Inspired by friend, SMART Exemplary Educator & Google Certified Innovator Danesa Menge from California, USA and her class last year about cultural diversity, where they need a hand from my students with information about Anne Frank I was wanted to do more with this particular topic. With my global citizenship class I decided that they would create a SMART amp workspace for classes from abroad sharing information about our cultural diversity and cultural heritage. On the Global Collaboration G+ Group I made a call for teachers that would like to collaborate with my students. Within a day teachers from South-Korea, Czech Republic, Chile and several parts from the USA responded. Very powerful.
At the time that I'm creating this blog, classes from different parts of the world are adding content about their cultural diversity to the SMART amp workspace and are learning from others. To be continued ...
Klas 2-vmbo zou eigenlijk een aardrijkskundetoets krijgen over de verschillende vormen van toerisme in Zuidoost-Azië, maar voor m'n gevoel was de klas daar nog niet klaar voor en konden ze na de praktische opdracht wel wat extra oefening gebruiken. Bij de praktische opdracht (die ik had vormgegeven m.b.v. wikiwijsmaken) hebben de leerlingen zich in kleine groepjes moeten verdiepen in de complementariteit van een Zuidoost-Aziatisch vakantieland en moesten ze een reisprogramma voor zes dagen maken, waarbij de toerist een goed beeld kreeg van de cultuur, het landschap en het klimaat van het betreffende land.
Tussen de verschillende arrangementen van de stercollecties van VO-Content vond ik een module over toerisme. Die heb ik vervolgens gekopieerd naar m'n eigen wikiwijs maken account en heb die aangepast aan de opdracht voor klas 2-vmbo en deze als link klaargezet in Google Classroom. Als eindopdracht moesten de leerlingen nu van elke soort toerisme + de complementariteit van de vakantiebestemming Zuidoost-Azië een collage maken in SMART amp. Aldaar had ik al een zgn. workspace klaar gezet en gedeeld met de leerlingen uit de groepjes. Genoeg te doen voor twee lessen en ik denk dat ze beter voorbereid zijn voor de toets over toerisme in Azië ... misschien maak ik er wel een formatieve toets van. 😉
Online les Nederlanders met als vakantiebestemming Zuidoost-Azië.
Today was a very good day at the Google Mobile Bootcamp at Bromma Folkhögskola near Stockholm. I was very pleased with my sessions about Google Classroom and could tell that the attendees were happy with me sharing workarounds in Google Classroom. And due to the fact that I did this session twice today helpt me to understand and work even better with this application. Some new things and creative ideas came along, whilst sharing and discussing Google Classroom with the Swedish teachers. Can’t wait to start with this in the new period with my classes and share new ideas with the teachers in my school.
My last session was level two Certfied Educator about Blogger, Calendar (and the sharing settings) Forms and My Maps. With the help of the attendants I was able to show them how to create a form real quickly and have the content imported as a layer in My Maps, which showed the places where the teachers lived. Amazing tool. And we discussed about other pedagical values of the Google Forms and My Maps applicactions within the Google Apps for Education domain.
At the end of the day I shared the awesome workaround of the in only in gafe running collaborative tool SMARTamp, by showing the teachers workspaces that my students did create earlier this year.
Now I need to start processing on doing Google Bootcamps with EdTechTeam in the Netherlands.
Traveled to Gothenburg, Sweden to show and share my experiences with Google Apps for Education; in particular the focus on Level 2 of the certification program. Which contains applications like blogger, Google sites, adding annotations to a YouTube video, my maps, creating forms, sharing options of Google Calendar, sharing files and documents. All in favor to work smart and focus on the three C’s: collaboration, communication and creation.
Bit too technical if you ask me, but a good way to prepare for the final exams to become a certified Google Educator Level 1 and/or two. From my opinion teachers shouldn’t worry or bother about the technical background of certain applications. Google Classroom does a real good job by being a portal for all those background technical stuff and makes it easy for students to gain access to certain folders and files and a platform is created where students can collaborate together on different tasks and assessments.
So I’ve shared a lot of stuff about Google Classroom: adding students, students’ rights, Classroom stream, reposting assignments, collaboration, adding teachers and the more pedagogical value of the use of Google Classroom. I do hope that the attendants did learn something from my sessions today and I wish them all the luck acing those Google Educator Exams.
At the Demo-Slam I shared the SMARTamp application: cloud based collaborative software, which only runs on a Google Apps for Education domain and can even be shared cross domain. I shared two workspaces created by my students and one created by my and Danesa Jepson (#smartee from CA) her students as a collaborative project.
