Adobe Spark: Project Based Learning, Copyright, Creative Commons & Spanish Indirect Object Pronouns
Like Hanson (2016) shares, Adobe has made Spark available to schools and students regardless of the programs and devices they have. After I saw what Adobe Spark could do, I was stoked! My Spanish II students are studying Indirect Object Pronouns (IOP) in Spanish. As we studied in Modules 1 & 2, I have an appreciation and have used Flipping the Flip. I recorded lessons and having my students watch them (as often as needed so they choose when to be engaged.. LOL) then have some formative assessments to see if they have paid attention. I knew I could use Adobe Spark to create the IOP lesson. I did. As I reviewed my students’ formative assessment, I could tell that some students who had been struggling with my note taking from my overhead or markerboard were more engaged in the work that went along with the Flip-Flipped video as well as performing better on their formative assessment. We are having an IOP party where the students will discuss who brought what to share with the class. They must tell who brought the goodies and explain for whom: Communication. This is Project-Based learning because it a real-world connection with collaboration and communication. The assessment will be in dialogue as well as translation in a later summative assessment.
To me, Proficiency-Based learning and Project Based learning are equal. Will there be some formal semantic differences? But of course. I’m not concerned. I appreciated the Edutopia video, but I had to compartmentalize my negative feelings for Edutopia because I have seen some didactic articles from it telling teachers and students on how to think politically, and I don’t appreciate that. That isn’t their place. However, helping us teachers understand Project-Based Learning better is appropriate. Teaching a foreign language is a real- world connection. We can learn vocabulary, conjugate verbs in foreign languages, and place our IOPs in the correct place, but where does “the rubber meet the road”? You know you have acquired a language when you can communicate and be understood. As we communicate in another language we begin to collaborate, think creatively, and problem solve with others as well. When we want to learn something so as to actively use it, we are reflecting our core of learning. In my Spanish II classes, I decided during Christmas break that we needed to spend more time in dialogues even if they were two to four lines each. This Adobe Spark leads us into more dialogues. Our IOP interchanges are all structured collaboration. As we finish up this IOP unit, I will open up a student-teacher dialogue on how the students will design an Adobe Spark with a “drama” where they will stage some events and combine what they did in the videos by using past preterite and past imperfect verbs correctly. They will both read and write captions to their videos about the past event. I want this to be student driven. I already use multi-faceted assessments: conversations, structured dialogues, vocabulary tests, writing in Spanish with writing rubrics, and summative translation tests. I really like self-assessments as well. The students had to teach a lesson from what they learned during Spanish I. At the end of their differentiated presentations where they taught others by using their favorite mode of learning/teaching (Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences), the students did a self-assessment. I was amazed at their honesty where some people actually said they could have done better and gave themselves a grade lower than a 90. The students will self-assess their future Adobe Spark.
When I made my Adobe Spark, I had no intention of borrowing other people’s materials to embed in my presentation. I have another way to help my students learn about copyright. My students know I am an author. They also know I want to write some form of a “textbook”. I decided in May that I am writing my Haven Caylor’s Communicative Proficiency Based Learning Method of teaching a foreign language. It includes heavy use of Bloom’s Taxonomy as well as Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences. I want it copyrighted. The Creative Commons (CC) makes me extremely excited! Okay, so with the CC BY , my license will let others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon my work, even commercially, as long as they credit me for the original creation. Brown (2018) gives two pieces of useful information for those of us wanting to license our works with Creative Commons, and they are to 1) embed the license information in the metadata for the work and 2) to display the license terms along with the work where the Creative Commons button or text statement links back to the Creative Commons licenses deed. It is such a fortuitous situation that this course syncs with my exact plan that I began to devise back at the beginning of January 2019. I have several students who enjoy writing. Between now and May I will share with my students what I have learned about the CC and how they copyright their future works. As my students create their future Adobe Sparks, they will understand fair practice and credit any quotes, methods, or strategies they find from researched sources.
Add-Ons & Extensions from Google Suite
As I have mentioned before, Dalton Public Schools (DPS) has a splendid tech-based culture. When I returned to DPS in August of 2016, each new teacher received a Lenovo touch screen laptop. Except for an uncommon camera issue that sent my computer into a meltdown, I have really enjoyed it. However, I do all my KSU work at home with our stationary Acer computer. As I read and ingested all the wonderful add-ons and extensions in Module 4, I added them to my Acer. During Module 4, I am simultaneously working on the ELL Module with an ELL student from Dalton High. The student is studying Shakespeare and Chaucer, and I knew he could use some Google reading extensions. At my Acer, I sat down to download add-ons and extensions from my Acer to my Lenovo, but after I logged into my Acer and checked some KSU emails, I looked over at my Lenovo, and Google had synced my extensions and add-ons with my Acer! I did not have to repeat that whole process on my Lenovo. Google can sync across devices, and that is one reason it was voted best Web Browser in 2017 (Paul, 2017).
