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.