Friday, 30 March 2018

Week 4

Reflection 2: Videos in the Classroom

Lights 💡, camera 📷, classroom 🙋! 
Get your popcorn ready because today I am going to explore how videos can be an effective tool in the classroom. If a picture can say a thousand words just imagine moving pictures and audio!!

What Can Videos Do?

Videos open up an array of learning opportunities for students as it is really the ONLY media that can support students with all learning styles including visual, auditory, reading/writing and kinesthetic if implemented correctly. To illustrate what I mean by this take a look at this video created using stop-motion to derive a formula for the area of a circle.
 I am definitely going to implement this technique to teach math concepts to students. You will notice that the student can learn through visual by drawing the circle and looking at the coloured shapes forming a circle then a parallelogram. Writing and reading students will learn by writing down the formulas and keywords such as "radius" or "diameter". Cutting out slices of paper to form a circle and physically measuring it. Then using a string to measure the circumference assists kinesthetic learners. This video could have been further enhanced auditory learners by adding audio (Adding audio to video is tricky). I am sure the auditory learners would have greatly benefited from the process of creating this movie by talking and listening while creating and working out the problem.

Being a business/science teacher I am sure to be teaching math to year 7 to 10 students and look forward to using this method to create critical thinking and problem-solving skills that will inevitably develop a rich understanding of core concepts.

Is Video Easy to Use?

No, no it's not! From all the media types video is the most complex. However, you certainly can produce a really great movie with some effort and assistance from great apps. Be mindful that you would have to teach students the steps to create a movie using a particular app before implementing this as a class activity and which app you use is dependent on what hardware the student is using (iPad, Mac or Windows computer?). When creating movies you need to consider what is being used to create the movie? What type of files are you adding to the movie? The size of files for images or video files added to the movie - this is a big one as you don't want to upload a 6GB file this would cause chaos with the ability to upload and viewer to view (download or stream) as well.

Video Technical Considerations:

  • If you are presenting a video to your class I would highly recommend doing a test for sound and video before the class to make sure your device (computer, iPad etc) connects and sound and video works. Connections to the smart board or projector are usually HDMI or VGA if you have an iPad you will need a lightning to VGA or lightning to HDMI adapter (digital AV adapter).
  • If you are implementing a project that involves creating a video for the class make sure you include the time to teach students how to create the video although there would likely be kids with their own youtube channel already - These kids are useful for peer support - use them!
  • Be aware that creating a video involves using multiple apps such as video editing, image editing, and sound or recording software.
  • Equipment for video editing is also important. The easiest is an iPad an iPad can record and play video, edit images and edit videos. If you are using a Windows laptop then you may need additional equipment such as a video camera or if a microphone is not included you may require audio equipment.

Which Movie apps?

I have used a number of movie editors and my favourite would have to be iMovie. This is an app available for iPads and iPhones through IOS or the Apple operating system which is FREE. Considering a large proportion of students are using iPads in secondary school this is a particularly useful platform as it is free, user-friendly and completely customisable and is extremely useful whether you are a novice or a professional. You can create truly stunning videos. Another great movie editor I have stumbled upon is Light Works. This app is designed for Windows computers and is also free. But admittingly not as nice as iMovie a little more clunky and harder to navigate but can still produce similarly great movies.

Creating a Video for Teaching

To create this video I used my iPhone to record the video. Then I used powerpoint to create visuals to illustrate the implementation of video through the SAMR model and exported it as an mp4 file.

I used gimp to edit the student sitting in the chair.  by using paths to cut away the chair in the background then exported the image as a png to remove back ground.

I inserted audio (modern included in iMovie app) and split the audio at the start and reduced this to 0% until I stopped talking. I also increased the volume from my recording by 200% as I didn't use any microphones to record at the time.

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Powerpoint theme source:
Audio: Modern theme song from iMovie

Implementing Video in a Business class using SAMR

Below is a mind map that I created using powerpoint and Thinglink. This illustrates how I use video to teach how to create business plans for business students.

Image Sources: Substitution image: Augmentation image Modification image: Redefinition image:


When showing videos such as youtube (including advertising) make sure the content is age appropriate and not offensive.

When creating videos identity and privacy is the biggest risk factor. Don't publicly upload any videos unless you have permission and make sure there is no danger of a student's identity being compromised. The use of log-in or submitting through a blog that needs to be logged in to access is a good workaround. Where possible do not say or write names.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Week 3

Reflection 1: Blogging about Blogs!

I have chosen to write about blogs because I'm curious and excited about the potential as a fantastic classroom tool!

What Can Blogs Do?  

