Simplicity & Power of Authentic Learning…

 

This week I stumbled upon Wanda’s Terrel’s Tweet about Day 2 of #SketchCue &  at first thought, “what an opportunity for me to further explore using Google Drawings”. The focus of #SketchCue supports the tenets of learning to create Sketchnotes. A sketchnote is exactly how it sounds. One uses the creative power of drawing and design to capture notes from lectures, research, and etc…  Sketchnoting supports an individual with expressing their content knowledge in a visual format. I found this opportunity to share my Google Drawings Sketchnotes to be engaging and motivating. It was then when I realized a simple activity such as this has the ability to develop into a  “Powerful Authentic Learning Tool” supporting student engagement.

I found myself exploring clipart designs along with examining the meanings for the #SketchCue word topics. After sharing my first sketchnote and receiving a “Like” it dawned on me how this simple use of social media could engage students with further developing vocabulary skills. It always amazes me how a simple activity shared in an authentic manner has the power to motivate the creator. I found myself wanting to contribute new creations every day as well as enjoying reading the creative shares of educators from around the world. It became evident to me authentic learning opportunities are engaging and leads to furthering one’s content knowledge base.

My #SketchCue Day 1 Entry

Word: Arrows

#SketchCue Arrows (1)

My #SketchCue Day 2 Entry

Word: Banners

#SketchCue Banners (1).jpg

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Using Sites for More than a Classroom Newsletter

Screen Shot 2017-07-15 at 6.40.14 AM

Earlier this summer I started creating a workshop entitled “Using Sites for More than a Classroom Newsletter”.  While preparing for this workshop I realized the New Google Sites was more than the average website builder. When first starting to build with the New Google Sites I missed the flexibility of selecting my own fonts and embedding gadgets and etc… via html. Now I’m thankful for the new site builder! Once I started constructing the workshop prezo as a Google Site the potentials for using the new site builder dawned on me! I discovered the New Google Sites is more than the average website builder!

One of the first things I noticed was the share settings and the ability to add collaborators. Immediately I started exploring different projects based on collaboration. Using the new sites started to become a challenge for me to discover more exciting features and a variety of uses for the educational community. Yes! I did exactly this and discovered the New Google Sites was not only intuitive to use but a tool which offers a vast amount of usages. When one considers the integration of all the core Google for Education APPs along with the New Google Sites it delivers one powerful punch as an educational tool!

 Some Google Sites Ideas

  1. Share a Digital Break Out Edu Adventure with Students
    • Use critical thinking skills to solve the mystery
  2. Use to deliver daily objectives
    • Supports students with doing independent work
  3. Share a Community Ice Breaker
    • Strengthens communication
  4. Go Paperless Create an Anchor Chart Site
    • Provides students with 24/7 resources
  5. Student Created Collaborative Weekly or Monthly Newsletter
    • Supports collaboration, and communication
  6. Classroom Created Collaborative Notes
    • Created & Curated via Sites
    • Immediate scaffolding for students
      • Students understand other students explainations
    • Let students have fun with this!
      • Insert videos
      • Insert audio links
      • Share interactive websites
  7. Student Portfolios
    • Building Digital Resumes Practice
    • Reinforces Digital Citizenship Skills
  8. Share Infographic Projects
    • One page per student
      • Student builds info graphic by using sites
  9. Use as a Student built Wiki
    • Students share tech support
    • Share Math Problem Solving ideas
  10. Curate Student Artwork, Poetry and etc…
  11. and ?
    • Share your idea in the comment area
      • It just may be added to this list 😃

Teachers Helping Teachers

Writing Math Stories using My Maps

The last couple of weeks I’ve worked on several different workshops and a presentation. This has made me think quite a bit about active learning and students as the creator.  I’ve also grown to understand students internalize their learning when it is meaningful and authentic to them. This is when I thought why can’t My Maps be used to help the students collect data. After they’ve collected this real world data the student can open a Google Slide and create a “Math Stories about the My Map Journey” they created.

The beauty of this is in the end the student may link the Google Slide Math story to the My Map Journey. Imagine a math journey where you can actually zoom in on the roads being measured. The student may include actual screen-captures of the roadways and locations mentioned in their stories.  A project like this can unlock the creative writer as well as the mathematician hidden within every child.

Creating a Directional My Map

  • Have students map a bicycle journey from school to a nearby location
  • Open My Maps
  • In search window type beginning location
  • Example address or name of school, store and etc…

Maps Type location here

  • Drop Pin for the location

Map Click Here to add the Marker Pin

  • Click “Directions to here” icon
  • Add a second location

map add 2nd location

  • Click layer where first pin was dropped
  • Drop pin above the second location
  • Title the marker with the name of the location

Map click layer.gif

  • Now click the measure distances and areas ruler
  • Measure between the two points double click to add the distance to the layer
  • Click the layer options settings (3 vertical dots)
  • Select open data table
  • Edit the table.
  • Under Description for the starting point type “0” miles & starting point
  • Edit location 2 with the milage from measuring & type from start or beginning point

map final.gif

  • Now drop a pin to add another location
  • Type the location name
  • Measure from the last location to the new location.
  • Repeat the process until you create an end point location

Using My Maps for Inquiry Projects

It seems the most popular programs used for inquiry project presentations are Google Slides, Microsoft PowerPoint, Prezi, Emaze and etc… Sometimes we overlook tools which may empower students to dive deeper into their research. One such tool is Google My Maps! Google My Maps may provide an arena for students to collaborate together as they create and share inquiry projects.

One of the beauties of using Google My Maps for creating inquiry projects is the sharing of information in one convenient place. This can be used by individual students for further exploration. Another reason why I like My Maps is it provides the student with authentic exploration tools. Thanks to the linking of Google Maps, images and 360 exploration authentic locations may be visited.

This paves a road for further travel and forming a deeper learning experience. What might “tip this lesson over the top” is including Google Expedition while using VR Glasses! Please Note if an Android compatible Chromebook is used the student may reference a Google Expeditions to explore. If the user has a Chromebook or iPad with the  Expedition APP this will let them explore 360 degree 2D experience for further inquiry investigation.