Friday, February 19, 2016

Being Novel - Using Technology to Try New Ways

There has been a lot of really interesting work going on around our district lately. Not all of it relates to technology, and some of it is a matter of becoming more fluent in our standard tech tools. One the hopes of leveling the playing field for students and teachers means an opportunity to invent and come up with novel new ways to support student learning. This is one example...

Online Study Session

The question is, how do we provide extra support for students that simply cannot stay after school. It might be because they're in sports, or it could be that they need to get home to help out. Regardless of the reason, finding a way that can be more flexible to the time provided could help more students.
"I've conducted review sessions with APUSH when requested by the students in the past, but many students would tell me afterwards that they could not attend due to sports, activities, etc.  This medium seems to be a good method because it allows me to connect with that group.  They either could attend live by viewing on youtube the live feed from google hangouts, or they could also access the archived video, which to this point has 130 views.  Given that I have 128 students currently for APUSH, this has significantly expanded the audience for my review session."

Working together, Jay and I set up a Google Hangout On Air which allows him to broadcast his help session live through YouTube. This is the platform for sharing information out from Jay to the students.

But, a great study session responds to what the students need, so we used a backchannel tool called TodaysMeet to provide a space for kids to post questions to help direct the review session.

Important Consideration - Students currently do not have access to Hangouts, so they have to view the session through YouTube, which means make sure it's approved. Also, TodaysMeet does not require a login, so our more creative students would not be accountable to some of the mischief that may be inspired by anonomity. For this situation, Jay had enough confidence in the relationship with his students to trust their better judgement. A potential work around for anonimity would be a shared Google Doc.

Bonus - By using these tools together an archive of the event is created and can be added to Schoology or shared any number of other ways. The session lives on YouTube so it's flexible for sharing.


  1. Thanks to Sean and Jay for sharing this excellent example of flexible learning!