Identify and provide examples of how you could integrate cloud tools in online or blended courses to address the following:
What would some of the drawbacks be? Advantages?
What would some of the drawbacks be? Advantages?
Google Drive: Teachers could use presentations to instruct, engage and inspire students. YouTube videos and photos can be embedded into presentations. Teachers could flip the class and have students watch the presentation at home (embedded in a LMS or on a website). Forms are a great way to assess learning before, during and after. Students could create their own questions and forms and analyze results which could be used for further inquiry. Google docs are a fantastic way to collaborate on and organize learning projects, presentations, etc.
YouTube and Vimeo (Video Sharing): I've used video sharing sites to flip my classroom and bring in other teachers to share learning with my students. One of my recent spontaneous projects was for my class to learn Pitch Perfect's Cup Song. The hand's on learning was engaging and the students were inspired by the children in the video. I was also able to make global connections by showing a version of the song in Gaelic. Below are the three videos I used: The Gaelic version (we also discussed the importance of teamwork), the tutorial and finally the acappella version we used to practice with. In the spirit of keeping content in one place so as not to overwhelm and alienate students, YouTube videos are easily embeddable into most websites and LMSs. YouTube is great but sometimes overwhelming due to the amount of content available. Here is a link to Richard Byrne's (freetech4teachers) 47+ list of alternatives to YouTube.
Voice Thread: Below is a public VoiceThread which not only shares but demonstrates some great ways to use the tool in education. I love how this project is collaborative and includes the ideas of anyone who wishes to contribute. I could imagine inspiring students using VoiceThread by posting an inspiring photo in the thread and asking students to develop inquiry questions of their own. VoiceThread could be used to assess learning by posting math problems into the VoiceThread. Students solve the problems and can see all the different ways of solving the problem by listening to their peers' answers. Students could also collaborate on a project using VoiceThread - each student contributes his/her voice, notes and/or doodles to an idea. The possibilities are endless and exciting!
Weebly as ePortfolio: Using Weebly for education, a teacher can create personal sites for his/her students. Students can use this space to organize work, self- and peer- assess through reflection and discussion and inquire further into his/her learning. I am beginning to set up ePortfolios for students and families who are interested in learning about this tool. The challenges I anticipate are technical - I worry parents (working with young children) will become frustrated or feel like they don't have time to invest. The positive thing about Weebly for Education is that I have control over the child's website as well as the parents - both can contribute content and add and moderate comments.
Instagram: I've been exploring Instragram personally and love the idea of sharing photos as learning. We are such a visual culture and visual literacy is important. This feels like a tool that needs to be used with caution considering privacy issues but I think it could be a powerful learning tool. I researched some ideas and came up with these potential educational uses:
- Use Instagram like Twitter by organizing photos using hashtags
- Caption writing (the teacher could encourage 140 character captions to work on succinct writing)
- Digital storytelling: Have students tell a collaborative story about a photo by commenting on a photo
- Instagram photos as writing prompts: provide photos for students to write about or have students take their own photos to share with peers
- Assess student work by taking a photo of the work (art work) and have a variety of people provide feedback (self, peer and teacher assessment)
- Wonder and inquire about photos by commenting through questioning
- Take photos of mathematical concepts. Have students describe the concept by commenting on the photo. Flip this assignment by describing a mathematical concept and have students take photos and tag them with hashtags relating to the concept
- Be sure to use #hashtags to the classroom and project so you and students can find and connect to photos
There are so many cloud computing tools to use in education and the potential exciting. I worry about getting paralyzed by all the potential and not really getting into using any of the tools in any substantial manner. I realize it takes more than just the teacher throwing out these ideas: students and parents also need to be willing to explore more deeply and find the best tools and ways to use the tools to support learning.