Thursday, February 26, 2015

Extending Learning Outside the Classroom

By Rachel Barry

When I was initially granted my 1:1 iPad pilot, I had hopes for my students to utilize the iPad beyond our 50-minute classroom.  Prior to my pilot, I would occasionally receive an e-mail from a student outside of class.  I would have to try to strategically type out answers (in words) to a math question, using terms and language they would hopefully understand.  Through the increase of technology, I have been able to provide my students with much more personalized, and hopefully more easily understood, responses.  

Through the use of the Educreations app, I am able to provide my students with "personalized tutoring".  By this, I mean that if they send me a problem or a screen-shot of their work, I am able to record a video talking them through the rest of the problem.  Students utilize this resource option when working on a review packet prior to a unit test, if they are absent from school, or simply when working on course material outside of class.  I then post any videos that I create to our Schoology course for all students to be able to access.

This mode of communication came in great use last Thursday, when we were out of school due to inclement weather, along with many Chicago area schools.  Kim Miklusak reflected on our students' remote learning in a blog post that you can view here.  Many students at our school utilized this day to continue their learning through accessing course work in Schoology, webinars with teachers, or communicating with teachers and peers through Twitter.  Personally, I was amazed and proud of how many of my students were working on their math problems from home and e-mailing me with questions!  My students were able to continue working through the course material and were not halted because they were confused by a problem.  Instead, they would send me an e-mail asking for help on a video, I would record an explanation, and they would be able to continue working.  Here is a sample video from the Cold Day, where I show a student how to set up a problem.

Please feel free to stop down in the Collab Lab if you would like any help recording videos!

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