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February 2018

Issue 2

MVHS PATHFINDER A Newsletter for MVHS Teachers who like to wander and stray

THIS ISSUE INCLUDES: ___________________________________

ONLINE DISCUSSIONS ___________________________________

This Week’s Issue

Online Discussions Having students engage in discussion online is a invaluable way to assess student understanding.

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All Questions Required? Making forms can be a pain when you realize you forgot to choose to make a question required. This week’s add-on gets rid of this scenario.

POSSIBLY USELESS: PARA PARA ANIMATION AND FLIPANIM

Para Animation and FlipAnim Para Animation and FlipAnim are quick ways for students to make their own animations and/or flipbooks.

GOOGLE ADD-ON OF THE WEEK: ALL QUESTIONS REQUIRED?

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ARTICLE: SMARTPHONE DETOX

Article of the Week Smartphones have increasingly become more of teenagers lives. What does that mean for mental health?

MVHS PATHFINDER


February 2018

Online Discussions

Issue 2

Online Discussions As all teachers know, discussions are one of the best ways to encourage complex, high order thinking in their classrooms. While in class discussions are wonderful, it can often be difficult to have a well ordered discussion in a classroom of 30-36 students. At the same time, there seems to be an overwhelming amount of ways for students to have discussions with their peers through online discussions or chats. Ranging from just text discussions to videos. It is not what tool the teacher picks. What matters is teachers find one or two tools they like and really explore the possibilities of that tool. The following pages will provide teachers with a few options they incorporate into their classrooms. With each explanation there are instructions provided, so teachers can choose which tool they want to explore further

Article: What Research Tells Us about Online Discussion Faculty Focus Article

Google Classroom: Create a Question Google classroom does a lot of wonderful things. One thing it does is allow teachers to ask questions of students on classroom (both multiple choice and short answer.) Teachers can use the short answer question as a way to create a discussion board for student to discuss a topic. Students respond to the question and then can respond to others responses. One thing that is nice about Classroom’s question tool is students cannot see other student’s responses until they have posted their own. One limit of it however, is students are only allowed one post themselves. They can still respond to other students but they cannot post more than one response to a single question. Here is a short video that quickly illustrates how to set up a short answer question in Google Classroom. If you want to see what a discussion looks like on the student side of classroom you can watch this video

MVHS Student Example at this link MVHS PATHFINDER


February 2018

Online Discussions

Issue 2

Padlet

Dotstorming

Padlet has always been a great way for students to post their thoughts, ideas, images, videos to an online discussion board. Unlike Google Classroom, students post comments to a digital board, rather than a chat room like discussion board (think more of a digital version of a post-it note discussion). What is nice about padlet is recent updates allow students to respond to other students post and also to upvote, heart, or like other students posts and responses. For further instructions on how to set up a padlet and ways to use it in the classroom watch this video.

Dotstorming is a lot like Padlet. It offers teachers the ability to create questions or topics for students to post their thoughts on. Like padlet, dotstorming, allows students to comment on other posts. Additionally, dotstorming allows students to vote on those posts they like, want to talk more about, or want to rank higher. The one advantage dotstorming has to padlet is it allows the teacher to arrange the posts that got the most votes at the top, rather than having to search for them like padlet. Dotstorming also offers a chat that can be turned on or off, where students can chat on top of posting their ideas. This allows for greater collaboration. Unlike padlet, dotstorming does have limitations to how many dotstorming boards a teacher can make. To learn how to make a dotstorming discussion board click on this link.

Click Here to See a MVHS Example of a Padlet MVHS PATHFINDER


February 2018

Online Discussions

Issue 2

Video Discussions In addition to all the text based discussion boards, there are a number of options for creating video discussions with students. Each with their own benefits and limitations.

Flipgrid Flipgrid has been the go to resource for a while now when teachers want to do video discussion. Flipgrid keeps innovating and has added more and more options for teachers. Examples include stickers and likes for videos, and recently co-pilots or the ability to have co-teachers share a grid. One optoin that is nice about flipgrid is students can respond to other students videos, and in turn respond to the responses to their videos. Teachers can watch the videos along with automatic text transcriptions of students videos and also grade and give feedback in flipgrid. Unfortunately, this does come at a price, as there is an annual cost of $65.00. Yet, you get so much with flipgrid it is worth it. And with the new copilots options, teachers can share grids so you don’t need multiple accounts to have different teachers use the resource. Because flipgrid is so popular there are a number of tutorials out there. A good one can be viewed by clicking on this link.

