Monday, 14 July 2014

Blended Learning

In preparation for our BYOD trial next year, I have been thinking about some of the many blended learning tools that are already useful with a shared model but will be even more useful for a 1:1environment.
The following tools are basically Learning Management Systems - you would need to select one of these to use for the whole class:

Edmodo is an educational website that is sort of a cross between a social network and a learning management system. Using Edmodo, students and teachers can reach out to one another and connect by sharing ideas, problems, and helpful tips.The Edmodo interface resembles Facebook, which makes it instantly popular with students! Edmodo can be implemented by a single teacher for their class, with no technical expertise required to get started.Once you have created a class (or a school) you can invite students and other teachers to join the class by providing a unique code for that class. (It is worth keeping an eye on enrolments to ensure that students are enrolling as ‘students’, not ‘teachers’.) Each student has a unique ‘Parent code’ that can be provided to parents to view only their child’s assignments and contributions to discussions.

 Schoology leans a little more towards being a LMS than Edmodo while maintaining an easy-to-use ‘social network’ interface. Schoology can be implemented by a single teacher for their class, with no specialist technical expertise required to get started. Sign-up, and away you go. As a teacher (or, as Schoology describes you, an Instructor) you create Courses, add materials to the courses – assignments, quizzes, files and links, discussions, photo albums and web pages. Schoology also provides a Gradebook, which is auto-populated with Assignments and Quizzes that you have created for a course. Schoology includes an Analytics feature, where you can check student participation in Assignments, Discussions, and their use of provided course web links.

Classroom is a new tool coming to Google Apps for Education. Classroom will weave together Google Docs, Drive and Gmail to help teachers create and organise assignments quickly, provide feedback efficiently, and communicate with their classes with ease. It will let students organise their work, complete and turn it in, and communicate directly with their teachers and peers. Classroom automatically will create Drive folders for each assignment and for each student. Students will easily see what’s due on their Assignments page, so they can stay on top of their work. Classroom will also let teachers make announcements and start discussions—improving communication inside and outside of class.

The following tools are options for presenting lessons and assessing:

Showbie is a FREE app that can be used to create and collect assignments right from the iPad. You create a free teacher account and you are able to create classes within the app. You receive a code for each class for your students to connect with. It is like a drop box for the classroom. Using Showbie, students can submit pictures, video, podcasts, presentations and other work from hundreds of apps into their Showbie online assignment folder. Teachers use the Showbie iPad app to easily review students’ work and provide rich feedback with annotations and voicenotes.  

Nearpod allows teachers to construct presentations using the Nearpod website and deliver instruction to students by pushing content out to multiple devices at once.  The teacher can control the presentation from a master iOS device, while students follow along on a class set of iPads. To enliven instruction, teachers can also embed multiple choice questions, polls, videos, quizzes, open-ended questions, and web-links in their presentations. It is also possible to pay for a gold membership so that lesson can be presented in a way that let's students work at their own pace or for homework.

Blendspace is an online multimedia Web tool for teachers and students to create presentations, WebQuests, projects, online courses and more! Blendspace is integrated with Edmodo and, in your lessons, you can pull resources from YouTube, Dropbox, Google Drive, Flickr, Website Links, My Computer, Bookmarks and more! Multiple choice questions can be embedded into lessons.

Socrative is a smart student response system that empowers teachers by engaging their classrooms with a series of educational exercises and games. Our apps are super simple and take seconds to login. Socrative runs on tablets, smartphones, and laptops.

No comments: