Creative prompts can help students focus their creativity and hone problem-solving skills. Creative prompts can be open-ended or more structured--depending on your maker goal. Check out the video below to learn more.
You can find our Digital Design Card site here.
If you are an educator within Grant Wood AEA, a Defined Learning account has been purchased for you and an account has been created! See below for details of how to log in!
Because we have already created an account associated with school Gmail address, you can click on Sign in with Google, choose your school email address from the prompt, and get started!
Recent times have forced the landscape of our classrooms to evolve. The question I often ask myself is, "Will we ever go back?" I don't know the answer to that question. What I do know is that it is imperative that we adjust highly effective instructional strategies to engage students in hybrid environments to prepare for whatever the future holds for education.
When I started to think about instructional strategies that could be most easily modified for this type of environment, Socratic Seminar was the first one that came to mind. Socratic Seminar provides a structure for students to discuss a question posed by a classmate or teacher (usually dependent on a text). Often during Socratic Seminar there are two groups: an inner circle and an outer circle. Both inner and outer circles have roles during the Socratic Seminar (also know as a fishbowl).
In a hybrid environment, the inner circle could be the face-to-face students while the outer circle could be the remote students. Traditionally, the job of the outer circle is to be the observers and summarizers of the discussion of the inner circle. However, engagement in this role might be challenging for remote students. In addition to being an observer and summarizer, a suggestion would be that the outer circle continues to pose deeper questions throughout the discussion and shares their own thoughts through a backchannel chat, using a tool such as YoTeach or the Q and A feature of Google Slides.
Don’t be afraid to switch these roles! If your remote learners are lacking engagement, allow them to be the inner circle and project the video-call for the face-to-face students to observe in class. Face-to-face students can also pose questions for deeper conversations through the tools listed above.
A few things to take into consideration would be:
What instructional strategies have you modified to suit hybrid environments? We'd love to hear about it in the comments!
Socratic Seminars: Let's Build a Culture of Student-Led Discussion
Fishbowl Instructional Strategy
5 Steps to a Successful Socratic Seminar
In a world that is still not done with virtual learning or quarantined classrooms, the ability to teach online is still and important skill for teachers to hone. Zoom and Google Meet are becoming an integral part to facilitating that learning, so in this post I am going to take a look at how you can use these tools to share a document camera, a USB webcam, your smartphone, or even an iPad on your next virtual meeting.
How to Use a USB Webcam or Document Camera in Zoom
Document cameras are perfect for showing documents, but they can also be used to share learning materials, manipulatives, a dry erase whiteboard or just about anything else you can fit under that camera. If a document camera is not flexible enough for what you want to show, or you don't have access to one in your classroom, you can always plug in a USB webcam and use that instead. They six-foot USB cable will give you some additional options for displaying content that may not fit under a document camera, and many can be mounted on a camera tripod for additional support. Take a look at the video below to see how to use a document camera in Zoom.
How to Use a Webcam or Document Camera in Meet
If you are not using Zoom, fear not, because there are options for Google Meet too. Unfortunately, Google does not have built-in support for document cameras, but the ability to change your video input or share you screen to show the camera software is still an option. The video below shows you how that is done.
How to Use an iPad as a Document Camera in Zoom
Great teachers make the most of what they already have access to. Document cameras are in short supply right now, and so are webcams, so if you have iPads in your classroom, then you can absolutely use those instead. If you have an iPhone, you can use that too. All you need to do is follow the directions in the video below.
How to Use an iPad as a Document Camera in Google Meet
In Google Meet, you can use an iPhone, iPad or even an Android phone as your document camera. All you need to do is join your call twice, once on your laptop and once on your mobile device. When you want to use your device as a document camera, simply share your screen and open the camera app. Details on how to do that are in the video below!
If you are having problems with any of the methods described in the videos above, feel free to let me know and I will do what I can to help fix your issues.
Digital Learning Consultant
In the spring of 2020, the Digital Learning team worked diligently to provide resources to support the unprecedented changes to the world of education through the Continuous Learning Field Guide. At the time of creation, students and teachers everywhere were in a 100% remote learning environment.
