Thursday, August 7, 2014

Exploring Blendspace

This morning I was listening to the #satchat Voxer group messages, and one of the tools shared was Blendspace. I hadn't heard of this one, so I decided to check it out, and here's what I came up with!

There are a lot of uses for this - included some flipped or blended learning options. There are lots of media types that can be embedded, including Google Docs files (although you have to download them as Microsoft Office files), YouTube videos, Flickr photos, websites, and more. You can add text/writing prompts and quiz questions for formative assessment. This is all great, but in this set up it's something we are doing to students. There is definitely a time and place for curating resources for students, but think about this:

 I'd be excited to see students creating content and using this platform to present and publish their learning! You can upload Educreations videos, which I find really exciting, because I love Educreations for student demonstration of knowledge! They can share their collaborative group work from the Google Apps, use the comment features to get feedback and lead discussion about their work,  create and upload their own YouTube videos, and build a portfolio of work throughout a unit or year! By adding rows, this could be an ongoing project, and all of it is EASY to share on a blog or webpage, although you can also share the finished product via email, QR code, or Facebook (among others). Blendspace is definitely worth a look. I'm excited to continuing exploring, and interested in hearing about other ways people are using tools like this!

Cross-posted from RethinkRedesign

Saturday, August 2, 2014

6 Places I Will Not Take My Students This Year

Without winning the lottery I definitely won't be taking students to these places this year, but you can get pretty close by using Google street view! It's not a perfect remedy to budget constraints, but using this old favorite, but often under-utilized tool will take students to places they may not otherwise get to see! I've picked 6 places in the United States that I would love to visit with students, and included teacher resources associated with each of them. Don't forget to check out these other virtual field trips from Google+ Connected Classrooms project!

Sea World

San Diego Zoo 

Wahington DC: WWII Memorial

Grand Canyon

Mount Rushmore

Central Park & Central Park Zoo