I’ve been teaching for 30 years. I have a great grasp on how to create a group and collaborate. As a professional Spanish teacher trying to transition from a traditional teaching format (books, worksheets, listen, repeat, translate) to performance- based learning with actual second language acquisition, I needed a session where my students could take an event and create dialogue (both spoken and written) with indirect object pronouns.
The students had to be engaged in a Newsela verbal-linguistic task (reading a Spanish article about recycling in Guatemala as they found and highlighted both past preterite verbs and IOPs) then create a visual-spatial piece of art. I set up a rubric where the students had to record tasks done by their group mates during their article study (who brought what, when did they bring it, and how many pieces did they bring). My students who are very anxious for spring break 2019 were fixated to their collaborative task. My mode of technology for the task was a Microsoft Word Document where I simply created a chart. It was that simple, the students worked collaboratively, and they were critically thinking on how to create IOP sentences with preterite verbs from their collaboration. However, I was curious to see if the apps we were using to analyze could help students. During the whole process where I reviewed regular computer apps then several iPhone apps I was envisioning how I could involve my students. I was pleasingly surprised that out of Kathy Schrock's Creating and Evaluating technologies I have used 5 out of 10 of her Bloomin' Apps.
It took me a few days, but I found the six apps I wanted to review: Here we go!
Realtime Board is now Miro. We as technology teachers/ professors need to stay abreast of the every-changing tech world, don't we? When I first started with this collaboration module, I thought Miro was too involved, and I thought that some students with Attention Deficit Disorder would not be able to concentrate on these boards. However, I left the site for a few days then returned to it. I enjoyed it much more after a break. I enjoyed making a mind map, and I know my students could collaboratively create a mind map and critically think with such something simply like “How to generate conversation”. The semantic mapping could include divisions of “studying vocabulary”, “conjugating verbs”, and “creating Spanish questions” with the question words such as who, what, when, where, etc. I also like the small video helpers in the corners of the Miro boards that are there to coach people.
The Samepage would be great on a more mature level to collaborate with shared events. I kept imagining students have a homework project. They exchange documents, revise each other’s work then send the corrections back to each other. There is also a “face time”; however, it all has to go through a Google account. If a teacher would like to establish a Google account for all their students then create collaborative works in this particular manner that would be great. People can also benefit from keeping Google documents. I do enjoy those “living and breathing” documents done in “real time”.
I immediately saw the collaborate use of Canva with making a menu in a Spanish I class. Three students can collaborate and create a restaurant menu with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The students would have to upload photos then write the items in Spanish.
I will be leaving Dalton High School in June. More than likely I will not be going to a school that has a computer to student ratio of 1:1. I was looking for a site where students could submit a Word Document or a Google Document so I can grade it. I think Notion might be a great fit for me and my future students to do such submissions.
Like the mind mapping of Miro, the FTSMind app has a mind mapping as well. It doesn’t seem as “advanced” / fancy as Miro, so it might be more appropriate for elementary or middle school students. It was very simple to use as I mapped some Spanish Middle Ages architecture (Gothic and Romanesque).
The Aww app has a great way to work collaboratively. I see it being used in the “diffuse mode” at home. I decided to take a picture of myself and upload it to the app. I then found out I could “erase” the background if needed. That “collaborate” button was very appealing. Once again, I imagine a group project where people could, “In Spanish, write what you are wearing, snap your photo, collaborate then check each other’s work.”
Computer to Student ratio = 1:1 and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
I will be leaving Dalton Public Schools this June. I have been blessed to be in a school system where students in grade 3-12 have a 1:1 student to computer ratio. I want to begin with sharing some observances from the 1:1 ratio problem. I agree 100% with Schaffhauser (2014) that once your school goes 1:1 computer to student, each classroom becomes a computer lab. The number one thing I have noticed is that students do not charge their computers. If an assignment is given, out of 30 students, approximately a third will have their chargers stretched across desks or across the floor to electrical outlets. That is quite okay, but I am constantly doing vigil and walking around the room. In three years, I have ripped quite a few charger cords form the wall. It has been a miracle that I have not been hurt. If an emergency arrives, there will be casualties because students are going to trip on top of each other as they trip on cords while running out of the classroom.
The charger brings us to another problem. Students lose their chargers frequently and we as teachers are not given a “charger bank” so students can have a loaner. Chargers at DHS cost anywhere from $15-$30. There have been a few times where the WiFi has completely stopped, but that has probably happened less than a dozen times these past 3 years of teaching. I have also noticed that some downloads from my Word documents lose their character count and will not submit as a File Upload. I finally learned right before Christmas of 2018 that the students simply have to copy their work, create a new Word Document, paste their work, then submit. It’s was a wonderful trouble shoot.
When it comes to BYOD, I see the devices being used more in formative assessments. Sites such as Quizlet or Quia have quizzes and such. Students can take the quizzes on their own devices or in a computer lab. The students can also use or create Kahoots with their own devices. During these past 3 years, students have also texted documents with translations or paragraphs. If I have some type of way for students to submit documents, there is always a “Text” mode instead of a “File Upload” where students can text an assignment to me. I have not had too much time to devote to online app submissions, but if I am understanding correctly, Notion has the component to upload both Word Documents and Google Documents.
Schaffhauser, D. (2014) Lessons from 1-to-1 pioneers. THE Journal, 41:3, 10-17. http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.proxy.kennesaw.edu/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=7&sid=9e4af51b-a437-4b55-b139-cd67e64ae1c3%40sessionmgr101
Schrock, K. Bloomin’ Apps http://www.schrockguide.net/bloomin-apps.html