This past weekend I was at the AGIS annual conference (Association of German International Schools). One of the teacher-led workshops I attended was run by Chris Graham of the International School of Düsseldorf. He was sharing his passion for coding in the elementary school. Prior to the conference, Chris created a screen cast of his presentation, which you can watch here:
Chris had created a website (using Weebly) to share his extensive collection of coding sites and lesson plans to support the implementation of coding in classrooms. He shared a number of sites that I am quite familiar with and included in my Hour of Code SMORE.
In addition to his coding website, Chris shared a great tool for editing videos called EduCanon. Essentially, you simply upload a video from the source of your choosing to EduCanon and you can then insert pauses to the video and pose questions to your viewers. This would be a great addition to the toolbox of a teacher who likes to flip their classroom and have students watch videos at home. I would add a caveat to that: One of the examples I viewed on the EduCanon site was the great video by LifeVest Inside about the power of kindness and the chain reaction random acts of kindness can have. It is a video that deserves to be played in its entirety and for students to develop an understanding of what is going on, at their own pace. When I watched the teacher edited version on EduCanon it was much choppier and the message harder to follow. Using EduCanon might be the way to go for the second or third viewing. There are some videos that don’t need to be interrupted with more talk.
I was inspired by the slick look of Chris’s website to explore Weebly for myself. I ended up creating a website for the PYP Exhibition. I have made one of these before using Wix when I was teaching at Riverstone International School in Boise. I took some of this content and things from my current school to create a source of information for students, teachers, and parents leading up to, during, and after the exhibition. Weebly is awesome and so easy to use.
While at the conference, I led a Roundtable discussion on the PYP Exhibition with the hopes of gaining insight from other Exhibition teachers as to how they plan, implement, and evaluate this culminating component of the PYP program. Notes from our discussion are here if you are also a PYP Exhibition teacher and are interested in our collaborative thoughts. Please add your thoughts too!
One of the things we discussed was how to guide students to take authentic action. I shared the following video about how NOT to take action:
I also shared 6 Ways of Taking Action which I first learned about via a teacher blogger in Australia who I can no longer track down as his blog has been deactivated.
When discussing the idea of ‘Action’ it was good to be able to share different ways that this could look. You can download the 7 page Action PDF which features each way of taking action on a different page and a summary page of all 6 ways. You can read my FlipSnack Book here.
One of the biggest ‘takeaways’ for me following our discussion was the idea that we are pretty hard on ourselves as teachers. I think that there are so many great ideas out there and as a teacher, it can sometimes feel like you are not doing enough, reading enough, innovating enough. What you realise when you sit down with a group of fellow educators, is that often what you are doing may seem obvious to you but amazing to others. And that’s a good feeling.