I wanted to try this, and even pitched it in my online class, but it wasn't in the cards. That's OK! I still think it's an important tool for education. It is called Zoom.
I found out about Zoom in a meeting that I had for a continuing education group, where people had to remote into the meeting. This was the tool that was used.
What I immediately liked, if you can imagine, is that for the 4 people that were online, it was like a grid, almost like the brady-bunch, where everyone was in their separate window, but you could see everyone at the same time. This is different from my experience with Google Hangouts, where you saw everyone's thumbnail on the bottom but whoever spoke had the floor, if you will. Here, you could see everyone's immediate reaction to what was being said. I could see this being important for education if students were developing a group project, and wanted face-to-face interaction.
One scary aspect of Zoom in the news recently was a potential security breach on mac: Article.
I noticed at UIS, there was a not about Mac users, but I did not read it. I know UIS subscribes to Zoom.
Here is how Zoom can be used for education, and the author's 5 ideas for improvement: Article.
One online tool for formative assessments is Quizalize.
Quizalize is an app used for creating fun-interactive formative assessments/quizzes, and uses a platform called zzish to very readily track and follow individual students progress in an online a gradebook. This free tool has a beautiful, trendy interface that was redesigned last year. The free version (there is also a premium version) provides "results for up to 3 classes and 5 activities."
I took some screenshots along the way. Sign-up is easy (Google, or email address). The social community shares quizzes that you can copy and alter for our own use, or create your own. I copied a ready-made quiz, and was able to alter it. One concern is that whatever you put out there, or whatever quiz you copy, is not vetted, so you have to make sure that the questions you are asking really assess the learning taking place.
I took a timed, multiple-choice quiz. After I made a selection, I could see my own progress and if I answered wrongly, I could see the right answer immediately. I also liked that an instructor could incorporate YouTube and audio files into a question. After the quiz, you can upload a video for the students, like "from the instructor" about what they just did (that could be a value-added service). There were also options based on how students scored on the exam, with follow-up steps.
In an online learning environment, one concern an educator had in regards to Quizalize was that it is a great tool for testing student’s knowledge of a topic, but if used correctly, can apply more critical-thinking skills. This suggestion by Dale on EdSurge, “Could we be more deliberate when using game-simulating tools by ensuring we solicit responses from our students that progressively challenge their thinking? Perhaps we could also provide opportunities for students to generate their own questions and use apps like Kahoot as a means to “think-pair-share” their questions to challenge each other!” is a good one, and could work very well in a blended class room as a project. In class, students can take the quiz, and be shown where they rank and who “won” the quiz (a picture is worth 1000 words, here is one from a Twitter educator: https://twitter.com/KLTeehan/status/1134071458559381504).
Overall, this could be a useful tool for my students because I could show them images and videos, and see if they can review afterward who created the video, is it credible/reliable, and more. I think it would also be a great way for me to survey the OCC community at large about what their literacy needs are. It would be useful if this information could be downloaded into another program like survey monkey that can break that information into pie charts and more. But for formative assessment, once a unit is written, I could see this being a very useful tool.
More Quizalize Links:
Here is a link to the result: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wvzUiL4fuge2Lf_26O8lKrrYpvEdDwql/view?usp=sharing
This post was also to talk about something we created that we are proud of. When I was a co-founder for LIbraryOnCon, I helped create podcasts. What my co-founder and I did actually was record a person through Google Hangouts On Air (Now YouTube Live), and used a program that would extract the audio. Then, I put that in iMovie and edited the audio to create the podcast. I used music from a public domain site for the beginning. I am still proud of the interviews. You can Listen Here.
I'm really learning a lot in this ION class I am taking, especially about learning objects, Creative Commons, and digital repositories. I think one of the big takeaways I found out this week is about Creative Commons licensing, and how easy it is to create one, and that you can put in it exactly what you want. I was always under the misconception that it was a blanket license that told people they could readily use anything--it's not.
