Let kids explain their thoughts everyday! Student created videos document learning and prevent the risk of cheating during distance learning.
As we approach the 2020/2021 school year, more and more districts are choosing to stick with distance learning. So, we are especially focused on how we are going to teach from a distance. But how many of us have thought about how we are going to assess kiddos from a distance? So much of my informal assessments come from me observing how my students are doing in small group. Without being able to sit next to my students, how am I going to assess their current level? Without seeing them, how do I know that the work on the screen is actually theirs? One strategy I plan to use is video, specifically using the website FlipGrid.
FlipGrid in the Traditional Classroom
FlipGrid is a website I have used in my classroom since we got Chromebooks. It allows students to record short videos of themselves and share them with me and their classmates in a safe and secure way.
In my traditional classroom, I used FlipGrid in a few different ways. One great way was to allow students to explain their thinking for math word problems to the video camera. This practice allowed students to justify their thinking verbally before they tried to write it out. This helped them to gather their thoughts and think about their word choice. Additionally, it allowed me to go back and watch the kiddos who I was unable to work with in small group for whatever reason.
Additionally, I have used FlipGrid to help students work on reading fluency, as they recorded themselves reading the same book multiple times. This allowed them to see how they were growing as readers in a very visual way. And it was a great way to show growth to parents during conferences!
Using FlipGrid with Distance Learning
With the advent of distance learning, FlipGrid can become so much more. It can allow for you to see the individual thinking of each student. You as the teacher can create a mini lesson video and add it to an assignment. Additionally, students can create response videos to their classmates, so they can actually have a digitally delayed discourse on a topic. Here are some of the ways I can see FlipGrid being helpful for Virtual Education:
- Teachers might read a story or poem to the students and/or post a video in FlipGrid of this read aloud. Each student can then respond to the text with a video of their own. Either they can all respond to the same question, or you can do a "virtual jigsaw" and have each student answer a different question. Students can then go back and watch the videos of their classmates to gather additional information that they hadn't thought to include.
- Teachers might assign a math problem or post a math mini lesson video with a problem at the end of the video. Each student can then solve the math problem and create a video explaining their thinking. Again, differentiation can be put into play by assigning different groups of students different problems to answer.
- Before writing about a topic, students may create a video discussing what they know about a topic. This can serve as their pre-writing to help get their ideas into order. Additionally, when students complete their writing, they might share it with the class by reading it into a FlipGrid video.
- After completing research or lessons on a topic, students might create a presentation video to teach the rest of the class what they learned. In fact, my Student Created Tutorial Videos Planning Sheet works great for helping kiddos plan out videos like this.
These are just a few ways to use FlipGrid for both learning and assessment. How will you use this powerful website this school year?
Technology Accounts to Set Up for Your Students at the Beginning of the School Year
You’ve picked out the perfect technology project for your students. You’ve given them a planning sheet with all the steps, and you’ve even given them an advance copy of the rubric so that they know what you are looking for. Everyone lines up and you set off for the computer lab OR you start your center rotation and they are working at computers in your room. The kids get on the computer and ask you – What’s my username and password? That’s when it hits you – you forgot to set up their accounts!!!! Oh the horror of wasted technology time due to missing usernames and passwords! The solution? Take time NOW to create accounts (or have students create accounts) for programs you think you will use during the school year.
Setting up student accounts ahead of time gives you and your students some distinct advantages:
1.) You’re ready for all kinds of projects – planned and unplanned (you know those great teachable moments!)
2.) The kids can play with the programs outside of school, or when they have finished their work, allowing them to figure out the programs BEFORE they have a big project due with this program.
3.) Students can show their parents the types of programs they will be using – helping parents to see that the technology they will use will not just be playing games, but will be using technology for educational purposes.
4.) When assigning a project, you can give students a choice of ways to present their work, empowering students to take control of their own learning. I started this with my Virtual Field Trip Project last year and the results were amazing!
Consider letting students create their own accounts, as long as they report their passwords to you.
1.) Demonstrate HOW to create an account before you ask students to create their own account.
2.) Have students use a password pattern so that they don’t forget their password. Find more details on this at my blog post about 10 Tips to Make Technology Integration Easier.
3.) Keep a record of each students’ usernames and passwords, in case students forget them or you need to get into their account for any reason.
So, what accounts should you have set up in the beginning of the year?
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