ELB Education – Technology in Education Newsletter Term 3, 2017.
ELB Education – Technology in Education Newsletter Term 3, 2017.
Whether your students are aged four or fourteen, we’ve all seen technology captivate and distract in the learning environment.
One of the keys to using technology for the greater good in education (and at home) is to recognise the benefits of the digital age on the developing mind. While we can certainly attest to the power of a screen in soothing a fussy child or moody teen; interactive flat panel technology can also open possibilities for learning we couldn’t even imagine before. Let’s take a look at some of these:
Taking kids to new places
Children around the world can be linked through interactive technology. An emphasis on responsible global citizenship develops empathy, imagination, knowledge and unity in children and adults alike. Students in your classroom can connect live with students in other classrooms, create content for others to respond to, or explore new places using high-quality video and images.
Promoting independence and innovation
Interactive technology allows kids and teens to make their way through self-marking activities and linked learning opportunities. The possibilities are plentiful, from ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ tasks to creating a game for other kids to play. In our experience, any child who is encouraged to innovate using technology is a child better prepared for flourishing in our digital world.
We’ve seen this work beautifully in a History classroom, where students were given an end of semester project with a broad focus on what they had learned. These students created visually engaging, delightfully original and fascinating resources for other students to explore and learn from.
Tailoring learning to specific skills and interests
Is your child or student a keen artist? Let them explore their drawing using a touchscreen – their work can be saved and accessed whenever, and the variety of textures and colours available for them to use can be almost infinite.
Likewise, a child who is a keen mathematician can enjoy a variety of interactive games to extend their learning.
Optimism and an enthusiasm for learning new things are all you need to get started using interactive flat panels in your classroom. After all, support from other teachers and parents is only a click away – and we have advances in technology to thank for that!
Teachers often forget how tired their students can feel sitting down for much of the day. This is where brain breaks can prove helpful – and fun.
Prowise Presenter provides a range of tools and activities that can be used as a basis for 3-5 minute brain breaks during lessons. Keep reading for some ideas you can use in class today.
Click on the Tools icon – under Others you will find some tricky quizzes to test your geographical knowledge. Answer these questions as a class, celebrating with your favourite dance move when you respond correctly and commiserating with 5 jumping jacks when you’re wrong. This one is sure to get the blood moving!
Under Media, click Illustrations and Symbols. In The Arts you’ll find an illustration of a face with a variety of expressions – you can use this face as a base for your students to embellish with bowties, glasses, hats, facial hair, and more!
The hourglass tool can be found in Tools > Tools. Set the timer to 3 minutes and use this time to stretch, dance or take a walk around the classroom.
Not far from the hourglass, you’ll find the dice tool. We recommend setting the amount of dice to one and writing a brief list of dance or movement commands for the class to follow – for example:
1 – High-five another student.
2 – Cheer like winners!
3 – Clap three times.
4 – Jump on the spot four times.
5 – Walk to the other side of the room.
6 – Touch your toes.
Use the table tools available on Presenter 9 to host a quick, fun game as a mid-lesson break. We recommend the Art Game (spot-the-difference) and the Sequence Train.
Brain breaks are an excellent way to refocus and re-energise. Enjoy getting the most out of the wide variety of classroom tools available in Prowise Presenter!
To get started using Presenter’s touch table tools, first download the updated app for Presenter 9. The table tools will work for those with a Pro Account – contact ELB Australia if you’d like to purchase a Pro Account licence.
When Prowise Presenter’s touch table tools were released in February 2017, I spent an afternoon playing with, learning and enjoying the variety of new and exciting games available to use. While the table tools are all ready to go – and they look stunning, with especially crisp colours and graphics – a new classroom tool inevitably requires new boundaries for teachers to set and for students to learn. Below I’ve shared my top six tips for getting the most out of the touch table tools.
Thanks to Harper Collins Publishers Preservice teachers from Macquarie University were able to create digital lessons in Prowise Presenter based on the many beautiful texts that Harper Collins provided for the ELB Content Creation Workshop.
ELB Education organised the Content Creation Workshop for the Preservice teachers who had already participated in the Prowise Presenter 101 course. The participants are the first University students in Australia to be provided with free Prowise Presenter Accounts for the duration of their degree courses. They will be able to create digital lessons in Prowise Presenter which they can save to their accounts and use during their practicums.
This is an opportunity that Prowise Netherlands has made available for any Preservice teacher in Australia. Macquarie University’s Department of Education Studies saw the benefit of this offer and set up accounts for their Preservice teachers. They saw the advantage of Prowise Presenter being cloud- based and deployable on any device, interactive white board or interactive flat panel that the students might encounter on their practicums.
Like all educational technologies it is important to learn how it can be successfully used in the classroom and so the Preservice teachers have been participating in Professional Learning with the ELB Team. The ELB Training Manager, an experienced classroom teacher herself demonstrated all the features of the software and acted as a coach to the new teachers in designing highly engaging lessons.
When the Education Manager at Harper Collins heard that they would be creating content to share with other Australian teachers she was keen for them to use Australian literature texts. The students therefore had access to some of the best Australian authors and illustrators including Jackie French, Libby Hathorn and Bruce Watterly
From their syllabuses the Preservice teachers identified the outcomes they wanted to address and the appropriate approach to the text. Using the Prowise Presenter software they were able to craft lesson sequences, aligning them to the syllabus and developing a range of activities for their students. They could also access the Harper Collins’ and authors’ websites and link these to the lessons.
They were able to design the learning for their students creating collaborative activities and modelling specific text features. The Preservice teachers were asked to share their content with the ever increasing community of Australian teachers creating Prowise lessons.
The Global Community of Prowise teachers has now uploaded more than 1,000, 000 teaching resources as well for teachers to access. Teachers can also use the galleries that are part of Prowise Presenter, their own files and photos or simply search and bring videos and images from YouTube.
The quality of the learning that these teachers will be able to bring to the classroom has been enhanced through the Content Creation workshop and having access to outstanding literature texts. To learn more about free Prowise Presenter accounts or participating in a Content Creation Workshops contact as at email@example.com
The Saugus Union School District is located in the Santa Clarita Valley in Northern Los Angeles County and operates fifteen K-6 schools and preschool programs across sixteen campuses.
Currently, there are approximately 10,100 students attending fifteen schools with approximately 530 Pre Schooler children enrolled. The newest campus, Emblem Academy, was re-opened in the 2013-2014 school year with a focus on Ethics, Science, Technology, Engineering, Entrepreneurship, and Mathematics.
This year The Saugus Union School District leadership has decided to install Prowise interactive flat panels and Prowise Presenter software across the whole district. More than 400 panels, either the 65″ or 84″ Pro Line panels mounted on Prowise lift systems will be delivered, to Saugus schools by the end of November 2016.
Teachers will have access to the cloud –based Prowise Presenter software which will allow them to create digital lesson content, establish communities and share content across the district. Teachers will also be able to access more than 1,000,000 lessons created globally.
Using the Prowise Presenter software Saugus teachers will also be able to share their screen with any student device. Tools within the software allow for formative assessment and teachers can develop quizzes and assess student understanding at the point of learning.
The sixteen preschools campuses will also be able to take advantage of content being developed for the Early Years. For instance the Codewise Tool included in the software is complemented by a physical card game which enables very young students to understand the concepts of coding.
ELB US Inc., the North America, together with Prowise interactive technologies, will work with The Saugus Union School District to enhance student learning outcomes by implementing this exciting new classroom technology. Combining the very best in interactive education technology with quality training and professional development to support the strategic learning goals of the Saugus Union School District. Learn more here
A recent paper http://www.deansforimpact.org/program.html
published by the Deans for Impact summarizes the existing research from cognitive science relating to how students learn and connects this to practical implications for teaching and learning.
The paper sets out 6 main questions related to student learning:
Addressing these questions when choosing what technology to use to advance student learning can create a more refined set of decisions.
For each question the paper lists cognitive principles and practical implications for the classroom. The cognitive principles underpinning question 1 state that students learn new ideas by reference to ideas they already know. The implications for classroom practice are that there should be a well sequenced curriculum to ensure that students have the prior knowledge they need to master new ideas. It is crucial that teachers direct student attention to the similarities between existing knowledge and what is to be learned.
Students’ understanding of a new idea can be impeded if they are confronted with too much information at once. To assist with this teachers can use scaffolds to show the step by step process to perform a task or solve a problem.
Teachers often use multiple modalities to convey and idea e.g. they will speak whilst showing a graph however the report recommends that care is taken when showing for instance a slide or graphic that what you say as a teacher matches the information in the graph.
This advice is very useful for teachers in the creation of digital content. Using content creation software like Prowise Presenter a teacher can make explicit carefully paced explanations, provide modelling and examples so that students are not overwhelmed.
Teachers can attach accurate audio files to graphic information that students can view together or replay anywhere or anytime.
The content can also be differentiated by providing links to a range of content removing the idea that content is limited to age. Giving students access to a range of quality information is one of the best features of technology.
2. How do students learn and retain new information?
The first cognitive principle underpinning this question states that information is often withdrawn from memory just as it went in. We usually want students to remember what information means and why it is important, so they should think about meaning when they encounter to-be-remembered material.
Implications for classroom practice suggested by the paper recommend that teachers ask students to explain how or why something has happened or for students to organise material.
Using lesson creation software like Presenter teachers can design content for students to sequence efficiently many times. Using the Pro Connect function teachers can share their screen and ask for explanations from students. They can provide students with a set of sentences for students to order to construct meaning and re-share with the class. Narrative/stories and mnemonics which are particularly helpful can also be created digitally.
The second cognitive principles states that practice is essential to learning new facts, but not all practice is equivalent. Teachers can space practice over time, with content being reviewed across weeks or months, to help students remember the content over the long-term. When content is developed digitally and stored in the cloud teachers can return to student work as many times as required.
Teachers can explain to students that trying to remember something makes memory more long-lasting than other forms of studying. Teachers can use low- or no-stakes quizzes in class to do this, and students can use self-tests.
Using the ProConnect feature in Prowise Presenter teachers can make quick quizzes on the fly or at the point of need. They can use games and tools to also assist in memorising critical facts and figures.
Teachers can interleave (i.e., alternate) practice of different types of content. For example, if students are learning four mathematical operations, it’s more effective to interleave practice of different problem types, rather than practice just one type of problem, then another type of problem, and so on.
EdTech enables interleaving in a way not possible before. Quickly searching via YouTube or Google teachers can find images, videos and interviews podcasts to interleave these different types of content throughout their lessons.
3. How do students solve problems?
The cognitive principles underpinning this question state that each subject area has some set of facts that, if committed to long-term memory, aids problem-solving by freeing working memory resources and illuminating contexts in which existing knowledge and skills can be applied. The size and content of this set varies by subject matter.
The implications for classroom practice are that teachers will need to teach key sets of facts. For example, the most obvious (and most thoroughly studied) sets of facts are math facts and letter-sound pairings in early years. For math, memory is much more reliable than calculation. Math facts (e.g., 8 x 6 = ?) are embedded in other topics (e.g., long division). A child who stops to calculate may make an error or lose track of the larger problem. The advantages of learning phonics for reading are well established
There is a plethora of apps, Pinterest Pins, games, content which will do this for teachers and enable students to individually rehearse their skills on their own devices. Tools within the Prowise Presenter software can engage student’s individually, around a table or across the whole class students with fun collaborative activities to learn facts.
The second cognitive principle states that effective feedback is often essential to acquiring new knowledge and skills.
Good feedback is:
Using the share screen function in Prowise Presenter teachers are able to share their screens with all student devices enabling feedback which is “specific and clear” and focussed on the task. When students share their responses back to the teachers for collaboration, shared commentary there is an enhanced capacity through the use of technology too quickly demonstrate strategies for improvement.
4.How does learning transfer to new situations in or outside of the classroom?
The first cognitive principle here states that the transfer of knowledge or skills to a novel problem requires both knowledge of the problem’s context and a deep understanding of the problem’s underlying structure.
Classroom implications are that teachers can ensure students have sufficient background knowledge to appreciate the context of the problem. Using technology and digital content teachers can illustrate contextual information in multiple ways not possible when only using print.
The second underpinning cognitive principle states that we understand new ideas via examples, but it’s often hard to see the unifying underlying concepts in different examples. Within the classroom teachers can have students compare problems with different surface structures that share the same underlying structure. For example, a student may learn to calculate the area of a rectangle via an example of word problem using a table top. This student may not immediately recognize this knowledge is relevant in a word problem that asks a student to calculate the area of a soccer field. By comparing the problems, this practice helps students perceive and remember the underlying structure. This can be easily facilitated with digital content.
For multi-step procedures, teachers can encourage students to identify and label the sub steps required for solving a problem. This practice makes students more likely to recognize the underlying structure of the problem and to apply the problem-solving steps to other problems. Many lesson creation programs have labelling functions so students can be easily supported to do this.
Teachers can alternate concrete examples (e.g., word problems) and abstract representations (e.g., mathematical formulas) to help students recognize the underlying structure of problems.
All of this can be more easily achieved using digital content, because teachers can see the impacts on learning of the examples they have chosen, they can then save the most effective concrete examples and build up banks of alternate examples.
Questions 5 and 6 apply to building positive mindsets in classrooms and ensuring that teachers understand misconceptions or unsubstantiated theories of learning.
Papers such as this which are readily available on-line for teachers enrich their own professional learning and provide guidance for how they design for learning within their classrooms and make effective decisions in regards to using EdTech.
For more information about using EdTech in your classroom contact our ELB Academy.