Chatterpix is an amazing creation tool. It is very simple to use, in fact one of the examples I will share below is from my 1st grade daughter. Chatterpix allows you to take a picture of anything and then add your voice to that image.
Students have created video projects about famous artists that includes images of the artist and their artwork. Others have recreated famous political speeches or had students record historical documents. Students could also create their own videos expressing their ideas for countless topics or projects. Students could take a picture of a document, page of text or notes and then record the main idea of the text. The image they choose has some importance and they can use their voice to explain the concept it represents.
One limitation is Chatterpix only allows for 30 seconds of recording. How do you overcome that? Make several recordings and then using WeVideo or iMovie piece the clips together into one video. This is great for creating a group project where each student can do their individual piece and then quickly compile a video.
If you don't have access to iPads, you could use Talkify by Abcya.
Below are two examples of using Chatterpix along with iMovie or WeVideo to piece the parts together. The first video was of reading a story. The second was the Gettysburg Address.
Are you looking for ways to have students present their mastery of content in a new or different way? Have students who you know have good ideas, but may struggle to get those ideas down on paper? Looking to create new ways to access student learning? Well here are a few ideas that may help you.
There are a multitude of video or audio creation apps and sites to assist you in this endeavor.
Help the struggling writer
For some students writing is difficult. They may have great ideas, but just haven’t been able to get them on paper. These technologies and examples could provide students a chance to showcase their understanding and find their voice.
The ideas presented here are my thoughts on using technology. Some of the examples are not fully explained in an effort to keep the document length manageable. If you would like to explore these ideas- the technologies or lesson ideas, please let me know. I would love to connect with your classes to assist you in creating engaging learning activities for your students.
How many ways can students share their knowledge? It may be answered very similarly to the question "How many licks does it take to reach the center of a tootsie pop.?
The world may never know. But let's try to find out!
What are some ways to present your learning and knowledge?
How do you share these products?
Project Descriptions Build Something -
1. Plug in and transfer - this is my least favorite method but it does work. It is least favorite because we don't always have our cords and it takes more time.
Matt Miller is an amazing educator who I have had the pleasure to meet several times. He is passionate about students and meaningful technology integration. Matt has written countless blog posts about technology integration and the book Ditch That Textbook. I have read the book and found a number of great ideas. I share this background as I plan to share some of Matt's ideas with you throughout the year, but also wanted you to be able to peruse his resources for yourself.
Integration IdeasBell Ringer Activities
The following is taken from Matt Miller's 10 digital bell-ringer activities to kick start class posts.
I have modified Matt's two posts about bell ringers below to include activities that use approved tools. Please take a look at his original for more details and ideas that you could use with your students that could be modified to use approved tools.
BELL RINGER ACTIVITIES
1. Add speech bubbles to a historic photo. Add a new twist to a lesson by letting students speak — or think — for the characters. My favorite way to do this is with Google Drawings (for creating individual images) or Google Slides (for having each student create a slide in a shared presentation). Do an image search for a historic photo and add that photo to the drawing or slide. Then add speech bubbles. (If using Drawings/Slides, it’s in the shapes under the “callouts” category.) This is higher-order thinking! Students must know their facts and understand the people involved very well to be able to think for them. Kick the Depth of Knowledge level up even higher by having students justify their thinking and explain why they wrote what they did.
Example: Washington crossing the Delaware. Find the historic painting and add a thought bubble for Washington. (Then, add a thought bubble for a soldier too!)
2. Ask a character/historic figure a question. What if students could ask someone they’re studying a question? What would they ask, and how would that person likely respond? This is another that can be done quickly and easily in Google Slides or Drawings. Let students take a photo of themselves using Insert > Image > Take a snapshot. Then, use the image search to find a photo of the person to whom they’ll ask the question. Add speech bubbles to ask questions. Students could ask one question with one answer from the character/historic figure, or they could do a back-and-forth with several photos.
Example: Asking Sir Isaac Newton a question about how he concluded that gravity was due to the pull from the earth.
3. Create a flowchart. Sticking with the Google Slides/Drawings idea, have students express their understanding of a concept with a flowchart. This can easily be done with shapes and arrows (found under the line tool) in Slides and Drawings. A single line throughout a flowchart makes for more of a timeline and less of a flowchart, so any time it can branch off, the flowchart is made more interesting! (Pro tip: copy (Ctrl+C) and paste (Ctrl+V) the shapes and arrows to save time.)
Example: Go through the process of deciding what to have for lunch and all of the decisions made in that process.
4. Make comic strips out of webcam photos. Those webcams don’t have to be just for selfie-style photos (especially those with peace fingers and duck lips …). Have students back away from the camera and pose to recreate scenes of what you’re studying. Or, have them sit side by side and have a discussion. This makes the students the stars of their own comic strips!
Example: Recreating a scene from a story or having a discussion about something they’re learning in class.
5. Create a quick animation.Google Slides (or PowerPoint or any presentation slide tool) can be turned into a simple stop-motion animation tool. Create the first slide in your animation, then duplicate it, then move something slightly in the second slide. Duplicate the second slide and move something slightly in the third. Continue duplicating and moving until your animation is complete. Once your students have the hang of this, they can make animations pretty quickly.
Example: Recreating historic battles with moving maps (here’s a brief, incomplete example of the Battle of Little Big Horn) or showing how a math problem is completed.
6. Shared slide presentations.Google Slides doesn’t have to be used just to do presentations in front of the class! Create a slide presentation with enough slides for each student in the class. Then share that slide presentation with the class using the blue “Share” button. (Be sure to use the “Get shareable link” button and choose “Anyone with the link can edit” or “Anyone from <your school district> can edit” from the dropdown menu.) Each student gets a slide where he/she can do his/her own work. But you’re also creating a whole class file. Students love to see what each other has put on the other slides, and it’s a great place to interact through comments. Here’s a shared slide presentation I did in a workshop where participants wrote about their ideal vacation destination.
Example: Finding quick facts/photos online about a topic you’ll discuss in class that day.
More Bell Ringer Ideas
7. Tweet for someone. What would happen if a character in a story you’re reading tweeted about an event in the story? Or about an event in current events … or in another story? What if a scientist or mathematician or notable character in history tweeted? Now, you can let students create those tweets as bell-ringer activities. Use this Google Slides template. (Make sure you make your own copy.) Create a slide for each student. Then share the slide presentation with your students (through Google Classroom, through a learning management system, with a link using the blue Share button). Make it “Anyone with the link can edit”. Students jump on their own slides and add the following: a photo, the name of the person tweeting, the Twitter username (start it with @), and the tweet. Ninja tip: To turn the photo to a circle, click on the photo and use the dropdown button next to the crop tool to select a circle as the crop shape!
8. Create a “What do you know about …” Padlet. Padlet (padlet.com) is like a digital bulletin board. Use it to tack digital notes to it with push pins. Those notes, though, can have links, files, images and other multimedia attached to them — much cooler than a regular bulletin board. Kick off class for the day by creating a collaborative “What do you know about …” Padlet. Pose a question: “What do you know about dolphins?” and encourage students to add whatever they can — personal experiences, facts, images, videos, whatever. This is a great way to activate prior knowledge.
9. Record a short explainer video. Sometimes, it’s just easier to show someone what you’re talking about than to write it. Students can fire up a screen recording video with WeVideo. Teachers can use WeVideo or Screencastify (screencastify.com) in moments using the tool’s extension for the Google Chrome browser. Students can quickly record their screen, record with their webcam and/or record audio with their microphone to kick off class. It’s easy for them to share those videos with others after uploading them to Google Drive — or to turn them in with Google Classroom.
10. Write blackout poetry. Have you ever seen those poems written by marking out all of the words in a news article or book page except a few with a black marker? This is blackout poetry. This can be a fun — and creativity-provoking — way to kick off class. Have students take a photo of a page of text (or a screenshot of an article online). Paste that image into Google Drawings or Slides. In Google Drawings, they can use lines or shapes (long skinny rectangles work great) to black out words. (Do a web search for “blackout poetry” for examples.) Students could create them on their own individual slides of a shared Google Slides presentation (see No. 7 in the previous bell-ringer post). If each student has his/her own slide, the whole slide show becomes a big gallery of blackout poetry!
