Approximately EVERY teacher or student I have spoken with today is really burnt out. I feel it...they feel it...there is something in the distance learning air today. So, with that said, this is going to be a short post giving SERIOUS LOVE to Padlet.
If you go back and read the 20+ post in this "Online Teaching Reflection" series, you will see my commitment to keeping my technology simple/reduced to Google Tools only. That all changed when my good friend, and fellow educator, convinced me to try Padlet a medium for sharing in Hackathon ideas in my engineering class.
Since then I have been absolutely LOVING the ability to students to comment quickly, and in fashion that both values clean aesthetics, simplicity, functionality, and limited branding. I was convinced that I could model the same process with a public Google Doc, but when I tried Padlet, I was soon convinced that it was a much better medium.
Padlet's clean and functional aesthetic allows for an excellent medium for student public product, and collective commenting, judging, and feedback. Padlet is now an essential part of my EdTech Toolbox and I am happy to support them by purchasing an upgraded account.
Click here (and see screenshot below) for an example of a Padlet created during yesterday's chemistry class. After learning about Intermolecular Forces, students shared various examples in industry, nature ,biomimicry, etc, and then commented on one another's posts. Love it!
Now that the COVID-19 Hackathon I have been facilitating in my engineering courses is coming to a close (see initial ideas here and final proposals here to be posted on Monday, 4/27), I have been starving for activities to do with my students that are grounded in aspects of engineering, are more than simply watching videos, but can be done online.
After spending a few days researching, below are three resources that I am confident will simultaneously engage students, but also provide some "hands-on" experience. I really empathize with struggles teachers in classes, such as mine that are fully project-based, are dealing with during this time of emergency distance learning.
As I alluded to yesterday, the past two days of blogging are about gathering feedback from students regarding my online teaching. I decided to conclude this process by providing an anonymous Google Form using the prompt: "Offer three pieces of advice for me, and other teachers, during the COVID-19 Pandemic".
Click here for the form output spreadsheet with all responses.
See a WordCloud of student responses made using this generator.
The power of obtaining ANONYMOUS feedback from students never ceases to amaze me. BY FAR, obtaining anonymous feedback has been the most influential feature in my growth as an educator. Advice: Obtain it frequently...put on armor when your read.
Today and tomorrow's posts will feature advice from students, to teachers, during the period online teaching. Below is a screenshot from a conversation I was having with a student this morning. For context, this student is in 11th grade. Have a great day "in the classroom" everybody!
In yesterday's class I had students in my Engineering for Social Good class analyze a data visualization that organized and presented various engineering efforts against COVID-19 globally. After analyzing the visualization, students then listed their favorite engineering efforts.
When gathering information such as that described above, that will naturally vary, but is centered around a specific theme, I love shuttling the form responses into a word cloud This process allows us to discuss varying responses while also identifying our mutual connectedness as a class.
This morning we will discuss students responses using the method described above during our class Zoom "Check In" by leveraging my favorite word cloud generator: WordSift. Because the class is composed of students of varying ability and interest, the resulting visualization will offer insight into the exciting, and different, aspects of engineering members of our class are drawn to.
See an animation of the above workflow below: