My biggest concern and challenge with technology is applying it to math besides in the form of games. I would like to use technology more to demonstrate student skills and present their knowledge, but aside from making a Google Slideshow to show end results and make a MOOVLY to present their created word problems, I was not able to find other ways to have kids collaborate and solve problems together using technology.
I did use ProdigyMath.com, which all my students this past year signed in under my name and I was able to assign skills for them to practice. At times though, teaching kids to keep track of usernames and passwords was frustrating, because some students simply were not tech-savy. Additionally, some students, despite the fun format of prodigymath.com, did not complete the questions I would assign. They spent their time going from world to world and finding other classmates. So tracking students became difficult and I found I was not ready to teach the students some common starting technology skills.
I do find that my district is trying to really go with the Google Platform. Therefore, we put many of our documents in Google. It actually is so much easier to collaborate when myself or another colleague share a document and make comments right on the document. I didn’t have many opportunities to do this with students this year, except the one project during which students wrote word problems and I commented on them, but with colleagues, it has been a lot easier to look later on when I have a moment, sitting in the car waiting for kids or while I fix dinner later in the day. Those moments when I feel like I should or could be doing something and now I can.
I also have used more on-line math games like Kahoot, Prodigymath.com, and mathplayground.com and I find that students are more engaged than with paper-pencil type straight calculating practice. Actually, I do a lot of game type of activities to practice skills and the technology games seem to make them more independent so that I can circulate around quickly and easily. I feel that I get more time with those struggling students during technology based practice because I am not explaining directions, but rather helping with actual math skills.
I am always making lists and more lists. Having read this assignment, I have already signed in to Evernote and downloaded the app on my phone. In the past couple of days I have made 2 to-do lists for my days, a list of apps/programs other friends have told me to try (for school), a list of books to read both professional and recreational, a summer movie list and a list of activities my children and I will try to accomplish this summer. I’m very excited for the possibilities as I find more and more things I know I want to look at, read, or do and I can add them easily to a note and be able to find that list/note easily.
I’m wondering if Kaizena might be used with my fraction word problem project. I have the students write word problems in a google doc, pick their favorite, share that with someone who comments on it and then they edit. Our final draft is put into a Moovly with animation and sounds. I think students would benefit from using Kaizena to not just comment on others’ word problems, but also to read their own problem and listen to it after.
My number one tip that I learned the hard way is “create your own project first before asking the students to do it.” If I haven’t tried the technology, I’m not going to effectively teach it AND not effectively be able to communicate my expectations. I also learned that by doing that at school, I learn whether or not it works with chromebooks and with our band-width, which can really be a struggle. Some programs run better with an Ethernet cable directly connecting their computer to the internet; while others are fine running from an airport connection.
Another tip I use is to find youtube tutorials. My technology teacher/colleague taught me this. When students asked us a question about how to do something on a program and we didn’t know…that was the first thing she did. Find a tutorial and we watched it together and then presented it to the student to watch or taught the skill directly. Ask, ask, ask, is what we decided our mantra was.
I really need to learn how to use Keepvid or other video saving app. I love using clips from movies or other programs/websites as introductions to a unit. Many times videos disappear or simply run better when downloaded and not running live from Youtube in our building.
I would like to learn how to use Flubaroo for some assignments where there is only a right or wrong answer and work is not looked at, maybe operations with integers? (which is rare in math). My understanding with Flubaroo is that it corrects and can analyze student responses.
I am also interested in learning more about Edpuzzle. A colleague uses it now and likes that she can see how long each student actually watched the video and what responses the students gave in answering questions. It seems to be able to record the students’ completion of each assignment.
Original Header Image Source: http://www.spyderonlines.com/wallpapers/flowers-wallpaper-download.html