Checked into Ongoing Reporting Collective - 2018 Day Two
I attended a day recently looking into ongoing reporting. It included a presentation from Hilary Hollingsworth from ACER discussing her work with the Centre for Assessment Reform and Innovation. She discussed their focus on exploring new thinking relating to communicating growth, as well as possible alternatives to traditional reporting. ACER’s areas of interest are the existing policies, existing electronic systems, existing practices, the alignment with teaching and learning, what works and what stakeholders actually need. The method involves a desk review, collection of artefacts and scoping commerical tools. The intent is to design a map of possibilities, rather than a single ideal reporting solution.
Liked Mulling Time by Emily Fintelman (Mrs Fintelman Teaches)
The topic of what good professional learning looks like is always contentious. Some of us love to sit and listen and soak up some new knowledge from a great speaker. Others argue that the best professional learning happens in schools with colleagues through inquiry, observation and dialogue. I thin...
Bookmarked Professional Development Gets Personal : Stager-to-Go (stager.tv)
Gary Stager provides a series of tips for PD success in a recent article for the Hello World magazine:

Ask participants to take off their teacher hats
and put on their learner hats!
Expect the impossible, and your students will
surprise you.
Whimsy, beauty, playfulness, and mystery are
powerful contexts for learning.
Focus on powerful ideas, not step-by-step
mechanics.
Offer maximum choice in projects and processes.
Establish an absence of coercion. Operate under
the assumption that your students want to be
there. “Nothing beautiful can ever be forced.”
– Xenophon
Supply sufficient materials and time, quality
work takes time and you don’t want people
waiting around for materials.
Papert teaches us that the best learning results
from hard fun.
Less us, more them. Provide a minute or two of
instruction, suggest a prompt or challenge, and
then shut up. The more agency one can bestow
upon learners, the more they will accomplish.

Checked into Flipping the Learning
This is a collection of instructions that were turned into a blog, located at: flippingthelearning.global2.vic.edu.au

Here is a PDF copy of the resource, which includes screenshots.

 

Starting a Blog

The term blog derives from ‘web log’ and was initially coined to describe “discrete entries (posts) typically displayed in reverse chronological order.” There are many different platforms out there, each having their benefits and negatives. What does not change is the focus presenting mixed media, including video, text, images and audio. Blogging provides many opportunities.

Kathleen Morris discusses a number of benefits, including home-school connections, authentic audiences, developing a classroom community and ICT skills. Here is a guide to starting a blog with Global2:

  1. GLOBAL2 HOMEPAGE: Go to the Global2 homepage (http://global2.vic.edu.au) and click ‘Log In’ in the top left hand corner.
  2. LOG IN: If you already have an account, enter your credentials and sign in. Otherwise, click ‘Register’ to sign up for a new account.
  3. REGISTER AN ACCOUNT: Enter a username, valid email address and decide if you want to start a site or just create an account. Usernames can only contain lowercase letters (a-z) and numbers, while the email account used must relate to your educational institution, for the domains associated with state and Catholic schools have already been entered into the system. It is important to think about what personal information is posted online and this starts with a username. You are also required to agree to the terms of service listed.
  4. CREATE A SITE: The next step is to create a web address and site title. The address must be at least four characters long and include a mixture of letters and numbers. There is also a range of privacy settings to help define the audience of the site. The department recommends the ME WE SEE model in breaking down these differences. Other than the address, the rest of this information can be changed at any point (Settings > Reading). Therefore, it is a good idea restricting permissions to just the owner until comfortable in sharing with the world.
  5. DASHBOARD: Once signed up and/or signed in, users are taken to dashboard. From here it is possible to do many things, including creating a post, uploading media and installing plugins.

Embedding Third-Party Content

A number of web services allow users to insert content. This can be useful in enhancing your site, without adding additional plugins and functionality. Here is a guide to embedding content with Global2:

  1. CREATE NEW ENTRY: Go to the top of the blog and click on ‘new’. This entry can be a post, wiki or page. They all allow embedding.
  2. EMBED CONTENT: There are two methods for embedding content with Global2:

INSERT URL

Edublogs builds on the code to automatically embed content from some services, including Flickr, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Scribd, SlideShare and Pinterest. (See this Edublog post for a full list of sites and steps involved.) This involves pasting the full URL on a separate line and making sure that it is not hyperlinked.

 

INSERT EMBED CODE

For services not supported, you can use an embed code to add content. To do this, go to ‘Add Media’ where you can paste in the embed code.

 


NOTE: One of the benefits of an actual embed code is that you can directly adjust the various attributes, such as height and width. It is also possible to paste the code in directly using the text editor as opposed to the visual editor.

Podcasting

Podcasting is a means of capturing multimedia via RSS and taking the content with you. Although it is often associated with audio, it includes video as well. This content can be inserted via the media library, listing this as a podcast provides a feed that is searchable, subscribable and downloadable. One of the challenges is finding a service to manage this process. Global2 provides a plugin which supports this task.

 

  1. INSTALL PLUGIN: Go to Plugins menu and search ‘podcast’. Once found, activate the podcast plugin.
  2. SETUP ACCOUNT: A new sub-menu is added to the Settings menu (Settings Menu > Podcasting). Open this and work through the various options, including title, summary, tags, categories and player options. Once everything is complete, press ‘Save Changes’.
  3. ADD MEDIA: Create a file and upload this into the media library by clicking ‘Add New’ in the Media menu. Copy the URL associated with the uploaded file.
  4. CREATE POST: Begin a new post. There is a space at the bottom of the editor to paste the link to the media file. Once added, assign author and keywords associated with the file. Then click ‘Send to Editor’ to add shortcode into the post and publish to finish.

NOTE: Although podcasts can be both audio and video, the maximum file upload for Global2 is 50mb which limits the use of video.

 

Making a Class Blog

Blogs can provide a means for managing a whole class to collectively engage in learning. Watch this video from Sue Waters for a short introduction:

Unlike other spaces, such as Google Classroom or Edmodo, blogs can also provide more control over content. Using a theme like Houston also provides a useful introduction to social media. Here is a step-by-step guide to setting up a class blog:

  1. CREATE A CLASS: Identify a site to act as a hub. This might be a new site or a pre-existing one. Once decided, ‘Create a Class’. This is done via the My Class menu (My Class > Create a Class).
  2. SET UP CLASS SITE: Work through the settings. First, confirm the site is to become a hub. Then decide how this site will be used, whether posts and comments will be moderated and the privacy settings applied to all the blogs.
  3. BONUS – CREATE STUDENT USERS AND BLOGS: When creating student accounts and new users, it is important to consider the details that might be provided through the username and URL. A simple rule to follow is to avoid putting three pieces of personal information, this includes things such as tagging names on photos in the metadata. Edublogs provide further suggestions here.

NOTE: In addition to students, teachers can be added to multiple student blogs via the Users Menu (Users > Add New).

Creating a Shared YouTube Channel

Although individuals can have a channel where content is posted, another way of collaborating is through a Brand Account. With multiple owners, there is no need for a separate username or password.

  1. CREATE A NEW CHANNEL: Go to overview in the settings and create a new channel (YouTube Settings > Overview > Create a New Channel). As with any channel, there is a requirement to verify the account.
  2. ADD USERS: The difference between a brand account and a personal account is that multiple users can be added to a brand account. To add users, go to Add and Remove Managers (YouTube Settings > Overview > Add and Remove Managers). This takes users to the myaccounts.google.com page where they are able to adjust the information attached to the account.
  3. SETTING PERMISSIONS: There are three roles associated with users attached to a brand account. Owners control all aspects of the channel, while managers can add videos. Communication managers have no privileges associated with YouTube. This is a role associated with other platforms, such as Google+.

NOTE: The other way of setting up a brand account is by transferring the content associated to an existing Google Account. To do this, users go to YouTube Settings. In the settings, choose to Move channel to Brand Account. Users are then required to select the Brand Account they would like the content transferred to.  This can be useful if starting from scratch or wanting to transfer ownership.

Adding Media

Beyond adding text, links and formatting, there are a number of options for adding media to posts and pages. The first step is to upload the files to the media library. There are several ways to do this:

  • When you click + New at the top of the page, there is the option to add media.
  • At the top of the Post and Page pages there is an Add Media button
  • If you are in the Media Library there is an also an Add New button.

NOTE: In regards to media, you can upload documents, videos, audio, images and a few other formats, such as .xml and .kmz. The maximum file size allowed is 50mb (a particular constraint when it comes to video), while there is a 2gb limit for the site overall. You are also able to add a range of information, such as title, caption and description, as well as apply basic edits to images. Other than embedding a media player to play video and inserting images, media is added as a link within the text.

Plugins

Plugins are small applications which extend the functionality of the site. This is what differentiates Global2 and WordPress from other content platforms.

 

There are a number of plugins available, including those addressing appearance, forms, media, administration, social media and widgets. Here is a guide for adding a plugin to a site:

  1. PLUGIN MENU: Go to Plugins menu. This can be accessed via the Dashboard.
  2. EXPLORING PLUGINS: There are a range of categories that allow users to focus their search. Otherwise, there is the option to type keywords into the searchbox.

Some plugins available include:

Categories Name Description
Appearance Custom CSS Enables users to modify the theme by adding a custom stylesheet
Supreme Google Webfonts Provides the option to change font type and size within the visual editor
Table of Contents Automatically adds a table of contents to posts, pages and sidebars.
Media VR Viewer
Meta Slider Enables the addition of a slideshow to posts, pages and sidebars.
Podcast Enhances WordPress’ existing audio support by adding iTunes feeds, media players, and an easy to use interface.
Posts & Pages Embed Any Document Allows users to easily embed any document into posts and pages.
TinyMCE Advanced Provides extra features to the visual editor and organises them using a series of menu tabs.
AddThis Social Share Adds a series of share buttons to the base of every page and post.

See Edublogs for a complete description of what is available. This also includes links to additional support pages for each.

ACTIVATE PLUGIN: Once a plugin has been chosen, activate it to add it to the site.