Me and my colleague that I brought with me were very fond of this bootcamp idea and thought of the idea to organize such a thing for the students in our school. We will try to do that in our school. Will keep you updated.
In de onderbouw is mondo één van de keuzeprogramma's die de leerlingen kunnen kiezen op het Ashram College. Het vak heeft geen vastgesteld curriculum, maar staat wel op de lessentabel voor drie uur in klas 1 en twee uur in klas 2. Het vak moet een integratie zijn van de talen en de maatschappijvakken. Wereldburgerschap dus. In klas 1 komt o.a. microkrediet en krant in de klas aan bod. De afgelopen jaren doe ik samen met mijn aardrijkskunde-collega veel met internationalisering, online samenwerken met schoolklassen in andere landen en doen we elk jaar mee met een internationale Learning Circle over kinderrechten: Global Teenager Project.
"Een vak waarbij we kijken naar de wereld en zijn samenleving."
Het schooljaar begin ik altijd met de vraag of de leerlingen in de klas weten wat wereldburgerschap is en de vervolgvraag is altijd of de leerlingen kunnen bedenken waarom wereldburgerschap (mondo) nodig is, dus of ze een doel kunnen bedenken. Ze moeten dit voorbespreken in kleine groepjes, waarna we de antwoorden verzamelen. Hier een greep uit de antwoorden van de leerlingen van leerjaar 2 (13-14 jarigen).
"Dan staat de wereld dichter bij elkaar."
"Communiceren met de wereld."
"Je wereldoriëntatie uitbreiden, meer leren over andere landen en andere culturen."
"Het is belangrijk voor de wereld om te ontwikkelen."
"Zodat je goed kunt functioneren in de samenleving."
En hoe zouden de leerlingen dat graag willen doen?
"Skypen met andere landen."
"Contact maken met andere landen."
"Buiten onderzoek doen."
"Leuke plekken bezoeken, die met de wereld te maken hebben."
Leuke leerlingen met leuke antwoorden en leuke ideeën!
Don't get me wrong, besides the fact that I'm a fan of Apple's hard- and software, I'm also an ADE (Apple Distinguished Educator) and therefor this piece is not to bash Apple, but recently my affair with Google went to a next level.
At my school we've had almost two years of experience with 1:1 iPad (with and without the Apple TV as well) in the classroom and yet from the upcoming school year on we've chosen for a different device: the Chromebook. Here's why ...
I have loads of experience with the use of Google Apps for Education and Google Classroom during the past two years with the 1:1 iPad classes and recently I've bought myself a Chromebook as well and have been using that as my teaching device within the Google education ecosystem. The main reason for having gafe was that SMART amp™ only runs within a Google ecosystem, so for that order my school started - as a SMART Showcase School - to experiment with that as well and needed to have a Google Apps for Education domain.
But why the Chromebook instead of Apple's iPad? Unfortunately (as with many things) money was the main reason for the board of my school why we didn't want to continue with the iPad. For the next school year we were planning to use the iPad Air 32 GB (either version one or two), but since Apple has released the Pro version, the iPad Air was out of stock or at least will be very soon. Fair enough, but the pro version is twice as expensive and that would be too much to ask for parents to pay for ... And I'd like to add that this unfortunate news was recently presented after we already had promoted at open house the iPad as the device that would be used from the next school year on. We (and other schools and third parties in the Netherlands) were not very pleased with this and found this not very trustworthy. And the iPad is more likely to break than a Google laptop from our experience. The past two years each week one of the students iPads was broke and needed to be mended and since the iPad was a school device, school needed to pay for that and the administration guy that had to deal with these matters.
Fortunately there are many educational advantages of using a Chromebook instead of the iPad, which I think now after my experience is more a consumer device (as any tablet computer) and less a producer device due to the smaller screen, missing keyboard etc. And I have to agree with that. When I want to create something I'd rather use my MacBook or Chromebook for that matter than my iPad. I'm a fan of the iPad, but not really for this purpose.
So whenever we want to use Google Apps for Education (Apple's solution Classroom came a bit late and they missed that boat from my perspective) we would basically be independent from any device. And since BYOD is not recommend, the best solution would be a rockadiced laptop that would not be too expensive for parents to buy and good enough to work with for at least 4-6 years. After some research our conclusion was that the Chromebook would be the best one for our education and the way we want to teach in our school.
And the downside of using the iPad in the classroom is that lots of applications we use within this Google platform are simplified versions of the applications that run in a browser and most other third party applications become more and more web apps and are running in a browser on a laptop computer as well.
We already have experienced that the Chromebook will be more easy and less expensive to manage by administration which is for most teachers a real advantage, due to the fact that students really do get distracted from the use of popular social media applications as Snapchat, Instagram and text messages from iMessage, who do not run in a browser on a laptop. Managing these and other applications seemed very hard and almost undoable. We tried several managing applications, but students do find a work around to get access to these applications anyway.
And even sometimes when they wanted to use an education app it would not run, because the app was an older version and would not run on the latest iOS version, but couldn't update the app because the App Store was greyed out, in order to prevent the students from installing games and social media apps that will distract them from their main job whilst they are in school.
The upside of using the iPad (or any other tablet computer) is that the use of the camera and adding pictures in real time to certain applications that are in use for education is far more easy than the camera on a Chromebook or other laptop computer. And of course the iPad is more mobile and easier to use during field trips and/or outdoor assignments (which is something I do during my geography lessons).
There. I've said it and it out there. People and other schools have better experiences with the iPad and/or worse experiences with a Chromebook for sure, but keep in mind that we've come to this conclusion based on almost two years of experience with 1:1 iPads and at least one year with Google Apps for Education. We think that this new path we've chosen fits better on our school. There is not one best way or solution for schools, because schools are very different and so is the way they teach and learn. I'm very enthusiastic about this new path and curious how this will work out for our school. I'll keep you updated.
Inspired by a conversation with former SMARTian Heather Lamb and SMART Exemplary Educator Emil Waldhauser I’m creating this blogpost about the use of SMART amp in the classroom as a student tool. Particular not as a teacher tool at all, because from my point of view SMART amp is designed for students as a sandbox to learn, collaborate and share and not a teacher tool used for creating presentations.
At several SMART teacher conferences such as SMART amp champs in Madrid and Global SEE Summits in Calgary I’ve noticed that loads of SEEs look at SMART amp as the new online version of SMART Notebook and keep requesting to have the identical features as SMART Notebook. Great, but no. SMART Notebook is primarily a teacher tool to create interactive presentations in the classroom. SMART amp on the other hand is primarily a student tool which can easily be used outside the classroom and even across time zones and country borders.
If you’re the kind of teacher that is not ready yet to let the students find their path themselves and are more comfortable with a teacher-centered approach with less student involvement you might want stick to SMART Notebook. As I see it the ways of their use are so significantly different that they should not be taken into consideration as tools that can be interchanged in completing a particular lesson objective, especially in terms of the teacher’s approach.
So, what bothers me a bit is that loads of teachers are creating the most beautiful presentations and lessons within SMART amp, whilst ‘mine’ are actually not for sharing purposes, due to the fact that most of the time it’s been used by students as a sandbox. Students are the owner of their own learning process and responsible for their shared sandbox. Then again not all teachers teach this way and therefor should not force themselves to use this platform, which I refer to as: The Sandbox.
SEE, friend and power-user of SMART amp Emil Waldhauser: "The term sandbox coined some time ago but people have become aware of the meaning after Minecraft was released and got hugely popular. Undoubtedly, it is generally accepted as a great educational software that enables teachers and students be creative. And that is why I see a parallel between these two. The creativity and learning process is what students expect to be happening in contemporary classrooms. Using digital technology makes it more feasible than ever.
SMART amp is a perfect tool to collect all great, not so great ideas and completely odd ones to reflect the process of creating and developing an idea or concept. Its purpose is to reflect the stream of actions that lead to a particular goal that is set off with a question as well as to give as whole a picture as possible to enable learning from it and provide some food for thought.
As in Minecraft, students first decide what they want to create (we might try to forget the word ‘achieve’) and then learn ways of doing it to get completely immersed in the process of creating to discover some unexpected ways and occasionally come up with something slightly different and even greater than they anticipated. SMART amp becomes a building site heaving with workers where the process is what is important and eventually becomes the working process log. It is not a presenting tool as we know it to impress others with glossy final idea.
So, you hopefully got the impression what SMART amp’s purpose can be but what is the teacher’s role then? Well, a teacher is actually the Minecraft software, providing students with possibilities and tools. In the end, a teacher is the thing everyone takes for granted and even does not pay any attention to it but is in fact the label and the thing that lets it all happen."