Fall Update: #SchoolTechChallenge

I’ve said that I’m going to do as @MrFiliplic is doing and blogging about #SchoolTechChallenge. I haven’t done any writing about it yet, so I’ll update you on what’s been going on.

Three major things:

1. Microsoft Teams

2. FlipGrid

3. FlipBoard

1. Microsoft Teams

For this piece of tech, I wanted to introduce students to Teams, and let them see how it works, how it feels, and what the ecosystem for it was like. I posed an assignment to them and they had to respond to a visual prompt. The results were varied, as it was a non-graded task to introduce them to the app and the idea. Those that responded (most of them, maybe 90%) responded well. I found the app a little odd to navigate, and it wasn’t a slick and easy as it is to comment and grade in Google Classroom. I will use it again, off-and-on, but I won’t be relying on it too much. I DO find that it has been useful for students to ask me questions in a private manner rather than in Classroom which isn’t conducive to individual, general questions (we have Google Chat/Hangouts disabled in our district, so there’s no communication available within the Google ecosystem).
Result: Will continue on a limited basis, especially after more student feedback.

2. FlipGrid

Similar to what I did with MS Teams, I did an intro assignment on FlipGrid, where students had to make an introduction video to the rest of the class. There was a lot of kick-back from students initially, though I think in the end they really enjoyed using it. I found it easy to use and implement, and though watching all that video will be hard when it comes time to mark the assignments, I think it will be worth it. Besides, I don’t think I’ll have ALL students do a response video for marks, but will require that 1/2 do the video that answers a curriculum question, and the other 1/2 of the class to respond to that video. Both will be marked, but I’ll split the big marking for the video that answers my question, and leave some easier points for the response video.

Result: Will continue into the next chapter and beyond. Perhaps 2-3 videos total over the course of the year.

3. FlipBoard

I’ve been using this app for years personally, and now use it in G9 to expose students to Social Studies-related articles to help with their content area literacy (and general knowledge of current events). We read from FlipBoard every Friday for about 10 minutes or so, and students will start doing response journals on an article of their choosing beginning next week. They will have something like 3 or 4 to do over the course of the year. I’m hoping that this will also help them get used to article summaries that they will be asked to write and read in G10 and beyond.

Result: Keep it up! Seems to be working well.

So that’s about it for now. I’ll update later on how things are continuing on. But for now, the #SchoolTechChallenge is a go!


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