ADJUST SETTINGS: Most plugins provide additional settings to adjust. These are either housed within the Settings menu or as a menu themselves.

Embed 360 Content

Although Google allows you to contribute to Google Maps, there are times when you may not want this content to be posted publicly. The VR Viewer plugin allows you to embed your own 360 content into a post.   

  1. CREATE A 360o IMAGE: Using a mobile device, capture a 360o photograph to a desktop computer. Google have a list of tools and applications that can be used.
  2. ACTIVATE VR PLUGIN: Go to Plugins menu and search ‘VR’. Once found, activate the VR Viewer plugin. There is no menu associated with this, activating simply builds the functionality into the site.
  3. UPLOAD 360o IMAGE: Upload the 360o image into the media library by clicking ‘Add New’ in the Media menu. Copy the URL associated with the uploaded file.
  4. EMBED WITHIN A POST: Switch to the text editor and paste in the follow shortcode [vrview url=”{URL}” stereo=”false” width=”100%” height=”400px”], replacing {URL} with the URL associated with the uploaded file.

NOTE: If you wish to add an existing Street View image to a post, Google provides an embed code. This is found in the top left corner of any Street View. Personal images can also be contributed to Google Maps. Go to the menu in Maps and click on ‘Your Contributions’ to upload.

Organising Resources with Awesome Tables

The Awesome Table website defines it as so:

Awesome Table lets you display the content of a Google Sheet into various types of views: From a simple table to people directories, Gantt chart views, Google Maps, card views… There are many possibilities to suit your personal and professional needs. With it, data in Sheets are shown in a more functional way and can be shared with viewers.

From a flipped point of view, Awesome Table can provide a way of organising resources and then embedding this dynamic table somewhere:

  1. GO TO SITE: Sign into Awesome-tables.com with your Google account. This will then link with Google Sheets.
  2. CHOOSE A TEMPLATE: Preview the different templates provides and once happy, click Use Template to create a copy.
  3. INPUT THE DATA: Open the Spreadsheet attached to the template. There are two sheets tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet: data and template. To use the basic template as is, delete the dummy data and add your own. Depending on the template selected, you may need to refer to the support site for information related to the upload of specific elements such as images.
  4. CUSTOMISING TEMPLATE: If there are fields that you do not want built into the template, then you can change the headings in the Data sheet. However, make sure that you do the same within the Template sheet.
  5. SHARING AND EMBEDDING DISPLAYS: Once complete, it is possible to both share a link to the display or embed it using an iframe.

NOTE: It is possible to really customise an Awesome Table or even start from scratch. For those wanting to go down this path, there is a support site with a range of documentation. John Stewart has also written a useful introduction.

Resources

Flipped

Flipping the Teacher – Steve Wheeler provides an introduction to ‘flipped learning’.

Flipped Learning Simplified – Jon Bergmann thoughts and advice associated with flipped learning.

Joel Speranza – A blog collecting a number of tips and tricks to support teachers with flipped learning.

Mister Wootube – Eddie Woo provides a wide array of a ‘not quite’ flipped classroom videos, where he captures the learning moment as it happens.

Virtual Reality

Connecting Classrooms with Google Module – A unit exploring resources from Google that assist with connecting classrooms including Virtual Field Trips, Expeditions and Google Arts and Culture.

Create Street View in a Snap – A collection of resources associated with creating your own street view.

(Un)folding a virtual journey with Google Cardboard – Clay Bavor provides an update on the take-up of Google Cardboard.

VR in the Classroom: Early lessons learned from Google Expeditions – Google I/O 2016 – Google Expeditions team will share what they’ve learned about making compelling VR apps for the classroom

A list of all available Expeditions – A curated list of all the available Expeditions.

Weekly Teacher Tips for Using Google Expeditions in the Classroom – A weekly set of tips provided by Google around the use of Expeditions.

Tool Review: #GOOGLEEXPEDITIONS Virtual Reality App and Getting Real? Google Cardboard and Virtual Reality in Education – Bill Ferriter and Ronnie Burt provide reflections on Google Cardboard and the virtual reality experience.

Creating Virtual Reality Content in Minecraft with Year 4 – Lee Hewes explains how his students created virtual reality content within Minecraft.

Is Using Google Cardboard for the Classroom Anything More Than a Gimmick? – Rachel Jones provides a useful critique of Google Cardboard and questions what it has to offer.

Virtual Reality is not just another #EdTech toy – Richard Wells shares how VR is making a difference in his school.

How #VR Storytelling could help schools – Richard Wells provides a summary of activities and actions associated with VR.

YouTube

YouTube Course – A unit exploring unit, exploring searching for suitable content, subscribing to channels, setting up a playlist and creating a channel.

Creator Academy – Learn tips from savvy creators as they showcase their secrets and level up your YouTube skills with Creator Academy lessons

Creating Video Content – A post unpacking some alternatives to creating video outside of YouTube.

Nat and Friends explains what happens to a video after you upload it and when you watch something.

197 Educational YouTube Channels You Should Know About – A collection of channels organised into subject areas.