Distance Learning

Teaching a Lesson over the web

I am currently student teaching and with the distance learning, I've found myself in a bit of a pickle with the material that I am to present.  Most of my unit is demos, and while I know that I can show them videos etc, I'm looking for a better way to present.  Besides Google Classroom, what is the best way to convey my lessons?  I am not the most technologically inclined person either.  All the suggestions are much appreciated!!!

Melinda Lape
Melinda Lape
637 Activity Points

Hey Melinda! You could easily make some short flipgrid videos. This usually works well with Google Classroom because you can link the flipgrid to an assignment. That could also be cool becuase you could give your students a chance to respond to the demo or even youtube video if you showed them a demonstration on that, and that would give you the opportunity to hear their explanation and thoughts as well as see their smiling faces! You could also record any lectures (if you have powerpoints or a slide show) and your voice going through the lectures using screencastify. That is easily added on as a chrome extension and allows you to record your screen. It is nice becuase it uploads the videos straight to your google drive, so you will always have them and know where they are. 

Charissa Barnhill
Charissa Barnhill
1514 Activity Points

The main thing to remember is that no matter the platform you use, the trick is to keep the engagement level high and keep the tasks achievable. 

For upper primary through high school, there are many things that students can use around the house in science or physics experiments. The whole class can work through them together online. (I just did a color bending and lightwaves experiment with my grade 4 class yesterday). If you send the list of materials home with students a week or so in advance, you won't have to create as many demo videos. Instead, you can work together during a normal online class meeting and the students without internet can still do the experiment as well. 

If you have to create a video for something, most PCs and Macbooks have a screen capture option that lets you record computer movements in an MP4 format. 

There are also several interactive, web-based tools for science. PHET is a good one for middle school and up. Brainpop.com is great for younger learners or ESL. (Brainpop also has a lot of planning materials, crosscurricular links, and worksheets) 

No matter which platform you use for teaching, try to keep the students engaged as much as possible with interactive tasks: a simple click and drag to fill the gap in a sentence works well. So do board games (loaded as a background picture). Also using a random number generator to bring students to the front of the class during discussion or Q&A will keep everyone on their toes. 

I have also had some good results with Project Based Learning. Rather than a normal science unit, all I do is present the studnets with a driving question. It is their task to come up with plausible solutions. The last driving question was "How can you encourage tourism growth on Mars?" for grade 4 (we were in our astronomy unit). For grade 5 it was, "How can we improve sanitation and hygeine at school?" The students used interactive corkboards to brainstorm ideas and discuss with each other before turning in their proposals. They then built models using what they had at home and recorded their work in a variety of ways. At the end, they presented their projects. 

Sarah Monda
Sarah Monda
365 Activity Points

Thank you so much Charissa! I will definitely be playing around with screencastify as I've never used it before but we have lots of experience with our online classes!  I've thought about flipgrid as well but I didn't know you could like it to a google assignment, that's awesome.  It definitely makes my life a little bit easier.

Melinda Lape
Melinda Lape
637 Activity Points

When it comes to demos, I have had a lot of success with EdPuzzle. Usually I can find a video that has previously covered the demo with questions made by another teacher, however I enjoy using a previous video to add my own commentary and questions for students to answer throughout the demo. This prevents the students from getting off task with the video, as the questions make sure the student has recognized what happened in your demo. Hope this helps!

Zach Millan
Zach Millan
599 Activity Points

I am definitely a big fan of both FlipGrid and Edpuzzle as mentioned above. I use Edpuzzle almost daily as an instructional tool that allows me to gain an understanding of student comprehension and focus during the video. Consider creating your own instructional videos on Youtube and then uploading them on Edpuzzle to provide pauses and comprehension checks. You could also incorporate the two platforms into one assignment where students view a demo through Edpuzzle and then answer a summarizing question on Flip Grid. For example, if you were to assign a video demoing the phases of matter, students could post a Flip Grid of them explaining the three phases to a family member, pet or stuffed animal. The power of teaching others is incredible!

Camillia Ledbetter
Camillia Ledbetter
785 Activity Points

I use Edpuzzle weekly with the students for the same reason, but I've found that adding my own annotations and questions seems to help students understand content more clearly compared to premade questions and annotations. I also love your idea for Flip Grid and having students teach a concept to an object! I'll have to share my results when I try this with my students.

Zach Millan
Zach Millan
599 Activity Points

I have heard of some school using Edmodo or microsoft teams. I am currently in university and we use a program called Zoom. It is really helpful as you are able to see your students and even share your screen to show your materials. Zoom also has features that allow you to display a white board where both you and your students are able to write and draw. Zoom hels you also with chat features for the students who do not wish to speak and features where they are able to raise their hand to be called on.

Sophia Almeida
Sophia Almeida
370 Activity Points

I am trying to develop a PBL project for high school biology students and would love to see some lesson plans of those that have been successful.  I have been using Peardeck an add on for google slides that allow for student feedback on material and content.  I can link edpuzzle and flipgrid into the slides and continue to get more student feedback.

I really need help with the design of a PBL distance learning project.

 

Helen Kemper
Helen Kemper
20 Activity Points

Hello Helen,

In my opinion, project-based lessons are the way to go with online education.  I believe this would relieve a lot of stress on everyone and, if you set it up right, allow for some powerful inquiry and motivation.  The toughest part for the teacher will be "letting it go" and giving up being the centre of the learning. Also, project-based lessons can be tailored to a student's interests and modified to fit their access to technology. 

My recommendation is to pick a broad topic that provides students a range of what they can research or work on.  For instance,  “Conservation” allows students many choices on what they can focus upon.  The idea is that they pick something they are personally interested in, which will hopefully engage them in the work. 

Likewise, allow choices in terms of the end product of the project.  This way students can work to their strengths and abilities:  hand-drawn posters, websites, letters to local politicians, animations, videos, musical pieces are all different methods that students can demonstrate their understanding.

Teaching something is one of the best ways to learn, understand, and retain knowledge.  So, have students produce books, videos, science demos or songs aimed at teaching younger students or peers about some topic. 

I believe that flexibility is key to good projects.  Inform students that they can suggest alternatives to what you may have envisioned.  I have had students create public service announcements, mockumentaries, set up information booths in public, raised money for an endangered species, organize a community clean up...and others that I never had envisioned. Interim deadlines will move the project along, but also allow students time to do a good job on the final product.   

Attached is the introduction to a project I assigned to my bio students. 

Hope this helps,

Gabe Kraljevic

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Gabe Kraljevic
Gabe Kraljevic
4164 Activity Points

Hi Hellen,

One project that I'm doing in my biomedical sciences PBL class is having the students either write as childrens story or develop a bord game that teaches k-6 students about the immune system. They can even record their stories or themselves playing the game and you can send those down to the elementry schools for the kids there to watch. Initally it was meant to be a field trip to the elemetry school but alas, we have had to modify it to pre-recorded videos. 

Maura Purcell
Maura Purcell
1250 Activity Points

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