Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Coffee Break with Emily: Capture Learning on the Go



Thinglink Summer Challenge #4:Thinglink Unplugged: Capture Learning on the Go

You can use Thinglink even when you don't have access to the internet. This challenge was to take pictures and videos with whatever device you had available and then upload it on Thinglink later. When I was doing this challenge, I was thinking that this would be perfect for field trips.  On a field trip, if you have each group of students take an iPad, phone, or iPod (with a parent in charge of the group and the device), the students can take videos and pictures of important things on their trip. Later, you can upload them to Thinglink when you're back in the classroom. What a great opportunity to make an authentic learning experience even more meaningful by having students reflect on what they saw or did by posting their videos and reflections on Thinglink!

For our last family fun activity before my summer ends, we took our 3 year old son to the zoo. I took the iPad and took several short video clips while we were there. When I got home, I used iMovie to make our trip into a little movie. Hover over the picture below and click on the hotspots to watch it. My son loves watching it over and over and naming all the animals we saw! I'll bet your students would love to watch themselves over and over again too–what a great way to reinforce learning!






In the classroom, I would have students do research and ask questions about animals before, during, and after a field trip to the zoo. Their purpose on the field trip would be to confirm what they have learned and try to answer the questions that they have generated. This is what the pictures and videos taken by students would be about, so I included pictures and facts in my Thinglink that they might collect along with a few resources they might use to find facts. Instead of just writing an animal report, I imagine students creating their own video like mine with reflections and facts included. That would give students a very personalized report with themselves included in the final product!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Coffee Break with Emily: Create a Collaborative Student Project


Thinglink Challenge #3: 

Create a Collaborative Student Project


I think this is the challenge that I am excited about the most! This summer, I have been reading a lot of Marzano's work on vocabulary including Vocabulary for the Common Core. I have SO much to share with you about what I have learned through his research, but today I'll just give you a sneak peek. If you are familiar with Marzano's 6 step process for learning new vocabulary, you are going to love this! I have been playing around with different ways to create a digital interactive vocabulary notebook (thanks to the inspiration I got from Tech with Jen), and Thinglink is perfect! With the option of adding multimedia, creating digital interactive vocabulary notebooks on thinglink hits the redefinition level on the SAMR model! Check out this page from my vocabulary notebook by moving your mouse over the picture and touching the little hot spots that appear. 




The two videos under the "Description & Examples" section that have a video camera as the button are movies I created myself using iMovie and Shadow Puppet Edu. I will have students create their own definitions and examples too using tools like this and post them in the "Drawings & Visual Displays" section.  Check out these boards for more 21st century tools to use when creating examples for a digital interactive vocabulary notebook:


There is also a great discussion going on here that connects to this topic: Supporting Writers in the Primary Grades. Join in!

Students can each have their own notebook on their own free Thinglink EDU account, or everyone can collaborate on one page, like the one above, by changing the settings to "anyone" can edit. Thinglink allows you to create channels to group topics together. I created a "vocabulary notebook" channel to organize all of my vocabulary pages into a digital interactive vocabulary notebook. I can also embed my Thinglink channel into a website to share as a slide show so others can see it. You can reorder the pages on the Thinglink channel by using the Thinglink app, so you can reorder the words into ABC order!

I am SO excited about the possibilities for this! Please share how you are using Interactive Notebooks or Vocabulary Notebooks!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Coffee Break with Emily: Collect & Curate Incredible Content



Thinglink Summer Challenge #2: 

Collect & Curate Incredible Content

For the 2nd Thinglink Challenge, I shared the Solar System Task Library for Teachers. A task library is a place to collect all of your multi-media resources related to a particular unit. You'll find videos, lesson plans, blog posts, pictures, articles and more on this Thinglink! Now, you can collect and organize resources like this to your own Thinglink channel. If you create a channel called "Earth Science," for example, you can post Thinglinks from yourself and others to curate your own collection for that topic.

Put your cursor over the image and click the hot spots to see the multi-media resources that are linked. 


Thinglink has become my favorite place to organize resources for a unit. By using the little hot spots, I can add a lot of multi media stuff without it becoming a mess. I have a large online PLN, and I often come across great resources randomly–not just when I am sitting down to plan. I might see a tweet on my phone with a great lesson idea, or come across the perfect video for a lesson on youtube when I'm playing Peg + Cat for my son. Then, when I am ready to sit down and plan for a unit, I spend a long time trying to find that lesson idea or video because I can't remember where I saw it! Even if I did manage to save it at the time, it' makes me feel scattered to have so many resources in so many different places! Thinglink gives me easy access whenever I want to add more resources or find the one I have already saved. 

I will be teaching technology K-5 in a new district this year, so I decided to use Thinglink to organize myself as I start planning (I start back this week!). I'm curating a collection based on the standards. Since the CCSS build on each other, I wanted to build a continuum across grade levels by keeping all my lessons and resources for a standard K - 5 in one place. This backward planning bank would also be helpful to classroom teachers because often times the resources we find are great for more than one grade level. It would be nice for any teacher to see how a standard builds and grows from year to year.

This is the standard I will focus on at the beginning of the year, but I will be adding more pages to a channel called "Backward Planning." The best part is that we can do it together! I changed the setting on the Thinglink below so that you can add to it too! Whether you are a tech teacher, a classroom teacher, or an RTI interventionist, collaborating like this helps us align our teaching for students, and it cuts the work load in 1/2 when we share resources! Together we can build some great lessons that integrate technology. Please leave a comment and let me know if you add something to this Thinglink!