Here’s an update of my journey into educational apps and websites…
What I love most about Biblionasium is that it is like a kid’s version of Goodreads, allowing students to add books to their virtual bookshelves, rate books, share reviews and recommendations, as well as work towards reading goals. There are lots of how to videos on Biblionasium’s YouTube channel for both educators and students to help them understand how to use all of the tools on the site. Here’s a quick video to show students what they can do.
So far my students have signed in and started logging the books they have read so far. I love that I can create reading challenges for my students, which work perfectly with the 40 book challenge we started at the beginning of the year. The 40 book challenge comes from “The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child” by Donalyn Miller. I love Donalyn’s perspective on how to encourage lifelong readers and providing students with choice while still encouraging them to try new things. If you haven’t read her books I highly encourage you to add them to your to be read list. The purpose of the 40 book challenge isn’t as much about reading 40 books as it is about reading more books and broadening the genres of books that students have tried. It is the hope that through the challenge students find even more types of books that they enjoy and share their love of books with others. My students have been logging their progress of the books they read and the challenge on paper, so they have transferred this into Biblionasium. Some students are still finishing logging the books into the challenge, but so far it’s working great. Both students and teacher’s can check out each others’ bookshelves and how their challenge is going. Below is an example of one way to view student’s progress towards challenges. This shows that the student has only two more books to complete this part of the challenge.
I am lucky that my school division decided to get an account for Biblionasium. What’s great about this is that Biblionasium is now linked to my school’s library. This means that when students look up books it will tell them if the school library has the book and if it is available (“IN”) or already checked out (“OUT”). I love this feature.
Since my school division has an account I didn’t have to set up an account for myself or my students. I did have one glitch along the way, but I don’t think this is a typical issue. When my students were entered into the classroom rosters, one of my students wouldn’t show up in my class roster, but would show up in the school’s roster. For some reason it wasn’t just an easy fix of clicking a couple buttons and adding him to my roster. So my school’s IT had to work with Biblionasium to figure out how to fix it. Thanks to these wonderful people this glitch has been fixed and now my student is part of our class group. Now that all my students are set up correctly the plan is for students to start sharing reviews and recommendations with each other about the books that they read. I hope that through sharing about books with their classmates it helps foster a love of reading and connecting with others through books.
I am very fortunate that my school division has provided me with a paid Flipgrid account. The school division bought Flipgrid accounts for interested teachers who are part of the connected educator program and any other teacher’s interested could apply for a paid account. This week my plan is to set up my students accounts and have my students create their first Flipgrid response. Although I haven’t started my students on it yet, I have started to collect ideas of how to use it through teachers sharing their ideas on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Here’s one from Twitter that I look forward to checking out:
It’s HERE‼The Educator’s Guide to Flipgrid FREE eBook 📗 2nd Edition
Packed full of resources 💡 to help you blast off 🚀with awesome ideas ⚡ and take flight 🛫 with NEW features 😎 @SEANJFAHEY #SolidGold #FlipgridFever 🔥https://t.co/ZcIdxkI8G4 pic.twitter.com/1HxSEoOhoJ
— Karly Moura (@KarlyMoura) February 9, 2018
I have been using Seesaw for about two years, but I don’t currently use all of the features. My students know how to create a variety of posts, so now I would like my students to start using the commenting feature. So this week we will be learning about what makes a quality comment and will be practicing using sticky notes to comment on paper assignments first. Once we understand how to comment appropriately, using digital etiquette, on paper form we will move towards the digital form.
I think it is important as a teacher that I model for my students a life long drive to learn. I have been attending digital PD about Seesaw since I became a user and continue to look for new ways to use it. If you are a new user or interested in using it check out their “PD in Your PJs” list of past professional development that includes videos and slides. If you click “Find a Session” you can register for live PD session coming up. I love that they have some longer PD as well as short 10 minute “Sprint” sessions.
I am loving Formative so far. My students now all have accounts and have completed a couple exit slips. They have completed an exit slip reflecting on their reading so far this year. As this was an open ended short answer type of exit slip there was no right or wrong answer. In addition, they have answered math questions about mixed numbers and improper fractions or patterns. For the math exit slip there was only one possible correct answer for each question, but I look forward to trying the variety of response options that Formative has. I am loving that once students submit I have the option to give them instant feedback showing them which questions they answered correctly and what the correct answer should be.
Here’s the student view example of one of the math exit slips
Here’s the teacher view of the exit slip. There is a drop down menu to choose the type of response option and a place to write a correct answer if applicable.
How Does My Project Fit Into Digital Citizenship?
As far as Mike Ribble’s Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship, my major project fits within the elements of digital communication, digital etiquette as well as digital security. Through these different apps and websites my students will be learning how to communicate in a variety of ways and use digital etiquette when viewing and responding to others posts. I will personally be diving more into digital security to better understand how these apps help keep students and their information safe when online.