Quizlet is a flashcard site, yes, but so much more! It’s cross-platform, that means that students can work on their iPads, their iPhones, their Android phones and desktops. Create your own card sets, search for set already created, search for a set from your course materials, or have you students create sets as part of their own review and practice.
It’s not just flashcards, either. There are a number of games students can play as part of their practice (the desktop version has more options than the mobile versions). The “Learn” activity is my favorite for spelling reinforcement. Targeted spelling feedback lets students know where their errors are. When students are having a difficult time with terms, adaptive training helps them focus on those items. You can even have the cards “read” to your students.
Create a class and track student progress when students “join” your class. Go a step further and embedded sets into ALEC, Schoology and other sites. Have students take notes by creating cards for key points. Use the Quizlet Live feature for a collaborative race to learn the material.
Use this as an assessment tool and let Quizlet create quizzes for you! Multiple choice, matching, true/false, Quizlet will create the quiz and let you proofread it before you print. Are you interested in going paperless? Save the PDF version of the quiz and upload it to Showbie*.
*For quizzing situations like this, I would recommend requiring the students to complete the quiz in Showbie and not allow them to open it and complete in Notability. Students are able to expand the PDF in Showbie for easier writing. When the quiz is over, lock it so students can’t share it with others.
As teachers, we have a responsibility to model and guide students as they dive into the online waters. That may spark the question: who is guiding us? Yes, the online world is fast-paced and we may feel like it is zooming past us, but you aren’t on your own. Last year we started offering Digital Citizenship workshop sessions. This year we’re doing that, adding monthly information in this newsletter, piloting a District Digital Citizenship course for staff and offering optional mini-workshops in March and April. We’re reaching out and hopefully catching you in a manner that best meets your schedule.
There are two main resources our building and District reference regarding Digital Citizenship: ISTE and Common Sense Media. Our freshmen are working through portions of the Common Sense Media resources in their Computer Apps courses. I encourage you to explore these resources as time allows. For them moment, I would like to share some “Teachable Moments” from ISTE’s resources as a what can I do in my classroom now piece.
You'll find this complete resource and the ASD20 poster that details these teachable moments based on ISTE's Essential Elements of Digital Citizenship.
Digital Learning Best Practices
Digital Learning Best Practices. That’s a pretty broad topic and can revolve around many aspects of the digital learning environment like teaching, materials, infrastructure, and professional development. For teachers, the focus should be on what do we want students to know and be able to do and how do digital tools help facilitate that. The tools we use exist to support us in instruction and are not the end in themselves. Still, this is a new path for many of us and the question may remain, what are digital learning best practices?
When considering digital teaching and learning best practices, you might want to ask:
There is a digital solution to meet your needs, have you discovered it?
See the “Digital Tool Checklist” in our Google Drive folder for guidance in choosing a tool.
Remember, if you’re using a tool that requires students to create an account (even if it’s free), please follow student privacy guidelines. This applies to clubs and sports, too.
Creativity in the Classroom
Creativity in the classroom. We want to see that happen, but sometimes it may feel like curricular benchmarks don’t allow the time for that. Sometimes we may think we need to be creative or that creativity itself needs to be taught. Creativity is one of the 4 C’s, the four skills determined as most important to prepare students for our global society by the Partnership for 21st Century Learning and the NEA. It’s a part of our Vision for Digital Learning. That doesn’t mean that we need to be the creative masterminds; we merely need to allow the opportunity and use of the tools which bring out the creativity in our students.
Sir Ken Robinson takes the position that we “teach for creativity.” He says that “the minute you get people to think visually—to draw pictures or move rather than sit and write bullet points—something different happens in the room. Breaking them up so they aren't sitting at the same desk and getting them to work with people they wouldn't normally sit with creates a different type of dynamic” (Azzam). He proposes that we encourage experimentation and innovation, that we don’t provide the answers, but rather provide our students with the tools to investigate and demonstrate their learning.
We have digital tools in our classrooms, in our hands, to help reimagine learning experiences. These tools are the perfect facilitators for encouraging creation, collaboration, innovation and the means for demonstrating understanding.
I am a Technology Integration and LMS Specialist by title, but lifelong learner in practice. An Apple Teacher, Google Certified Educator and Microsoft Innovative Educator, my goal is to assist educators in investigating and exploring resources to embed in their instruction. I also hope to be a part of their journey toward an innovative and transformative practice that empowers learners and strengthens their own craftsmanship. I spends my free time with my family, my dogs and a good cup of coffee.