Wednesday, February 20, 2019

ClassFlow: The One Stop Shot for Engaging and Effective Direct Instruction

Regardless of how much technology exists in a classroom, sometimes there’s just no substitute for direct instruction.  That being said, technology in the hands of students and direct instruction do not have to be in conflict with one another.  In fact, using the platform explained in this blog post, you may be come to believe that every time you give a lecture, you WANT your students on their devices interacting with your instruction.  Let me explain…

ClassFlow is a lesson delivery software specifically designed for 1:1 classrooms.  This software is web-based, meaning it doesn’t need to be installed on any computer and it works with any kind of projector, monitor, or interactive display - students and teachers just log in with Google.  It includes features for engagement including draggable questions, polls, interactive whiteboards, and more.  It even will accept your SMART Notebook files and convert them into interactive lessons!  

I know the description above doesn’t sound earth shattering so please review some features and very short video examples below to see the power of this free application.

**Teachers can create (or import) presentations for lessons (view 90 second video)
Student devices will display each slide from your lesson (or, if you choose, a complementary but different slide!)

**Teachers can send the slides from the presentation to students with added interactivity such as drag and drop, highlighting, and more (view 50 second video on adding actions to objects)

**Students can interact with the slides and send their work back to the teacher for whole class review

**Teachers can poll class understanding by sending formative assessment questions of various types (view 80 second video)

**Teachers can quickly create groups and send different student work to different groups of students (view 55 second video on adding activity)

**Teachers have access to a ClassFlow library of searchable pre-created content

**Teachers can use the ClassFlow canvas like an interactive whiteboard for lessons (view 75 second video on instant whiteboards)
Begin a problem on the interactive whiteboard and then send it to your students to complete on their own devices!  Then the students can send their work back to the teacher for whole class discussion

**ClassFlow teacher app gives the option to teachers to use their mobile devices and move around the classroom while controlling the presentation with their phone as a remote

See all the ClassFlow instructional videos here.  This free resource is a surefire way to increase student engagement during direct instruction while providing multiple opportunities for teachers to assess what students know through the lecture process.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Khan Academy to support student learning

Technology is one of the best tools for allowing teachers to successful differentiate.  It can streamline the process in distributing different work to different students and using artificial intelligence, technology platforms can even create personalized learning pathways to supplement the classroom instruction kids receive.

Khan Academy knows this and that’s why they offer amazing, free resources to support anytime, anywhere access to high-quality learning materials.  Teachers have been using Khan Academy to provide extra support to students, a different perspective to teaching a topic through utilizing their instructional videos, and the practice problems for years.  Khan Academy also offers two options, one for younger and one for older students, that allow highly personalized pathways for learning through the use of MAP and SAT/ACT scores.

Khan Academy Mappers
This learning pathway generates personalized video and problem sets based on NWEA MAP test scores.  Students (parents) can enter their scores in or teachers may upload an entire class set of scores.  Khan Academy generates a specific learning pathway for each student to ensure they are working on their most critical needs.  Khan Academy recommends that students use Mappers for 30 minutes a week so in no way does this replace the classroom teacher or commit the student to the fatigue of constant skill and drill.  This extra input may simply be the targeted support that students need to push them over the edge to success.

SAT (ACT) Practice on Khan Academy
Did you know that 20 hours of SAT and ACT practice on Khan Academy is associated with increasing student scores 115 points on average?  This practice program allows students to practice in areas of their most critical need rather than just completing generic standardized test problems.  Included with the problem sets are instructional videos that students can watch to fill gaps as well as an auto-generated study calendar to help students with those time management skills!  All students need to do is link their CollegeBoard and Khan Academy in order to have their unique study plan generated.

Khan Academy’s mission is to provide a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere.  Many times standardized tests can be a barrier to advancement so connecting students and parents to these resources may be the critical factor in allowing students to achieve their goals.  Sign up today! 

Gearing Up for Asynchronous Learning Days

  Asynchronous learning days are approaching for our elementary students and teachers. Our district's Academics Division has created a s...