussions & Blended Learning

Online classroom discussion, when done well, should encourage student participation and interaction. With minimal effort on the teacher’s part it is possible to engage students even with little to no face-to-face contact. By adjusting the way the question is posed, or by asking students to answer questions collaboratively, can make for a much more meaningful learning experience.

Many of us are now looking to engage the use of Dragons’ Exchange (DX) as a powerful blended learning tool, with online discussions, playing a significant role. So how can we use online discussions, like those in DX, to promote sustained engagement and participation?

Convergent Thinking 

The “how” or “why” questions, although they essentially promote convergent thinking, certainly have a place in online discussion. Post an article, Podcast or video and ask a question of this nature. Rather than invite students to piggy back on the response prior to their own own, hide comments for the time being and once all students have responded, unlock for all to see. Students can now engage in discussion by responding to one another. These types of discussion questions can often lead to sustained debate, particularly once differing options are revealed.

Divergent Thinking 

Questions that get students to think about the outcome or consequences associated with certain events have the potential to sustain ongoing interest since it empowers students to take a more creative approach in responding to the question. For example: Pose a scenario related to the ethical concerns of genetic testing. What are the implications of the choices made in this situation? Posing the question as a scenario encourages students to connect with the situation and engage more meaningfully with the discussion.

Evaluative Thinking 

Why not try a collaborative online debate to promote evaluative thinking? Pose a debate topic and separate the class into two groups – those for and those against. Any online response to the topic of conversation must be either for or against. You could even look to create a third group, those that can pose questions to either argument. This type of online discussion can promote healthy competition while maintaining ongoing dialogue.

Online class discussions have the ability to:

  • Build communities
  • Encourage reflection
  • Promote critical thinking
  • Demonstrate knowledge of key concepts
  • Promote consensus building

Online discussions complement and improve the interactions that occur in your classroom by providing students with the opportunity to thoughtfully engage with ideas and with each other. Blending these discussion opportunities into your instruction can also be a powerful alternative to traditional homework.

Blending online discussion opportunities into your face-to-face instruction is an excellent alternative to traditional homework, also complementing and improving face-to-face discussions. It gives all students the opportunity to thoughtfully engage with ideas, and with each other. For further information on the benefits to students and their learning, see Eric Brunsell’s article Blended Learning: Adding Asynchronous Discussions to Your F2F Classrooms

Creating Stories in DX

The following tutorial steps students through setting up a Story for a specific class in DX. Stories can only be set up by students and shared within your class. Sharing can be between you and the student, the student and selected students or between the student and the entire class. Content that can be shared using a story includes text, images, video, audio and other files linked from OneDrive.

How can I use DX Stories in my class?

  • Stories can be useful when established as a journal, updated regularly by the student.
  • They can be used as a way to collect and share ideas with the class.
  • They can be used as way to receive feedback from the class when making decisions about a topic for further investigation.
  • Digital storytelling

An Introduction to Blended Learning

Over the summer holidays, we were fortunate enough to send 6 teachers to the Global Online Academy (GOA) Blended Learning Institute. In our time on the beautiful Island Wood campus, we had an opportunity to think about blended learning and what it could look like here at ISB. While the classroom teachers were focused on bringing in elements of blended learning into their IB DP Higher Level classes, I was looking at an overall picture: what makes an effective blended learning environment and what can we do to bring that into our new learning management system?

Based on the work of the GOA crew and their Catalyst Cards, I walked away with three things that all teachers can strive to put into their online learning environment:

  • a student-driven focus on learning
  • authentic, meaningful interactions
  • intentional cultivation of relationships

Regardless of your subject or of your content, these are elements that teachers can weave into what and how they teach. In fact, these are usually elements that are already in existence in a face-to-face environment! The questions for us now are, what are the tools that we can leverage and what are the skills that we need to explicitly teach in order to effectively introduce these elements into our classes on Dragons’ Exchange?

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