Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Student-Created Video Projects Using Doceri

In my flipped classroom, students are in the driver’s seat of their learning and their experiences with the content.  In each chapter students are able to choose an area of focus or their passion within the content. What I love about this format is that I never know what I am going to see from my students and the topics are rarely the same. Over the years my classes have found and used numerous Edtech tools to creatively present what they have learned in their projects. I have encouraged my students to make some type of video presentation as a project option but in the past four years, only one student has a made a video. While I do not believe in making all of my student do the same project, I decided that I need to force a video project on them to get them started.
As we finished one unit and were ready to start the next unit is when I decided to have my students create a video project called “Timeline of My Life,” or “Travel Diary.” See video here.

I realized that in this case, if I did not force my students to make a video project, they might never make one. I also believed that once they made one video they would be more likely to make another one. My students still had numerous options and choices as they were able to pick which topic they were interested in, Timeline or Travel Diary, as well as the content they chose to include, and most importantly, they were able to decide if they wanted to actually be in the video, have green screen pictures of themselves in the video, or if they felt most comfortable having only pictures and their voice in the video.  I quickly explained some video options for them (TouchCast for making videos, using the TouchCast green screen) as well as other recording tools such as Screencastomatic,  Screenr, and Screencastify for their Chromebooks.

While we had a multitude of tech tools available, my students have seen me use Doceri numerous times and many wanted to try it out for themselves.  They enjoyed the flexibility with Doceri to add pictures to their projects as well as use the capture feature to write directly on the project. Some students that were shy to be in their video were happy that Doceri could use their photos and record their voice without having to be in the video itself. 

*Owen M.  My Travel Diary project.  Click here to view.

*Johnny D. –Travel Diary Project   Click here to view.

Other students felt comfortable enough to use their own personal pictures as well as researched pictures and put both of them into a Doceri project to share. 
*Leah H.- Timeline of My Life Project    Click here to view.

Using the green screen in my classroom or the larger one in our school library, some students researched locations they would like to travel to and placed themselves in the photo and then used Doceri to record their “Travel Diary.”

*Sydney B. –Travel Diary project using green screen and Doceri. Click here to watch Sydney’s video.

Now that the students have completed their videos I am excited to see how many more of them will be willing to make a video project in the future.  There is something powerful about seeing someone in the video or to have the ability to hear their voice. In both cases, you feel more connected to the project as  a viewer  and I found myself even more interested than I would if it was not a video. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Flipped Parent-Teacher Conferences

Flipped Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-teacher conferences are an exciting time to build relationships with parents, learn more about their child from their perspective, and communicate what I have seen in their child up to that point. One of the drawbacks to conferences is the lack of time to have these conversations. Many teachers are limited to conferences lasting for about five minutes. In five minutes I could not describe my class and the expectations while still being able to listen to parental concerns and advice about how to best meet the needs of their child and that is why a few years ago I began to flip my parent-teacher conferences.

Click here to watch the full video.

I decided to flip parent-teacher conferences so that I could (hopefully) eliminate the classroom procedural portion of the conversation and focus on the discussion of the student. I used Doceri on my iPad and took screenshots of the various content I wanted parents to know about prior to our meeting: our weekly assignment board, Edmodo page, grading categories and scale, and how they would view those two in our grading system, Infinite Campus.
*Using my iPad and green screen in my classroom to make a flipped parent-teacher conference video. Video is finalized using TouchCast.

*I used the camera on my iPad to take a photo of my classroom whiteboard to add to my video.

*Using Doceri on iPad, Doceri is in capture mode. I used the pen feature to black out students names and then took a screenshot to use in the final production of my video.

*I brought up Infinite Campus on my computer, which was mirrored on my iPad. Doceri is in capture mode and then I used the pen to black out student names and the class section.

What I love about Doceri is how easily I am able to make screencasts. I search the web for photos to add into the background and import them into my projects, or I bring up the screenshot I want on my computer and it is mirrored on my iPad. Then, using Doceri’s capture feature, I make notes on the image and take a screenshot of what is on my iPad at that moment to become the custom picture I want to display. When I had all of my screenshots ready I loaded them into another program, TouchCast so that I could make a video using my green screen and school photo as a background. I posted the video to my YouTube channel and sent the link to parents through Infinite Campus messenger.