I could not believe how quickly the screencast flew by. My explication of add-ons and extensions share quite a bit about communication, I have several students with disabilities who will benefit from add-ons or extensions, and students can differentiate with the tools I have researched and am going to share with my 140 students.
Reading and recording the reading so as to increase both reading comprehension and communication fluency. I have a Chinese student who has begun working with this so as to help him with speaking fluency. He wants native English speakers to understand him better.
If I would not cause a revolt when teachers cannot convert a Google search from Spanish to English, I would have all my 140 Spanish students have a Spanish Google version as a search engine. However, several of my ELL students are benefitting from the Text to Speech. They can both read and listen to a text. I have a Hispanic ELL student who needed this to listen to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. He really appreciated it.
Once again, a brain exercise to increase reading comprehension at a faster speed. As second language expert, I understand the need to increase communication in that language. It then leads to better collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving in that target language as well. My two visually impaired students will also benefit from changing the colors of the screen in case it’s too bright or increasing the font.
Add- Ons to Google Documents
Making a word cloud is awesome for finding vocabulary words from the text that would be very beneficial to the text study.
The embedded add-on thesaurus is something I need for myself as I type new articles. I know my students are benefitting as well as they increase their vocabulary.
Brown, K. (2018). Creative commons: An explainer. Computer & Internet lawyer 35(2),
Hanson, Jennifer (2016). SLJ reviews Adobe Spark: Web stories and social graphics
are a snap with Adobe’s free creative suite. School Library Journal, 62(9), p.21.
Paul, I (2017). Best web browsers of 2017:Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Opera go
head-to-head. PC World, 35(9), pp.43-48.
Direct Outcome from Module 3 for Haven Caylor-Brown? Yep!
I have used Twitter since 2011. As an adult, I enjoy using it to promote my books, share political ideas, and share educational ideas. However, it is not a good site for children to peruse. Until Twitter, I never knew how readily accessible pornography, cursing, and physical violence was. Yes, I as an adult can “handle” and steer away from such inappropriate Tweets, but I am responsible for my students. Schonert-Reichi (2017) and I agree that we teachers are models for students and their social and emotional learning. If they experience something inappropriate in social media while in my classroom, I am responsible, so I use neither Instagram nor Twitter in the
classroom. However, in an ideal, educational world, Twitter can serve a purpose.
Once again, my school system uses a Cloud based learning program called Canvas. There is a component to Canvas where parents or guardians can log in and experience the courses their children experience: School announcements, individual teacher announcements, their children’s assignments, quizzes, and so much more. Twitter cannot enter the courses to see, but it could cover major announcements such as major due dates for projects and dates for exams. So, in the hypothetical world where neither cursing, nor pornography, nor graphic sights, nor bullying occurs, I can deal with an ideal use of Twitter.
I began Skyping with teachers from around the Spanish-speaking world March of 2018. I have followed and retweeted quite a bit of technology information from these contacts, and the contacts are usually associated with Microsoft Education. The first was a Mystery Skype with a fellow educator, Francisco Texeira ( https://twitter.com/fcotexeira ), from Spain. He is at the Marista High School in Malaga, Spain. He Tweets a lot about Skype and other products associated with Microsoft. Francisco knows another teacher, Ovi Barceló ( https://twitter.com/ovibarcelo ), from Spain. Ovi was an educator, but left the classroom to work for Microsoft Education. He has helped me find several articles regarding Microsoft educational uses, and 90% of our communications have been through Twitter. I know Twitter can provide a useful hub for connecting course topics with current news; however, I agree 100% with Jacquemin, Smelser, and Bemot (2014) when they state, “Ultimately, social media technologies should only be brought into the classroom when they are fully vetted and deemed to improve learning” (p. 27).
