How to Remotely Support Students Who Learn Differently — from by Erik Ofgang
A new distance learning toolkit offers best practices and advice to support students who learn differently

Excerpt:

The National Center for Learning Disabilities recently partnered with Understood to release a  distance learning toolkit for educators to support students who learn differently during the pandemic.

The need for such a toolkit is clear. One in five students learn differently, and there is evidence that students who struggle academically or utilize individualized support in school are more likely to fall behind during distance learning.

The toolkit builds on the lessons of a 2019 report Forward Together: Helping Educators Unlock the Power of Students Who Learn Differently.

 

 

Putting Your Best Self Forward: 6 Keys For Filming Quality Videos — from er.educause.edu by Jered Borup
The difference between a video that students watch and one that is ignored often comes down to a few, easily addressed factors.

Excerpt:

  • Key #1: Convey Your Voice—Is the audio clear, or is there background noise or reverberations in the room that distract from your message?
  • Key #2: Find the Light—Are you well lit with a light source in front of you, or are you backlit and/or have shadows on your face?
  • Key #3: Frame and Maintain Eye Contact—Are you about at arm’s length and eye level with the camera, or are you looking down or up at the camera?
  • Key #4: Stage—Do you have personal and/or interesting things in the background, or are you recording in front of a blank wall?
  • Key #5: Be Prepared and Natural—Are you speaking naturally in a way that conveys your interest in the topic, or do you sound somewhat robotic and/or scattered?
  • Key #6: Keep it Short—Is the video under six minutes?

This article is part of a series about incorporating asynchronous video into educational activities:

 

 

Look at the choice and control possibilities mentioned in the following except from Immersive Reader in Canvas: Improve Reading Comprehension for All Students

When building courses and creating course content in Canvas, Immersive Reader lets users:

  • Change font size, text spacing, and background color
  • Split up words into syllables
  • Highlight verbs, nouns, adjectives, and sub-clauses
  • Choose between two fonts optimised to help with reading
  • Read text aloud
  • Change the speed of reading
  • Highlight sets of one, three, or five lines for greater focus
  • Select a word to see a related picture and hear the word read aloud as many times as necessary

Also see:

All about the Immersive Reader — from education.microsoft.com

The Microsoft Immersive Reader is a free tool, built into Word, OneNote, Outlook, Office Lens, Microsoft Teams, Forms, Flipgrid, Minecraft Education Edition and the Edge browser, that implement proven techniques to improve reading and writing for people regardless of their age or ability.

 

Teacher, Are You There? Being “Present” in Online Learning — from er.educause.edu by Richard West

Excerpt:

Video technologies are part of that shift in helping online learners feel connected to teachers and peers. This connection comes from people developing the sense that they are “present” in the class, even if they are not physically in the same room. How is it possible to be present when you are physically separated?

 

 

Panorama Project Releases Immersive Media & Books 2020 Research Report — from panoramaproject.org

Excerpt:

The Panorama Project, a cross-industry publishing initiative, released today Immersive Media & Books 2020 a comprehensive market study that gauges the role of books and consumer engagement by age groups, ethnicity, and more.  This report contains survey data from 4,300+ pre-qualified respondents and was authored by Dr. Rachel Noorda and Dr. Kathi Inman Berens, faculty members of the Portland State University graduate program in Book Publishing.

 Data collection and analysis for Immersive Media & Books 2020 were conducted in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and represent Panorama Project’s ongoing commitment to research.  The report is rich with data, including graphs and tables to illustrate provocative findings that will stimulate discourse between publishers, authors, librarians, booksellers, thought leaders, advocacy groups and the media.

Panorama Project -- Data-informed insights on public libraries and their impact on book discovery, author brand development, and sales

 

ADDitude: Resources for families touched by attention deficit disorder (ADD/ADHD).

ADDitude: Resources for families touched by attention deficit disorder (ADD/ADHD)

Example article:

“I’m a Teacher with Nonverbal Learning Disorder. And I’m Exactly Who I Needed As a Child.” — from additudemag.com by Brittany Kramer
“I strive to create a classroom environment where my students know they will be successful, no matter what. It’s the environment I would have felt safe in as a child; one that is encouraging, warm, and free of judgment or anger.”

Excerpt:

“They tried to bury me, but they didn’t know that I was a seed.”

As a special education teacher for students with learning disabilities and developmental disorders, and as a neurodivergent individual myself, this quote defines my life.

I was formally diagnosed with Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) at 23 years old. As a child and teen, I struggled in ways that most people cannot possibly comprehend.

When people think of learning disabilities, they picture a child with dyslexia or dysgraphia who cannot read or write very well. They do not envision an intelligent and articulate child for whom tying shoes or making a paper fit into a folder is arduous at best.

 

Here Is A Great Reading App for Students with Dyslexia — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

Omoguru is an excellent reading app for students with dyslexia. It offers a wide variety of tools ‘designed to make the text more readable’. Some of these features include: tools to adjust text appearance and enhance its readability (e.g., letter spacing, line height setting, contrast setting colours, text size and weight), syllable marking (the tool allows you to mark syllables in different colours enabling readers to easily identify and read multi-syllable words), speed reading, and many more.

 

 

G Suite for Ed Gets New Name and Pile of New Features — from thejournal.com by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt:

Google announced a spate of changes to its education offerings, including a renaming of its education bundle of productivity applications and a limit to free storage for schools and colleges. Security and engagement updates are also being added to the education version of Google Meet, and Google Classroom will see enhancements later this year. The announcements came during a 90-minute virtual session on “learning with Google.”

A New Name
G Suite for Education has been renamed. Starting today, it’s known as Google Workspace for Education. 