At conferences, parents told me they enjoyed being able to get a student-view of what was taking place in our classroom. Instead of me telling them in person that it was important for students to post course work and comments on Edmodo, they could see an actual Edmodo page. As I was explaining in the video how grades were calculated and entered, they could see an actual example from Infinite Campus and these examples helped free up our conference for what really mattered-the progress and development of their child.

With the amount of parents that attend conferences, I knew that there would most likely be a line of people waiting to have our conference. I wanted to give parents the opportunity to watch the flipped parent-conference video if they had not already done so. I posted a sign instructing parents to watch the video that I had cued on my iPad and encouraged them to pass it on to the next group as they waited. Using Doceri, my iPad and TouchCast gave me more time in each conference to focus on the student and not the procedural workings of my classroom.

Click here to read my "Teacher Feature" on the Doceri blog. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Hello Speed Dating- A Flipclass Version of a Get-to-Know-You Activity Using Doceri

The beginning of every school year presents unique challenges and this year was no different. Each year I try to think of creative ways to have my students get to know each other. For the first time in my career I found myself teaching a semester course called American Issues. Due to the fact that I was teaching these students for only a semester, I wanted to expedite this process and help me and my students get to know each other faster. Inspiration came from a pirate, a colleague and Doceri.

To start off the school year our district brought in the author, the Pirate himself, Dave Burgess. Dave started off his presentation with a "taboo" topic pictured on the screen to get the audience interested in what might be discussed during the presentation and create some excitement and nervous tension in the room. I decided to use a similar idea for my students. I have been lucky to work with a dedicated, creative and collaborative colleague, Jason Bretzmann, for the past 13 years. Jason shared an idea with me about how he was going to have his class participate in a quick get-to-know-you activity. As I listened to Jason's idea, it helped me to create my own activity by combining the "taboo topic" idea from Dave and the idea of a speedy introduction from Jason.

Doceri is my all-time favorite tech tool and it is the one I cannot teach without. I decided to start off each class period with this on the SMART Board:

I created a brief Doceri recording of instructions for my students to listen to at the start of class on day two. As students walked into the classroom and saw the screen, they were unsure what was going to take place in class that day. That was exactly what I wanted. I love how easily Doceri allows me to create custom presentations. I quickly and easily found the pictures I wanted from the Internet and added a picture of my classroom that I took directly from my iPad. Using my iPad, I can easily record what I want to say over the slides. I am also able use Doceri to control my laptop and access all of my files, including a Google document that I created specifically for this introduction activity, and have it all work together seamlessly.  

Doceri makes it easy to replay your recording throughout the day as well as upload your recording to, for example, your own YouTube channel or Edmodo account for future use. With Doceri, your presentations are limited only by your creativity.

To watch the full version, click here. Hello Speed Dating
Speed Dating------Speed Getting to Know You 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Personalized PD: Flipping Your Professional Development

Over a year ago, I began another journey as a Project Coordinator and co-author for my most recent book, "Personalized PD: Flipping Your Professional Development." I am very excited to share all of the great ideas by our authors: Jason Bretzmann, myself, Dr. Brad Gustafson, Brad Currie, Kristin Daniels, Laura Conley and Ben Wilkoff. Personalized PD describes the changing landscape of education and professional development and how to best meet the needs of professional educators.

My chapter, Personalized PD: A Teacher's Perspective, focuses on the ABCCs: A- Attendance, B-Balance, C-Choice, and C-Communication to guide administrators' decisions for professional development.

Please read below to learn more about Personalized PD.

What should professional development look like? Can all teachers get exactly what they need? How do we energize every individual to realize their full potential?

Personalized PD: Flipping Your Professional Development helps answer these questions and more. Seven authors from throughout the United States start from the accurate premise that teachers are learners. Like all learners, teachers learn at different paces and start in different places. Personalized PD meets all educators where they are and seeks to help each individual move forward at their own pace and toward self-determined goals. It’s how teachers can get what they individually need so they can be even better for their students.

The authors take you through their experiences while giving you their best “pro tips” and most useful technology tools. They’ll save you time and research by pointing you in the right direction right now. Each chapter gives you a window into how these practicing educators execute their plan to get every teacher what they need and move each individual toward their own plan of learning. Plus, short vignettes expand on and go deeper into the most useful tools and techniques.

Come join the conversation, and be part of the fundamental change in professional development we call CHOICE (Constant progress, Honoring professionals, Ongoing learning, Individualized focus, Collaborative learning, Energizing experiences).

Personalized PD: Flipping Your Professional Development will help you get there!
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