Thursday, January 22, 2015

Showcase: Outsmarting the Smartphone: Using Technology to Create/Enhance Student Work

Only a LPS teacher for one year, Colleen Monahan has already become an outstanding addition and leader to our LPS teaching staff.  She is an educator of 8th and 7th grade students at Powell Middle School.  Not only did she come to Littleton Public Schools with a National Board Certification (2008) but she came with a clear connection to middle schoolers and how to use technology to ignite a topic and have students create amazing student work products.

Let me share just a few examples.
Project 1: Colleen used WeVideo which is an online video editor.  Last year students created book trailers. This year she is using WeVideo to create short story trailers.   Take a look at her WeVideo Presentation presented to teachers at the LPS District Inspired Learning Conference 2014.
Additional Documents: Student Directions and Collaboration Space (Google Doc)

Student WeVideo Example: Hatchet
If you are viewing this at LPS you must go through the filter to view the video below 

Project 2: Vine/Instagram
Students created 6 second (on Vine) or 15 second (Instagram) videos to demonstrate the understanding of the main idea/supporting details in an article from Junior Scholastic!  The purpose was for students to share the main idea with supporting details.
Sample Student Product: 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

Project 3: Poll Everywhere
Here students used their smartphones or chromebooks to access Poll Everywhere, an online poll.  This was used to integrate math into language arts.  Students answered where they were in their reading progress based on a list of choices.  They then calculated averages and discussed how to analyze a bar graph.

Project 4: Project Discovery
Purpose: To get out of the box and have students try something new (volunteer, crochet, indoor skydiving, new food, skiing, sport...) Only topics off limits (video game, movie or book)
Students used their smartphone to take a photo of themselves outside of school trying out their Project Discovery choice.  
Project Discovery Student Guide  Students needed to:
  • identify/create research questions ( not ‘look-upable’ - as Colleen tells her students )
  • reflect on their experiences and research
  • present online through Ustream where parents could login and watch presentations online
  Parents had great feedback.  Here is just one of many parent emails.
Good Morning,
I want to tell you how much fun it has been learning about, cupcakes, bell ringers, pasta, sushi, scuba diving and horses!   
My Mother and I have been watching for a few days, as I have been sick and recovering from surgery.   
It has been fun watching the smiles, nervousness and creativity of your kids.
Thank you so much,
Tina ( parent )

Parent Communication Colleen used to participate in the online viewing of student presentations

All of these projects can be done using a smartphone and/or chromebook/other device.

To top it off, Colleen was accepted to present at CCIRA (Colorado Council International Reading Association)  
Her session write-up: Outsmarting the Smartphone (middle school)
This presentation will focus on how educators can easily use technology to increase student engagement and meet standards. Attendees will walk away with an array of tech tools, and tips for successful implementation in the classroom!

Take a look at the other tools she uses with students and will be showcasing at CCIRA.  
Vine/InstagramWeVideoPoll EverywhereRemind 101UstreamSocrativeClass Dojo, Twitter, phone camera feature and Google split screen for PARCC prep
If you are interested in learning more about what Colleen Monahan does with her students using technology, check out her class website.

If you are involved in innovative work in your classroom let us know so we can highlight your students great work.

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