I enjoyed our 60 second podcast. The more I think about it, I see it as a refresher for some good remediation. This, of course, would be asynchronous podcasting. As I have mentioned, I use Skype in the classroom. It has spoiled me for “real time” communication and collaboration. I think the idea of creating a project with other schools from around the United States or the world is awesome. I have an internal goal to do such. I want my students to make positive changes in the world: Recycling, creating goods to ship to others who are less-fortunate, clean energy ideas, etc. Our students are so intelligent and clever, and they still see the world ideally. We can help adults see in a wider, more idealistic scope to help others and the environment without always thinking of their own bank accounts. The best way I see podcasting for collaborating with others is to have live podcasting for communicating and exchanging ideas: A more synchronous way. Students in New Zealand have made podcasts about Information and Communication Technologies and the students reviewed, critiqued, and reported back to each other in a formative assessment format (Forbes, 2015). This article on the usefulness of formative assessments and podcasts was an excellent read. Once again, time, time, time. I just found PlayerFM (http://www.player.fm ) which has synchronous podcasts. If I’m going to teach something, I need to teach in the moment. I don’t want to create a teaching-learning podcast to send to another teacher somewhere in the world that will not be listened to for a few days, reviewed by its teacher, found where to place the podcast into his or her lesson plans, then that teacher write back to me with a response! By that time, I’m way past what I was teaching during the podcast. By the time I get a response from the other teacher, I may have advanced into a new unit.
I listened to two podcasts. One is from a man who travels through Spain, and the other was a husband and wife who share their school-aged children’s experiences. “Our lively tribe” ( http://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/ourlivelytribe ) from Podomatic, and “Coffebreak Spanish” ( https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/cbs-em-1-01-bienvenidos-a-m%C3%A1laga/id201598403?i=1000428978964&mt=2) from iTunes. The Our Lively Tribe has a primary source of raising children. The family has three children, and the two eldest are adopted. The husband and wife were talking about their boys’ feelings of adoption. It was nice, but I wasn’t drawn in. It was like, “Brandon said he didn’t want to go through with the adoption after being bullied at school a few days ago.” “Oh, I didn’t know that!”, “Oh, yeah, but he’s over that now”. I was like, I don’t want to tune in to a podcast with personal dialogue that doesn’t have anything to do with my engagement. I say podcasters need to stick to a script and think of the audience. It’s like those radio talk shows where the host will share insignificant things about their lives that do not pertain to me nor my life situation, and they drag on and on until I turn the channel. The parents got back on topic, but I realized I had to create my own podcast for a grade, so I continued on. I thought the “Coffee Break” Spanish was good too. However, this man doesn’t podcast with regularity. If I cannot engage in something with frequency, it “falls by the wayside”, and I do not use it any longer. The gentleman would skip years at a time in his broadcasts. I was lucky that he had just completed a podcast on February 1, 2019! He had flown to Malaga, Spain, and he was interviewing people on the street
about what they were doing. The lady said she enjoyed shopping and was out to buy a few things. His idea can be expanded. Allow me to elaborate.
My students and I are just finishing direct object pronouns and shopping for clothes. We turn objects (a cap, some pants, some shirts, some shoes) into direct object pronouns (it, them, them etc.). It would be cool to audio record what the people buy then have the students recreate their sentences where direct object pronouns take the place of the objects with a podcast.
My Spanish for Native Students part one is reading a short story/legend by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer. Its name is La Corza Blanca (The White Deer). My parapro for one of the two sessions of Native Speakers One found a podcast for this legend this morning. I was so grateful. I was also cruising the web tonight, and I found another pod session on my newfound friend podcast site, PlayerFM
I am totally thrilled. I will use this for my students to listen to if they grow weary of reading. This way I do not have to stand over them and make them read. Many native Spanish speakers speak Spanish, but they have a hard time reading and writing in Spanish. A podcast with literary read alouds are wonderful tools for listening and practice reading in Spanish. As I mentioned further above at the onset of discussing podcasts with students collaborating, in a few days, I can ask my students to collaborate and share if listening to the podcast of La Corza Blanca helped them with their reading skills. They can collaborate, write, then report back to me in groups.
Forbes, D. (2015). Beyond lecture capture: Student-generated podcasts in teacher
education. Waikato journal of education. 195-205.
Schonert-Reichi, K. (2017). Social and Emotional Learning and Teachers. The future of children 27(1) 137-155.
Stephen J. Jacquemin; Lisa K. Smelser; Melody J. Bernot (2014). Twitter in the Higher Education Classroom: A Student and Faculty Assessment of Use and Perception. Journal of College Science Teaching. 43(6):22-27.