I am sure all of us have heard it one or more times that being a teacher is awesome because not only do we get the summers off, but there are those smattering of days throughout the year that seem to be ‘days off’ too. Little do they know…
My first foray into the world of Pro-D Days was spent at the Computer Using Educators of BC (CUEBC) conference in Burnaby. And it was very insightful if I do say so myself.
George Couros was the keynote speaker for the conference (and happened to run the last session that I went to for the day) and one of his messages was about “The Innovator’s Mindset”. As this image says, the innovator’s mindset is “the belief that abilities, intelligence, and talents are developed, leading to the creation of better ideas”. Essentially, this means that we should aim for and embrace change, in ourselves and in our education, so that we can lead ourselves to a better life (you can visit his website for more information about this. He’s written a book on it). And to not be afraid of technology either.
There are a number of things that I learned about today that I think would be wonderful to use in the classroom, both as a teacher and for our students use as well.
RSA Animate Style is a way to create classroom content in a creative way without having to be an artist at all (though you can draw your own images if you like). Students can make a presentation on any given topic, record themselves drawing or assembling the images, speed up the video time and cut out unnecessary parts to reduce the length of the presentation, and then record a voice over. A great example of this, is Zombies in Plain English.
If that seems like too much work (and it is a lot of work), another option you have is Explain Everything. Explain Everything is an app like RSA Animate styles, only the video will be in real time, a lot more user friendly, and can encompass nearly every subject, if not all of them.
Another option for digital presentations is Powtoon. This app means for you to use borrowed images to create your presentation before recording a voice over to share your facts.
I really like the idea of letting students present like this – though I do believe that there is value in standing in front of your peers and teaching them what you’ve learned, there are still some times when it would be great for them to collaborate and create this video projects for everyone to enjoy.
The other apps introduced to us that I won’t go into to detail for but think they are worth checking out are: Quiver and Chatterpix (I see a number of uses for Chatterpix, including a great way to do show and tell).
I highly recommend this conference to people if you get a chance to go next year!