A blog is like an interactive journal that contains posts. A post can contain words, images, links, video and audio similar to a website however unlike a website blogs adds a post with the most recent post sitting on top. In this blog, you will see week 1 post is sitting at the bottom of the page and this most recent post at the top. Allowing easy access to the most recent information. A website is rather one-sided as it provides the reader/viewer with information. A blog site can have pages (like a website) but the primary purpose is posting thoughts, reflections or ideas and then having the ability for others to comment and interact with your ideas. Blogs open up a world for collaboration, interaction and pushing new ideas in a group environment. The potential in a classroom environment is enormous!

Why Post?

Much like a teacher standing at the front of a class teaching. A website is great if you just want to see the teacher (including quirks and personality) however at times this can seem like a mono-drone teacher at the front waffling on about stuff - Sorry...What did you say?
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A blog allows students to get involved. This is a real game changer. Engagement ensures that students are present, involved, and actively learning! Also, the teacher can interact with students and gauge how they are going too. These regular check-ins are not only crucial to ensuring subject comprehension but motivation as well. Real-time response is particularly important to students today who are used to social media and instant responses! Dr Willis further exemplifies engagement and the neurology of students with the video game model.

I particularly LOVE this little quote by Matt Miller "learning is a conversation"

No longer do we just take answers at face value we discuss, explore, challenge and further develop ideas - innovate if you will.

Blog Settings

A blog is customisable including a large choice of already created themes or for the extra savvy, you can code in the HTML (however this takes a bit of skill). The background, page colour schemes, font sizes, types and colours are all customisable. As long as you have abilities to do word documents and some basic desktop publishing you can accomplish a pretty great looking blog. I have done so with this blog without complex knowledge of HTML. I chose a Travel theme and theme image by Matt Vince then completely customised the background, fonts and colours in advanced settings to achieve the look I wanted.

Blogs allow you to multi-author by inviting authors which you can set as admin (add content change settings) or basic (add content only). Due care must be taken to ensure admin is only offered to people who you trust to make any changes without your approval.

I have also linked this blog to both my website and workspace - Linking to various mediums makes it seamless for students to navigate from one media to another.


This blog currently has no privacy settings setup. In a classroom context, there would be a high level of privacy. Only members who have a login can access the site (students and teacher only). I would ensure students have alias blogger names such as a student number to protect identity. Posting by students and as a teacher would be monitored to ensure the photos posts and copywriting does not contain information that may compromise a student's identity.

SAMR Model

As a future Biology teacher, I am going to illustrate the potential of blog use in a classroom. Teaching ecosystems to high school students using the SAMR model. Instead of this worksheet:


I can put a link on the blog site with a great diagram of a food web.


Post Khan Academy ecosystem tutorial


Post a Video and Post a Question: After watching the Khan Acadamy youtube video. I could post an image of an ecosystem and pose a question on this blog site which asks students what would happen if an animal was to be removed from the ecosystem? What effect will this have? Post your answers.


Create a food web: Students will create their own food web, working in small groups could create a graphical food web using graphics programs such as Powerpoint or slide share. Upload the image to a post and blog what their ecosystem includes.

Then in the following weeks what would happen if a particular animal no longer existed?

Each student in the group can have a different animal to predict and post their thoughts on the resulting change if an animal was removed.

For example,

Week 1 predict what would happen to the ecosystem if a predator animal was removed.
Week 2 Removed a plant?
Week 3 remove an omnivore?

Each student in the group could have a different animal to predict their changes as a result of an animal removal. This blog will be available for the whole class to see and would paint an interesting picture of ecological changes over a few weeks.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Week 2

The Connected Generation

Teaching today is dramatically different we have so much access to infinite amounts of information thanks to the Internet. That getting information is no longer the issue rather getting the right information.

Geography no longer forms a barrier to network and communication due to digital tools such as blogs, forums, web conferencing and messaging services such as SMS, Facebook and, Skype. Students communicate faster and use emojis or often there is an expectation of instant gratification or response - bye bye snail mail.

The biggest advantage tech provides a teacher is the ability to provide students with continual communication. Great communication resolves many issues that perturb a class environment such as confusion, frustration and, boredom.

First of all, let's explore exactly who we are teaching? Gen Z! and soon Alpha. Actually, Gen Z is probably the most exciting generation we have ever had! They are informed, connected, caring, social and entrepreneurial. Seriously wow! As a business/science/tech teacher; this generation is sure to teach me. I can't wait to learn with them! (Even if they do get a little distracted!)

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Digital Teaching Tools:

The following teaching tools will assist in not only implementing ICT but transforming the class experience through the use of ITC.

Blooms Taxonomy:

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