C3W2: Collaboration Facilitation

Collaboration enhances and deepens learning because multiple people are coming together to share their experiences and methods of teaching. It’s a magical thing that can grow organically

when trust has been established and everyone participating feels safe and empowered to contribute.

Greater learning takes place when students can see teachers working together and building off of one another (vs. contradiction) and there is consistency with expectations and guidelines for everything: from work production to in-class participation.

(Image taken from: Digital Capability at http://digitalcapability.com.au/collaboration-key-success/)

I chose to facilitate a study group through the use of FlipGrid & Padlet.

Our activity was to prepare for an upcoming Assessment of Learning, and have a discussion around any misconceptions about any of the “I Can statements” for the Math 8 classroom standards.

It started by posting the expectations and process directions on our google classroom page, with clear step by step directions and links that take them directly to the different sites. When clicking on the first link to Flipgrid, the expectations and guidelines for the activity were also given as a short video clip, with again repeated directions written out. This way students were able to not only read what to do, b

ut hear about it directly from me, their teacher, in a short 2-minute video. Having the Padlet in addition to the flipgrid feedback, allowed each “I Can Statement” to have their own section, but all within the same place- yet not allow it to get too busy with all the student videos, then making it cumbersome to study from or work off of.

This experience challenged my students, as they had to not only watch the review, re-teach videos, for any concepts they were struggling with, but also post their own flipgrid videos with the extra practice problems and commenting on others’ videos if they agreed with the work being shown or any feedback on how to better show their understanding. Using both Flipgrid and Padlet has challenged some of my shyer students to get use to filming themselves as well as putting themselves out there to accept criticism given from their peers about their work, especially on something that has thrown them into “the learning pit.” For some students who are uncomfortable with the videoing of themselves, whether it was a cultural reason or not, they were allowed to submit their thinking and feedback in alternative ways by means of an e-mail or voice recording (if they were comfortable do that) other students were also able to complete the videos but used the different features offered within flipgrid to hid their face behind an emoji or simply cover up with written text that supported what they were saying.

Facilitating these types of activities and discussions was extremely helpful especially as we moved into a hybrid learning style this year and have half our student population learning from home or even engaging in the learning opportunities asynchronously from other countries/time zones.

I think this specific activity and facilitated discussion hits a number of the  ISTE student standards:

1.Empowered Learner- showing & developing competency in their learning goals

2.Digital Citizen- being respectful towards one another when leaving their feedback and commenting on others’ work

5. Computational Thinker- showing different ways of solving the problems

6. Creative Communicator- clearly expressing themselves creatively using thew given platform

                    Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Being a culturally competent educator supports relationships, especially in an international school setting, by providing that safe and welcoming environment for students to thrive in.  Where their differences and unique backgrounds aren’t just known but celebrated.  Along with challenging students with the “new normal” or learning to appreciate what is “normal” for other people coming from their own unique set of experiences.

We watched this video, celebrating and challenging what each person considers to be a “typical morning breakfast” and reach outside their comfort zones to yet again get rid of the word- normal.

Appreciating cultural competency would also apply on a larger scale, outside of the classroom, for the school as a community. How many international schools still value the “North American” passport holders or native English speakers? It won’t be until a staff of teachers within a school not only shows cultural diversity but celebrates it by welcoming all to the classrooms as teachers. (Which understandably can come with its own unique challenges i.e. obtaining visas).

How will you celebrate a “new normal”???

C3W1: More time to Design

If there we no limitations I would change up my entire blog post, in terms of colors and layout, with different sections liking to other topics. When I looked into changing the theme, it just wasn’t quite right with what I was envisioning.  It would be nice to just be able to change things on your site, by drag and drop, or expanding, vs. changing up entire themes. Though, spending time re-evaluating other themes and which might be best suitable for future blogging endeavors was helpful after learning about the visual hierarchy.

As I comment on fellow COETAILer’s sites, I have found that many sites are easier than others which leads me to ask my own question of which sites is mine like?

Are viewers navigating my site with ease?

Are others finding it easy to navigate my page? Is leaving a comment easy to understand, or do you have to search for it…. I think constantly reflecting on your own work and seeing examples of what others are doing and have been doing is a great way to continue growth.

Here is an image of my COETAIL page during courses 1 & 2 and you’d think after months of lock down and self-isolation due to the global pandemic my site would be much more appealing, but sadly that is not the case.

So here it is after some minor changes, I must say I am much happier about it. I hope with these changes it will attract more viewers to my blog and keep the comments flowing.

As you can see, I chose to change the initial image, as even before when placing it there, it never seemed to be quite right. So changing the quote to a larger one with different colors and font will hopefully allow viewers to more positively interact with my page. Adding a background image and other headers I found to be beneficial since the research suggests that the top left corner of a site is the first thing seen. Along with a better balance and alignment, my changes to the organization will allow readers to hopefully stay on my page longer and find adding their comments less cumbersome.