Addendum on 2/24/21:

 

We want students to be creative, but how do we assess this? — from spencerauthor.com by John Spencer

Excerpt:

We know that creativity is vital for student learning. We also know that we tend to value the things we assess. However, when we assess creativity, we can unwittingly cause students to become risk-averse. So, how do we assess creativity in a way that encourages students to become more creative?

 

20 of the best free science apps for iPad & iOS — from teachthought.com by TeachThought Staff

Excerpt:

The ease-of-use and engagement factor of an iPad can really liven up a lesson.

Combine that with an app’s ability to simulate reality in br, such as chemical reactions, and you have a tool that is both safe and fun for your students.

Below, we’ve gathered 20 of the best free science apps currently available for iPhone/iPad/iOS. Note, many of the science apps below have in-app purchases but are free to download and use. The main criteria here was that it’s a science app and is worth using/teaching and learning with without making any additional purchases.

 

Excerpt from The Dialogic Learning Weekly #204 — by Tom Barrett • Issue #204

What, So What, Now What?
Three simple questions that pack a punch when explored together. Use this method when reflecting on a shared experience.

The precise split between what is observed and why it might be meaningful is powerful. It helps participants not get lost in the swamp of interpretation, too soon at least!

The outline of the steps below is from Liberating Structures.

  • If needed, describe the sequence of steps and show the Ladder of Inference (see below). If the group is 10–12 people or smaller, conduct the debrief with the whole group. Otherwise, break the group into small groups.
  • First stage: WHAT? Individuals work 1 min. alone on “What happened? What did you notice, what facts or observations stood out?” then 2–7 min. in small group. 3–8 min. total.
  • Salient facts from small groups are shared with the whole group and collected. 2–3 min.
  • Second stage: SO WHAT? People work 1 min alone on “Why is that important? What patterns or conclusions are emerging? What hypotheses can I/we make?” then 2–7 min. in small group. 3–8 min. total.
  • Salient patterns, hypotheses, and conclusions from small groups are shared with the whole group and collected. 2–5 min.
  • Third stage: NOW WHAT? Participants work 1 min. alone on “Now what? What actions make sense?” then 2–7 min. in small group. 3–8 min. total.
  • Actions are shared with the whole group, discussed, and collected. Additional insights are invited. 2–10 min.

 

 

Nearly three-quarters of pandemic affected parents feel students should learn subjects they’re passionate about, not those of little interest — from newswire.ca by Unschooling School

Excerpt:

TORONTO, Feb. 1, 2021 /CNW/ – A nation-wide survey of Canadian parents released today finds that nearly three in four of them (73%) believe the education system today would be better for students if it were structured to give them more choice and time to just learn those subjects and topics, they are either excited or passionate about.

Also, more than two-thirds (67%) want a school reset, so students learn more of the subject areas they’re passionate about and not those of little interest to them.

From DSC:
I feel the same way about many K12 systems here in the United States. Our youngest daughter — who has been studying at home this past year — has so much more energy and passion when we give her more agency to do the things that *she* wants to do and to learn about the things that *she* wants to learn about.

Learning channels of the future will provide us with more choice, more control.

And readers of this blog know that I’m all about the love of learning (or even liking it better), seeing as we all need to be lifelong learners these days.

The more we enjoy learning = The better, more fulfilling, enjoyable that our lives will be! (Not to mention how much more productive we’ll be as well.)

 

 

Five free keynotes on online learning for streaming into virtual conferences — from tonybates.ca by Tony Bates

These are the five keynotes:

  1. Developing quality blended learning courses
  2. Digital learning and the new economy
  3. New technologies and their potential and limitations for teaching and learning
  4. Ten lessons for online learning from the Covid-19 experience (based on research findings)
  5. Online learning in the (k-12) school sector

From DSC:
Thanks Tony for sharing these keynotes and your expertise — which is drawn from so much research and experience. Thanks for giving it away — may your gift bless many. (And I thought you were going to retire…?!? Selfishly, I’m/we’re glad you didn’t!)   🙂

 

8 Strategies to Prevent Teaching Burnout — from chronicle.com by Flower Darby
What can you do this semester to protect your well-being and support your students? 

Excerpt:

My takeaway? Don’t rely on your usual, in-person discussion strategies. Now is the time to think creatively about what works well online. So what else might you try?

  • Use chat box and polling frequently.
  • Offer individual reflection activities. For example, two or three times during class, ask students to write a five-word summary of the preceding section. Students can submit their responses in a private chat or as a text-entry assignment after class in your learning management system.
  • Provide a guided notes document, partial slides, or diagrams that students can annotate with their own notes during class, and then submit to you at the end of class in the LMS for participation credit.
  • Create a Padlet or Jamboard where students post key takeaways at the end of class. (Bonus: They can serve as useful review documents later in the term.)
 

From DSC:
I was reviewing an edition of Dr. Barbara Honeycutt’s Lecture Breakers Weekly, where she wrote:

After an experiential activity, discussion, reading, or lecture, give students time to write the one idea they took away from the experience. What is their one takeaway? What’s the main idea they learned? What do they remember?

This can be written as a reflective blog post or journal entry, or students might post it on a discussion board so they can share their ideas with their colleagues. Or, they can create an audio clip (podcast), video, or drawing to explain their One Takeaway.

From DSC:
This made me think of tools like VoiceThread — where you can leave a voice/audio message, an audio/video-based message, a text-based entry/response, and/or attach other kinds of graphics and files.

That is, a multimedia-based exit ticket. It seems to me that this could work in online- as well as blended-based learning environments.


Addendum on 2/7/21:

How to Edit Live Photos to Make Videos, GIFs & More! — from jonathanwylie.com


 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian