- Use sharing and commenting tools combined with cooperative grouping strategies to provide students with immediate feedback.
- Help students improve writing skills by teaching them to use the integrated reference and writing tools available.
- Monitor student progress using the revision history feature.
- Put the tools together to enjoy the benefits of using these online digital writing tools to support all learners.
Explore my redesigned flexible toolkit during this webinar at 10:00 AM EDT.
Google Docs Presentation is well-suited for use as a tool for short student driven research projects because of the availability of efficient integrated research tools right on the page. Earlier this year I designed a template to introduce teachers to the usefulness of the tool.
The purpose of the template is for use as a starting point to help teachers plan and implement technology driven learning experiences that are fueled by Essential Questions and aligned to Common Core Standards. The template includes built in screencast tutorials to help students learn to use the technology. This allows teachers to focus on the content instead of being consumed by student questions about using the tech. After all, technology is a tool for learning, not a subject area. It is meant to be integrated, not isolated.
It should be noted that the template is like a recipe that produces end products that are all very similar, and it was designed to help teachers and student build their tech expertise and increase their comfort level with tech integration, but it is not the end goal. The goal for teachers is to eventually feel comfortable enough to design their own flexible lessons that allow them to get out of the way and let students make their own choices about which digital tools to use to complete research and present knowledge and ideas. Please consider the template to be a helpful stepping stone to guide the learning.
The template is available for modification and reuse. Feel free to edit the topic. Just change the Essential Question and modify the template to create your own Multimedia Research project. Please use it to jump start the process of using technology as a tool for learning, but once you are comfortable, please keep going.
Multimedia Research Template
CCSS 3.W.7: Conduct a short research project to build knowledge about a topic
Digital Tool: Google Docs Presentation
Pickup a Copy of This Template
The Google Docs Presentation is well-suited for use as a starting point for short student driven research projects because of the availability of efficient integrated research tools right on the page. To introduce students and teachers to the built in features, I created a simple template to guide the learning and help everyone discover the usefulness of the tool.
- The planner can be used with any content. Just associate a learning goal with the template and it’s ready for use.
- Built in tutorials allow students to explore the tools at their own pace.
- The activity provides opportunities for teachers to help students fine tune their search skills as they engage in the research.
- Of course, this is a template so it can be modified.
- Start with a simple learning goal the first time you use the template to ensure student success.
- To encourage collaboration, divide students into groups, have one group member pick up the template and ask that student to Share the copy of the document with others in the group.
- Teach students to use the Comments feature to collaborate and provide feedback to other group members.
Take a Look at the Template
Pickup a Copy of This Template
- You must be signed in to Gmail before you can pickup your own copy of this template.
- Click on this link: Research Planner
- Choose Use This Template and a copy will be added to your own list of Google Docs. Feel free to edit and modify.
Create Your Own Template
- Sign in to your Google account
- Create a new document or modify an existing one.
- Add your content and save.
- Go to your list of Google Docs.
- Choose Create New > From Template .
- On the new screen that appears, choose Submit a Template.
- Click on the link to Choose from yourGoogleDocs
- Complete the form with information about your template and submit.
- The template will become available in the gallery in a few minutes.
- Choose Preview to grab the link to publish so students can pick up your template.
This is part of a Digital Differentiation model, my way i of weaving a web of flexible tools together for teaching and learning. To keep the model relevant, frequent updates are required, as new tools and trends emerge.
To access the most current resources, please click on the tab at the top of this blog:
Digital Differentiation – Current
Ten months ago I published a Digital Differentiation model on this blog. I’ve been using the model to guide the work I do each day and I’ve been sharing it via webinars and hands-on training sessions.
Of course, ten months is a long time in the world of edtech, and I’ve added some new tools and resources to my personal teaching toolkit, so I decided it was time to update the model and tweak it just a bit. The original article and interactive graphic can still be found on this blog. Here is the new post:
Technology is a tool that can be used to help teachers facilitate learning experiences that address the diverse learning needs of all students and help them develop 21st Century Skills, an idea supported by the Common Core.
At it’s most basic level, digital tools can be used to help students find, understand and use information. When combined with student-driven learning experiences fueled by Essential Questions offering flexible learning paths, it can be the ticket to success. Here is a closer look at three components of effectively using technology as a tool for digital differentiation.
The goal is to design student-driven learning experiences that are fueled by standards-based Essential Questions and facilitated by digital tools to provide students with flexible learning paths.
Click on the tiny circles in the graphic for more information.
Flexible Learning Paths
Teacher as Facilitator
I have been creating a lot of student projects that use ThingLink as a tool for learning. I have also received a handful of questions from teachers who are highly interested in facilitating a similiar project of their own, but need help with the management involved.
“With so much active student engagement, how do you manage a project like this?”
To answer that very good question, I used MentorMob to create a playlist to guide the project you see below. The playlist takes you and your students through the step by step process of managing the work flow and collaborative group roles, integrating some free and user friendly web 2.0 tools to facilitate the learning process, building the project and turning it in.
A Guided Playlist to Facilitate the Project
The Final Project
Adapt the Playlist to Launch Your Own Project:
If you think a playlist like this will help you facilitate this type of active and engaging student project, you can make a copy of it for your own use, then edit it to fit your project. You will find the option to copy at the top of the page when you are viewing the playlist.
Check out more project
examples on the ThingLink Toolkit
Tag Galaxy is a Cool Tool to visually explore word relationships. Just type in a term and watch a 3D orbiting galaxy of words and their associations evolve Click on any word to move it to the center of the galaxy, then click on it again and watch the globe populate with tagged images from Flickr.
Uses in the Classroom:
- Project Tag Galaxy on a wall to help students visualize vocabulary words, ideas and concepts.
- Display Tag Galaxy on an interactive white board and let students touch the globe and explore.
- Use the photos to prompt creative writing.
- Engage students in a guided visual search.
- Start a discussion about word relationships
I’ve always been interested in new ways to view and think about Bloom’s Taxonomy and the folks at Learning Today have created a poster worth sharing. To help teachers get thinking about ways to apply Bloom’s higher-order thinking skills in the classroom, they’ve put a spin on the traditional hierarchy and limited the number of verbs in each section to create The Blooming Orange.
They’ve popped Bloom’s verbage into the segments of an orange and intentionally depicted it as a circle to illustrate the fact that often these skills do not occur in isolation, they often occur simultaneously. This Blooming Orange presents itself as a teacher-friendly tool for planning and possibly an easier way for everyone to think about Bloom’s. Be sure to click on the link below to visit the Learning Today blog and print a copy of this poster to hang in your classroom.
Text Compactor is a free online tool for summarizing and simplifying text. It is extremely user-friendly and requires no login so it’s a perfect tool for students to add to their own toolkits of resources.
Just copy and paste some digital text into the box, use the slider to determine the percentage of text you want to end up with, and view the simplified text.
Use it as a tool to help struggling readers of all ages. Try it at textcompactor.com.