As this situation has continued to evolve, the Continuous Learning Field Guide (CLFG) has also received some minor tweaks we would like to point out.
First and foremost, we have added our team's definition of hybrid and tips to help teachers in a hybrid learning environment. An example of these additional tips can be seen below.
In addition to these hybrid tips, our team has revisited each domain of the CLFG and provided clarifying language to address different learning environments our schools are experiencing. To be clear, we feel that the CLFG will continue to be a living evolution of instructional practices that will be beneficial to students and teachers in all learning environments of the future. The instructional strategies and digital tools that have been shared are not unique to the current learning environments we find ourselves in, but have been highlighted as advantageous for the ongoing situation.
We invite you to revisit the Continuous Learning Field Guide to learn more about these additional tips for hybrid learning.
~The DLGWAEA Team
Good questions are at the heart of good instruction. They are also at the heart of creativity. This month we would like to encourage you to create questions that will get your students thinking and creating! Go a step further and write questions that you might use while students are creating so you are prepared to ask thought-provoking questions!
GWAEA has an amazing Critical Thinking Flipbook that provides a huge bank of questioning stems. We particularly love the Creative page! You can find this printable flipbook here.
Benton Community students wrote their own questions to ask one another while making! We love the responsibility and community this can help build! Learn more about their Maker Mentor Program here.
We'd love to see what you make!
We'd love to see the questions and prompts you share with your students! Please share them with us @DLGWAEA on social media or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
And as always...
~Mindy and Amber
This blog series has examined the how-tos of Pear Deck, digging into the process and the application in a variety of situations. To bring the series to a close we offer to you a variety of examples of Pear Deck in ‘real’ life. These examples have been gleaned from Twitter with the #peardeck hashtag and we offer them to you as a starting point.
Pear Deck and Student Reflection
Laurie Foss, 5th grade teacher, has paired Pear Deck with student reflection. This combination is a powerful tool to for individual student reflection as well as whole class understanding. Laurie introduced the "Learning Pit" to her students as a way of describing their own learning process. Using pear deck - students added a dot to their place in the pit. She followed that with a graphic of the 4 stations and asked which of the stations they struggled with the most. This data helped her plan as a teacher. It also helped students understand the learning process for the entire class.
Finally, she asked for feedback from student about the process - which stations helped and which were a struggle.
The options for reflection and discussion in pear Deck transformed this process. Being able to share student responses anonymously opened the door to conversations in a completely new way.
There are many, many different ways to use the drawing question with students. Check out these examples with an open mind. How could you use a drawing question in your own classroom situation?
These two examples demonstrate different ways of solving the same problem. Giving students an opportunity to explain their thinking is key - and these illustrations show that progression perfectly! The one of the left is from 8th grade Math teacher David A. Trez, nd the right is from a Kindergarten classroom in Texas.
Drawing also adds to class discussions in Language Arts. Above are two examples of illustrations depicting student understanding of images from text. Ms. Burns teaches in Canada and the Cyclops drawings come from Strongsville, Ohio.
More than just Drawing
Pear Deck brings out both the generosity and the creativity in teachers! This seasonal 'Find the Hidden Objects' activity was created by a 7th grade teacher named Karie. She used this image with her class as an attendance bell-ringer. And then shared then shared it as a google slide for anyone to use.
Dalton Tedder, a 7th grade math teacher, has taken this a step farther and created a series of slide deck templates. Some are timely, like this Grinch example, and others are more timeless. Each includes question placeholders and is very open for teachers to add their own content. Use this link to connect to the Google Drive folder
Our hope is that this blog series has provided you with food for thought and examples to move your use of Pear Deck forward. Do not be afraid to share your examples with the #peardeck hashtag on twitter. Or send them our way, we love to show off what is happening in classrooms across Grant Wood Area Education Agency!
DLGWAEA's Pear Deck One-Pager
DLGWAEA's Pear Deck Handbook
Edtech Take Out: Episode 81: Perfect Pear Deck Presentations
Connect With Us
We'd love to hear how you are using Pear Deck. Please share with us in the comments!
~Amber, Beth, & Mindy
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