Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Google Tourbuilder is Worth a Look!

I'm in love. I attended Google Boot Camp this past summer, and one of the tools I learned about was Google Tourbuilder. This tool allows you to create a tour that includes...
  • Feature locations on a map in a specified order
  • Specify view, even lock in a peg man view of a 360° photo
  • Add rich text - including links
  • Include a photo/video album along with descriptions - up to 25 items
It's hard to describe in words what this tool can do, so I created a Google Tour Builder tour with all of the bells and whistles so that you could wrap your head around what it can do. As you travel virtually with me, it may also convince you to book a Land & Sea tour of Alaska! My dad and I took the Denali Explorer Cruisetour to celebrate our 50th/80th birthdays!

This video will walk you through the features that I've included in my tour.

Application of Google Tour Builder in the classroom
As a Technology Integration Specialist, I never want to do anything just because it's cool. I want to think about ways where tech tools can be integrated to engage students and impact learning. This tool has many applications.

I want to start with a disclaimer and a feature request. Google Tour Builder allows for only one author. Unlike other Google tools, students cannot collaborate to create a Google Tour Builder project. That being said, there are work-arounds! Students can work together using a shared Google folder to collect pictures and a shared Google Doc to collaborate on text, links, and map locations. After collecting all of the components, one person in the group assembles everything in the group's tour.

Social Studies
  • Trace the path of a historical events - battles in a war, etc.
  • Trace the path of exploration
  • Identify points of cultural significance
  • Feature the 7 man-made wonders of the world
  • Create a virtual 8th Grade Washington DC trip and make use of the students' journal entries and photos
  • Identify points on a map that illustrate Earth movement
  • Identify points on a map that specify biomes
  • Identify points on a map that demonstrate climate change
  • Feature National Parks 
  • Feature the 7 natural wonders of the world
  • Create a virtual 6th Grade Camp trip and make use of the students' reflections and photos
English Language Arts
  • Identify points in a city that correspond to a book (lit tour)
Other Ideas
  • Virtual 8th Grade Washington DC Trip
  • Virtual tour of School
View the video below for a step-by-step walk through of the Google Tour Builder tool.

Thank you to @ericcurts for sharing Google Tour Builder with me! This was one of my favorite take-aways from my summer Google Boot Camp!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Making the Most of an LMS in a Blended Approach within Workshop Model

My school district utilizes Schoology as our Learning Management System. This is the first year of implementation, so we are still learning the navigation and productivity aspect of the LMS itself. Some teachers have mastered these foundational skills and are ready to use Schoology as a transformative tool!

Workshop Model
Warm Up
Begin the class with a warm-up activity (not necessarily related to the topic)

Mini Lesson

The Mini-lesson supports one or more of the learning targets, especially those concepts that item analysis in the Check Your Understanding formative assessment indicated were troublesome to many.

Individual Work Time

After 10-15 minutes, students are released to work through the Schoology learning pathways. Teacher uses the individual work time to:
  • Circulate around the room during the student work time in the Learning Objects folder
  • Touch base with individual students who are having trouble with the Checking Your Understanding test/quiz.
  • Monitor students who have reached the Lab Activity (safety).
  • Be available for student groups of 3 as they reach the Discussion item.
Reflection and Sharing
Don't forget to take 5-10 minutes at the end of the period to wrap up. Reflection and sharing are important parts of workshop!
  • Reflect on your thinking, learning, and work today. What are you most proud of?
  • What caused you frustration, and how do you plan to work through that frustration?
  • What made you curious today? What did you wonder?
  • What are your goals for tomorrow?
  • Were you a help to the classroom today, or did you hinder your classmates’ growth? How can you remedy that for tomorrow?
Schoology Learning Pathway - Law of Conservation of Mass Sample
Here is a screenshot of the Model folder I created. The description of these features follows...

Use Student Completion rules on folders in Schoology to create a variety of learning paths that students can traverse at their own pace.

Learning Targets (page)

  • This is open to all students when they open the folder main folder. 
  • Specifies what students should know and be able to do.
  • View this item, and the Learning Objects folder and Check Your Understanding become available.
Learning Objects (folder)
Check Your Understanding (test/quiz item)
  • Test/Quiz acts as a gatekeeper - moves students from learning area to the application area of the folder
  • Short - 5 questions or less designed to check mastery
  • Non-graded
  • Unlimited attempts
  • Although students may take the same test multiple times, the answers they choose give multi-media feedback based on the responses given. It is in the feedback that students will experience variety in the assessment.
  • If a student gets less than 100%, they should return to the Learning Objects folder and view another item to help them understand and practice what they missed.
  • If a student gets 100%, the next items (the application items) become available.
  • Teacher uses test/quiz results to identify students who are struggling. Teacher touches base with students during individual work time.
  • Item analysis also identifies items are troublesome for the group. These concepts can be addressed to the group as a whole during the next day’s mini lesson. 
Apply What You Know (folder)
Lab Activity (assignment)
  • Text with clarification.
  • Google Doc - force a copy
  • Multiple submissions - photo/video, and Google Doc
  • Can work alone or with a group
  • Teacher video directions
  • Grading with a rubric
Discussion (discussion item)
  • Write your name on the board - Once there are 3 names, circle the group of names and sit down with the teacher for a face-to-face discussion.
  • Reflection questions while you wait for a group. Answer in the comments, and comment on other students’ responses.
  • Students won’t see classmates’ comments until they respond first
Extension Activities (assignment)
  • Students create a learning object for other students
  • Product should be focused on one or a few learning targets
  • Students may select any type of product - If it’s paper/pencil, they use a camera to submit a picture or video with explanation. 
  • Badge is earned once a DLO is submitted!
Putting it All Together
Please take a look at this video. It will walk you through the model I put together. Keep in mind that this framework and thinking can be applied across any level, subject, or LMS. How would this work in your classroom?