At Oakton, my colleague and I are partners on something called the "Is it Legit?" project" we are looking to provide media literacy sources. One source that I found is actually created by Google, partnering with 3 other non-profit groups. I wanted to copy my assignment thoughts here:
This is newly updated, and something I am thinking of using for my media literacy classes. It's interesting, I had some hesitation posting it because it's created by a huge media company that basically intersects almost every part of our lives, but the beauty in that is that they have the dollars and manpower to create beautiful, organized, and creative tools to teach students about information literacy. They partnered with 3 non-profits committed to internet safety, and went about ensuring that the kit itself is ISTE compliant.
The Google Package is called "Be Internet Awesome" and it's goal is to" teach kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online world with confidence."
There is a curriculum that explains the 5 modules that are available. Each module contains supporting resources, like handouts for students. The main sections they have are:
• Share with Care (Be Internet Smart)
• Don’t Fall for Fake (Be Internet Alert)
• Secure Your Secrets (Be Internet Strong)
• It’s Cool to Be Kind (Be Internet Kind)
• When in Doubt, Talk It Out (Be Internet Brave).
I would most likely use the "Don't Fall for Fake" section, especially because there are handouts that give the same picture, with different captions underneath, to demonstrate to students that while a picture of worth 1000 words, the people who are behind writing a caption for it on a news site may change the whole context of the photo.
Basically how it works as a learning object is that you can read the curriculum itself, and then give to students the exercises and deliverables. There is a seperate site that hosts all of the visual presentations you can use during the class:
Presentations for Your Classroom
and Posters, Templates, etc.
The last part of this learning object which is almost like a learning assessment, is an interactive game called "Interland". It is laid out where you are a character, and you are going through a land answering various questions about digital literacy. Faculty are actually able to share it to Google Classroom, and track student activity which I think is interesting. I could play it in a web browser without having to download anything special (granted, I was working primarily in Chrome, I'm not sure what IE or Mozilla would have).
Overall, I really like the content that is covered here, and consider it comprehensive. I also like that it can be used right away. While it is geared toward younger students, it says that anyone can use it, and I liked that it wasn't too cutesy-cutesy, that adults and college students could in fact take it seriously.
This week, we worked on Sychronous communication in online courses, and I learned about something new. Honestly, in the online courses I have taking through UIS so far, this option has not even been recognized, and I have not had any kind of idea about it's existence. This module prompted me to learn more about my LMS at my own workplace (d2l), and find out if there is even a virtual face-to-face feature, or if it is all just through old-school chatting. If it is old-school chatting, I think I am going to explore how to use Zoom.us in these classes. Zoom offers free accounts and institutional accounts. I found an article about how zoom is used in a university setting, and think it could be valuable for the media literacy course I am planning to implement.
Module 3 was about Asynchronous Communication, and it's importance in online classes and activities. I have to say as I reflect on class, it really has been keeping me on my toes receiving the emails in response to what I have posted in Moodle. This module also forced me to look more into blogs. It's almost like genealogy: for a while, I stopped reading blogs just because they seemed passe to me, and I had moved on to Twitter, social media. But the more I delve in, I am almost realizing that this is still considered a mainstream communication platform, and more intellectuals have started creating blogs since I quit reading them, meaning I have more areas to choose from. I would really like to get back into reading blogs and listening to podcasts. If only we had an unending amount of time!
One blog that I found useful was this one, about Information Literacy: http://information-literacy.blogspot.com/ . I like they they keep it current with recent articles on how to teach students this valuable skill.
For our second week, we were invited to follow different entities on Twitter, and one another. We were also given homework each week on Twitter. My handle is @gwynonite. I created this name back when I was in high school "gwynonite, like dynomite". It's stuck with me.
I have to say that I quit Facebook almost 5 years ago now, because I felt like it was encroaching on my personal time. I don't feel that way about Twitter somehow. I said this in another essay I wrote, that I feel like with Twitter, you can get on the bus and off the bus. I don't feel as glued to it as I did Facebook.
I think about Twitter for education purposes, and how my daughter will grow up in a world that always had social media, and what that all will mean. I like that students will be better able to connect. I hope that will be able to built friendships and solidarity. I do understand about the raw underbelly of all of this, and online bullying. But I love the idea that she could just tweet to National Geographic, or other museums in a way that seriously no one had access to when I was growing up. I wonder if any of my followers have used Twitter in their classes, and what this experience was like?