I previously shared a post about Google Slides templates using slidescarnival.comand then came across the work of Ryan O'Donnell who I have followed on Twitter for awhile. He is in a similar role in another district and created some really cool templates. Students can create their own facebook page for a character in a story, or historical figure. They could report on an event, historical or ficticious using the Time Magazine, or National Geographic Templates. Those are just a few of the templates and resources Ryan has created and shared via his website.
There are numerous ways to use these with content, and I hope you take a few minutes to explore the tools and ponder the possibilities.
Google Slides Templates
Here is an example below.
Are you tired of the same old look in Google Slides? The new slides has added a few themes, but it is still pretty limited. There are places to get better presentation templates like slidescarnival.com or Google Templates which is where I found this photo album template.
You also have another option and that is to create your own template. You can do this by creating a new template and then editing the Master Slide and the other slide layouts to create slide templates for your presentation.
After creating a new Google Slide
Click on Help in the tool bar
Click edit master
This will open up a new window where you can select the layout of the Master slide which is the default layout for a new slide. You can also edit the layout of the other slides to create the look you are trying to achieve.
In the example below I added images as background to create place holders for text and images so students wouldn't have to do as much work in creating a nice looking slide they would simply add images and copy and paste their text.
The other day I was having a conversation where we were voting on our favorite creation tools. I personally voted for WeVideo because of the diversity, but Jon Spike pointed out the power of Google Slides, especially for creating storybooks.
I decided to explore Slides for creating storybooks. I created the following example below based on the story The Three Little Pigs. I chose a copyright free story as my example and copy and pasted the story in a Google Doc.
Instructions for creatingYou can create your own Slides Template, or use the one I created here. You can create an example for students, or provide them with the template and guide them in adding the text and images. I also updated the template here.
You can modify the template to be 1 picture and 1 text box, or whatever works best for you.
I added animation of the animals to create a more dynamic element to the experience. You can do this by clicking Insert Animation and making the images appear and disappear to simulate movement.
Another extension would be having the students do a screen cast where they read their story to work on their reading fluency and give a voice to the story. My daughter is reading Win Dixie for Battle of the Books for school and she is reading in a southern accent as she tries to replicate some of the audio example of the story she heard. Think about the possibilities for students to create and showcase their talents, interests and personalities.
Bilingual - I have been working with a bilingual class and thought it might be a great opportunity for students to create a story in their native language and then do the same story in English to work on building their language fluency in both languages. The idea came from working with the teacher where she had the students create a green screen weather event video project first in their native language and then in English.
In the example above I put the English version on the left and then used Google Translate in Google Docs to create a Spanish example. I spoke with one of our Spanish translators and found the translation isn't a really good one because Google does a word for word order translation and that doesn't fit with how it would be written in Spanish.
World Languages - Students could write a story in English and then translate it into the language they are studying to demonstrate their understanding of the language and how to properly write in the alternative language.
English - Students can create a story that they could illustrate, or find images to help tell their story. The stories could be shared with younger students. Since the stories are digital it makes it much easier to create a shared folder that can contain a library of student examples.
Social Studies - Students could create historical fictions, or alternative historical timelines based on one event or one decision. What if stories. What would have changed in history if... this event had not taken place, or if a different choice was made?
Science - Students could create lab journals using slides where they chronicle the steps in the experiment or lab. Students could create a journal in biology of the exploration of animals or organisms where they take pictures and label them to create a visual presentation that they can share with classmates.
All about me - Students could create an all about me presentation using slides and the story template. You could put topics on each page that students would share a picture and write a caption that helps others get to know them better.
Google has just released an update to Google Classroom where teachers can now assign tasks to individual students or groups of students.
I just saw the update on Twitter and within minutes was in a conversation with a colleague Justin Birckbichler and we were exploring the update. Google created a gif or animated picture showing the process where you create an assignment as usual, but then are able to assign it to the whole class or click on individual students. We wanted to know if you could assign tasks to small groups. The video at the bottom shows what we discovered.
The ability to differentiate for individual students, or groups of students has come. You could modify an assignment for individual students, create resources for groups of students either based on topic or reading levels, create documents, presentations that the group can work on and edit collboratively, and so much more.
Many elementary teachers already create reading groups, but sometimes find that students may migrate between groups as the year goes on. This feature would allow you to make those adjustments more fluidly. Individual assignments while applicable to reading groups might also be suited for small group projects where each group is studying a different topic and you are providing them with topic specific resources or leveled texts.
Another use for this could be for truly individualized instruction. We all know we have students who are absent at times, or others who struggle with concepts, and some students who need some extra or different opportunities to go beyond where their classmates are currently. With individualized assignments, you could provide extra resources, tutorial videos, guided practice or extension activities to meet the needs of students in a way that doesn't draw attention from all the other students. The individualized assignment isn't seen by the other students in the class.
The Directions and video are from Justin Birckbichler, the colleague I was collaborating with on the new feature release. He created the video as he was able to show the student view that I am currently unable. If you have any questions, please let me know.
Want to help students organize their ideas and thinking and get more use out of the technology available to students?
Looking for new ways for students to express their knowledge and understanding?
I have shared other posts about templates like the Facebook Slides presentation, the Time Magazine Cover, or one of my favorites, the Virtual Museum.
Today I discovered another resource for templates that you or your students can use to demonstrate their learning. This page has templates that are organized by grade level that could be used in a multitude of subject areas. One thing to note, is the author is Canadian, so some of the topics, especially historical references are not ones that would be common to American students. Beyond that, the multitude of choices and quality of many of these makes this a really great resource to help students present their learning in new and creative ways.
I really like the magazine covers that were created like National Geographic and Rolling Stones are well done. Also think about how you could use a template like the Boarding Pass to create a learning adventure for your students. Check out more examples from Darren Maltais at his site Engaging Students Google Resources.
One more resource for templates comes from Matt Miller who wrote Ditch That Text Book and more recently Ditch That Homework. He has a lot of great resources on his site. ditchthattextbook.com. He has created a number of Google Drawing Templates that could be used to help students organize their ideas, or help them plan for an activity. Check out his Google Drawing examples here.
QR Scavenger HuntI am currently teaching a graduate level course on technology through UWGB called Communicating and Collaborating with Google Tools. Each session I try to bring in an interactive lesson that typically includes technology and team work or relationship building.
Last week we I asked the students to go on an adventure around the building as they embarked on a QR code scavenger hunt. Students scanned the QR codes and were directed to a Google Form that had questions that had to be answered correctly before they would be provided the next clue. To set up the Google Form I used short answer questions with Data Validation where they had to type the answer in correctly in order to move to the next question. I also used multiple choice questions where they were directed to start the task over if they were incorrect or move to the next question if they were able to get it correct. In both cases I didn't have to check any student response and they were able to move to the next task at their own pace. At the end of the Google Form you are able to customize the message that students will see. While editing the Form you click the Presentation tab and are able to type a link to another resource, or directions or a clue that will guide them to their next location.
Some of this inspiration came from a conversation with a Phy-ed teacher who wanted to take the idea of Breakoutedu outside. We are working on creating an activity to create clues hidden around campus and connected via Google Forms.
Charades! Another amazing aspect of class was the use of Charades. This game has been around forever. Recently there has been the development of an app that you can use on your phone where the word appears on the screen which is held above the guessers head while others attempt to provide clues to help them guess. If they get it correct they move the phone forward, if they can't get it they pass by tilting it backward. I wanted to provide teachers with an editable example of this they could use with all age levels that wouldn't need to go through the MRSC - media resource checklist and wouldn't require the use of a device in the hands of the kids.
When we used this in class with a group of educators it was a truly spectacular experience. Everyone was engaged providing clues and attempting to help the guesser get as many clues correct as possible. What made this so enjoyable was the Act It Out category. The group started a little slow, but quickly got into the spirit. There was no better example of this than when the clue "Making a Snow Angel" came on the screen. A few teachers demonstrated the action which the guesser thought was jumping jacks to which a couple players changed their position quickly getting on the floor and mimicking the creation of a snow angel in the carpet. It was a fun activity that everyone in the group participated in and had fun doing.
I created a simple Google Slides template for Charades with a few topics and clues. I included hyperlinks within the document from the category page to the word slides for Act It Out, Animal Kingdom, and State Capitals. You are able to change the categories and the word slides to fit your needs. If you click the Charades link above you will be able to make a copy for your own use.