Recap Recap is a relatively new online video discussion platform. Unlike flipgrid it allows text questions along with video questions. Recap allows students to see and respond to a question by using a pin or signing in using their school gmail account. As a teacher, Recap makes grading easy by allowing teachers to look at each video individually, but also lumped together into a short recap video where you can watch the responses as a “daily review reel.” Students can respond to other student’s videos, but only via text, rather than video. An additional resource that recap offers is for teachers to create guided discussions, which are called “journeys”. Teachers can create multiple questions and activities for students to do. Lastly, the best part of recap is it is free to use. To learn more about recap, click on this tutorial video.

MVHS Student Example at this link MVHS PATHFINDER


February 2018

Add-on of the Week

Google Add-on of the Week All Questions Required?

One of the most frustrating parts about creating Google forms can be the insistence that you manually mark each form as required. Sometimes you send out a form and have students take it, to only discovers some of them skipped questions because they were not required. A really easy and simple solution is to add “All Questions Required?” as an add-on to Google forms. By adding the add-on all your questions you make will automatically be required. There is no need to reinstall the add-on or to ever click on that “require response” button again. For a quick video of how to add “All Questions Required?” to your google forms click on this link.

Issue 2

There is no need to...ever click on that “require response” button again.

Illustration courtesy of the Piedmont Highlander

MVHS PATHFINDER


February 2018

Possibly Useless

Issue 2

Possibly Useless: Para Para Animation and FlipAnim Para Para Animation

Para Para animation is a tool that allows users to create animations quickly. Students can use a variety of colors to create cartoons or messages that “come alive”. Cartoon courtesy of Justin Benolkin

They can then share those animations with the teacher by copying a link and then sharing that link through email or attaching it to a Google classroom assignment. For a quick tutorial of how to use para para animation click on this link. Here is a quick example of an animation that can be done in about 2 minutes. FlipAnim

FlipAnim is similar to Para Para Animation. It allows students to create flipbook animations. While Para Para was more designed for the classroom, flipanim is designed to be used more by the general public and animation enthusiast. Because of this, flipanim is one of those sites where is good idea to supervise students as they use it. There is a “random” cartoon option that may bring up a random cartoon that, while ok for the internet, is not ok for some grade levels. Despite this, flipanim makes creating animation easier than para para animation because you can copy over frames of animation and work from that rather than redrawing the drawing each time. For a quick tutorial on using flipanim click on this link.

MVHS PATHFINDER


February 2018

Article of the week: Smartphone Detox

What this means is that humans easily can develop an addiction to the pleasure they receive from the messaging or social network updates.

Article of the Week: Smartphone Detox: How To Power Down In A Wired World Michaeleen Doucleff and Allison Aubrey article “Smartphone Detox: How to Power Down in a Wired World” focuses on what smartphones do to people’s brains. While the article is helpful for understanding the use of smartphones in the minds of teenagers, it is also serves as a reminder to teachers to pause and think about their own smartphone use. The authors report on how recent studies by David Greenfield, a psychologist and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry, illustrate that smartphones have become powerful reward mechanisms for our brains. Like Pavlov’s dogs, humans who use smartphones have come to be conditioned to receive pleasure inducing dopamine everytime their smartphone virbrats or pings.

Issue 2

Smartphone notifications have turned us all into Pavlov's dogs - David Greenfield

The article discusses signs that you yourself may need to cutback on your smartphone use. These include checking your smartphone over and over again with the hope that you will have message to check--Greenfield equates this to someone who keeps pulling the lever on a slot machine but not winning. Other signs include: the device interferes with your sleep, it reduces time with friends or family, interferes with your work or homework, or it changes your behavior in a way that is seen as rude by others. Other studies have found that teenagers who spend five or more hours a day online are twice as likely to be unhappy, compared to those who spend less time online. So what can you, or the teenagers in your classroom, do if you find yourself becoming too “wired” to your smartphone. The one thing you really cannot do is shut yourself off entirely, as this raises concerns, especially by teens, of being “shut out.” What you can do is take a sabbatical from your smartphone. Research shows that teens who spend a little time- an hour to two a day- on their devices are the happiest. So while teens and teachers may not be able to give up their smartphones entirely. Trying to cut back or carving a day out where you try not to use devices seems to be the best solution.

MVHS PATHFINDER


February 2018

What is Happening at MVHS?

Issue 2

Nearpod French students recently used Nearpod to creatively assess their understanding.

Speed-Dating French students shared their research on animals by “speed-dating�.

MVHS PATHFINDER

MVHS Pathfinder - Issue 2  
MVHS Pathfinder - Issue 2