Friday, July 5, 2019

5 Innovative Ways to Use FlipgridAR

I was super stoked to hear that Flipgrid has made augmented reality available on their platform!  Yes, you heard me correctly...FlipgridAR is a thing and I can't stop thinking of ways that this will enhance the learning experience for so many students!

In order to use FlipgridAR, you just need to make sure that you have updated the app and that you are using a device that supports augmented reality.

I'm sure that you can think of so many ways that this can work in your classroom but just in case you need a few ideas to get started, here ya go...

1.  Home Connections - Attaching a Flipgrid video to an assignment gives you, as an educator, a way to attach personal messages, instructions, or information to things that are sent home.  Create a grid or topic just for you to record videos for home.  You might include an instruction video so parents will know how to help with homework, a sweet message for the parents of a student that made a good choice, or details about an upcoming field trip.  Recording a video gives you a chance to personalize your message and share details in an innovative way that will build relationships between the classroom and home.

2.  Genius Hour Pitches - I often suggest that teachers allow students to pitch their Genius Hour projects on Flipgrid so that they can receive feedback from those that see the videos.  With FlipgridAR, you could create a space and have students place the QR code to their pitch on this wall or bulletin board.  When students have extra time, they can scan and view each other's pitches and consider giving feedback.  I'm a baseball fan so I like the idea of calling this The Bullpen because this is where pitches are thrown (see what I did there?).

3.  Book Reviews - Knowing what a peer thinks about a book is sometimes enough to cause a student to want to check it out.  I know that I enjoy watching Netflix after I've heard someone talk about a specific movie or series.  There's just something about watching something that we can talk about later or maybe I just like being "in the know".  Either way, kids are no different.  Attaching a Flipgrid QR code to the front of a book and allowing students to scan that QR code and use augmented reality to view the video of their peer's review is a great way to make this happen in the classroom.

4.  Kindness Counts - I think it's so important to make kindness and empathy a priority in the classroom.  Our learners need opportunities to be intentionally kind and empathetic toward others and the classroom is the perfect place to make this happen.  Create a Kindness Counts grid on Flipgrid and allow students to hop on when they have something nice to say about a peer or another teacher.  After recording their video, they can print out the QR code and place it somewhere specific or just somewhere that it will be seen.  I would be willing to bet that seeing a video with a kind message will bring a smile to anyone's face!

5.  Give Directions or Modify Work - I had several students in my classroom that needed to hear the directions read aloud several times or needed the directions broken down in order to understand what they needed to do.  I also had learners that needed their tests or assignments read aloud as part of the modifications that were to be provided in the classroom.  For some, this was not something that they enjoyed because it embarrassing for them to ask for something to be read again or for directions to be repeated.  As an educator, you can simply create a video or several videos of the directions broken into smaller pieces and use the QR code to attach those videos to the work.  When students need to hear the directions again, they can use headphones to watch the video rather than asking over and over again for things to be repeated.  The same can be true for things that need to be read aloud.  Create the video reading the selection or material and attach the QR code to the printed version.  The learner can scan the QR code to hear you read along with headphones making it more discreet and less of a distraction for others that are in the room.

* Be sure to find out if this is an option as far as modifications go.  Sometimes, you must do in the classroom what is going to be done on the day of standardized testing.  This is simply an idea for those that are able to make this work in their particular situation.

I hope that this is helpful and I hope you are as excited about FlipgridAR as I am.  This is a gamechanger and has the potential to make learning even more meaningful for today's learners.  Check it out and feel free to comment below with the creative ways that you are using FlipgridAR in your classroom.

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Thursday, July 4, 2019

Book Creator + Wonderopolis = Creating a Book of Wonders

Okay, obviously I'm obsessed with Book Creator right now.  Today I sat down to create a Book of Wonders.

I often recommend Wonderopolis for educators that need something for early finishers or those that have already mastered what is being learned.  I've also suggested that they implement Wonder Wednesdays and give students an opportunity to explore Wonderopolis and learn based on their curiosity. 

If you haven't seen Wonderopolis before, let me introduce you.  I am such a fan of their work and used it in my own classroom almost every single day.  I love that students can learn new vocabulary, practice comprehension, and dive deep into a topic of their choice all on this one platform.

I also think that giving students an opportunity to explore wonders of their choice gives educators an opportunity to see what that student is interested in and what they prefer to learn about.  This is just a great way to get to know your learners.

Creating a Book of Wonders gives your students a place to document their learning from Wonderopolis and gives you an opportunity to see what they are exploring and learning about at a glance.  These books can be shared with family members so that they can ask questions at home as well.

So, what does this look like?  How can you use this in your classroom?  Check out the video tutorial below to learn more.  I hope this helps and is something you can implement immediately into your own classroom.

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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The 6 Ps of Genius Hour + Book Creator

After coming home from ISTE, I was looking through several of my notes and realized that I hadn't spent much time in Book Creator.  Sure, I share it sometimes with educators and talk about how it can be used as a product creation tool for students, but I hadn't considered how it might be used for students to document their experience throughout Genius Hour.

Then, I was tagged in a tweet in which Krystle Bassett shared her ISTE takeaways.  She used Book Creator to share her thoughts and I LOVED it.  I couldn't help but begin to think about how this amazing resource could be used to organize and document the 6 Ps of Genius Hour, so I got to work right away.  

I have to share how easy this was to create.  I simply considered the things that I wanted to include and then created space for those things within my book.  The finished product looked something like this...

Click HERE to see the published book

So, how did I create this and how can you create a Genius Hour Book Template for your learners?  Check out the details below.

1.  Create an account or sign into as a teacher.
2.  Name your library.
3.  Create a new book.
4.  Choose your book shape.
5.  Design your book.
6.  Lock elements into place.
7.  Move book to library that is shared with your students.
8.  Share the library code with your learners.
9.  Instruct learners to make a copy of the book and add their content.

You can also use the Book Creator App and if your learners have iPads, you would simply share the template using AirDrop.  

Summer is the perfect time to begin thinking through what Genius Hour will look like in your classroom.  Creating a system that runs itself will allow you the time to make connections, create relationships, and weave standards and life ready skills into the projects that your students are working on.  

For more information, please visit my Genius Hour Page over on my website.

Consider how you might use this tool in your classroom.  Think beyond Genius Hour and how you might use Book Creator to create templates for other learning experiences.  The possibilities are ENDLESS!

You can create one library in Book Creator with 40 books.  In order to create even more books, you can upgrade to 180 books for $60/year or 1000 books for $120/year.  However, in order for each student in a typical classroom to create one book you can get by with the free version to see how you like it and how your students react to using the tool.  

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