Sketchnote and Twine Workshops

Our EDCI 336 class had another workshop with Rich McCue on Tuesday. This time Rich taught us about sketchnoting and the non-linear storytelling platform Twine.

Sketchnote is a form of note taking that uses visuals as well as words. The idea behind sketchnoting is that images tap into a part of your brain that would otherwise be disengaged during purely word for word note taking. A study completed by the University of Waterloo found that people were better able to recall information when it was combined with a symbol (word) and an image. Taking notes on a laptop, when combined with fluent keyboarding skills allows note-takers to document a lecture word for word, while taking notes with a pen and paper requires the note-taker to summarize the information. When summarizing information an image can be used as a memory hook that better enables the concept to be assigned to our long term memories.

Rich had us complete an Introduction to Sketchnoting Activity, where we started with basic drawings of nouns before moving on to images that represents concepts. Follow the activity above for some basic sketchnoting skills to produce your own sketchnote like mine below.

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Google images can be used as inspiration. Sketchnoting is fun, engages the whole mind and helps with concentration.

The 2nd part of Tuesdays class was spent working with an interactive, non-linear storyboard platform called Twine.

Twine is free and posts directly to HTML so you can create and publish virtually anywhere. It uses the basics of programming to build interactive stories which are very similar to a choose your own adventure game. Twine allows you to add sound and images to make your text based game even cooler! If you are interested in learning to code or develop your own game Twine is a great place to start. Check out the YouTube video below for a short Twin how-to.

Click here for Rich McCue’s Introduction to Twine that he developed to be shared!

Minecraft Edu

Tuesdays class changed the way I see the integration of technology in the classroom. Heidi James, a teacher from Colquitz Middle brought in a group of middle schoolers to teach our cohort how to play Minecraft. If you have spent any time around kids in the past 5 years you have probably heard of it. A widely popular game, Minecraft is an “open world game that promotes creativity, collaboration and problem solving”. Those nouns probably sound pretty familiar if you’re a BC educator, that’s because they are some of the core competencies in the new BC curriculum! Heidi uses Minecraft Edu, which is a classroom friendly version of Minecraft with features that allow the teacher to manage learners within the game, build challenges and choose or create students ‘worlds’. The Education edition also provides a 10 module training course and lesson plans. Heidi showed our class how game based learning is a student centered approach that incorporates prescribed learning outcomes with 21st century skills.

Mike Prosser – A map of my minecraft world -CC BY SA 2.0

Minecraft is an immersive game which means that it is technology that attempts to recreate attributes of the physical world within a virtual world. A 3D block landscape where participants create and alter the ‘world’ they are dropped into. Players collect and re-purpose the 3D blocks, building shelters and crafting tools like a pick axe, that allow your avatar to mine for granite or the coveted obsidian. As well as building and mining, players can explore, gather resources , build communities and even learn to code.

I have always thought of video games as an isolating past time but when played in a classroom setting the game has the potential to increase social interactions. Players need to work together in order to ‘survive’ and end up communicating to their team mates beside them, face- to face, developing strategies or telling them where the ladder to the next floor is.

Having the Colquitz team facilitate a Minecraft how-to was a great example of how we as future educators can empower our students, work with their interests and help them become digitally literate citizens of the 21st century. What an exciting time to be an educator.

Audio/ Video Editing Workshop with Rich

We had another workshop with Rich McCue today in EDCI 336, this time we focused on Video editing using iMovie, audio editing using garageband and screen capture using Screencastify. We learned how to import a video, then trim and cut it, and transition between parts. We also learned how to add credits and publish it. Using rockband we imported a song and then learned to trim, cut, delete and fade between audio segments. Audacity is another option that can be used on windows as well as Mac. This was my first time working with audio/video editing tools and I found it a bit overwhelming, but like all things I just need to spend some time practicing. Here is a link to Rich’s page with a step by step guide to working with the platforms above.

These tools along with screen capture could also be used by students to demonstrate their understanding of a topic, or, teachers could use these tools to make an online tutorial like Khan Academy and CrashCourse for their students that they can play after a lesson as a refresher. Technology can positively support a teachers role in the classroom so becoming techno-literate is a must for a 21st century teacher.

Here is a couple of ways your students can use video and audio editing software to enhance student learning.

It is important to think about equity when it comes to devices and the internet being used in your classroom. Using an app like iMovie restricts access to a students project. If they do not have access to a Mac device outside of school they would not be able to work or play using the skills they learned at school with iMovie. Tools like wevideo that are cloud-based and free provide access to students outside of school. Kids that may not have access to devices or internet due to financial circumstances would still be able to access their projects at the local library.

All in all though I think that it was great experience to practice using audio/video editing software. As education and technology mesh in a 21st century classroom, being techno-literate is a crucial skill all teachers will need to posses in order to be able to keep up with the next generation. After only 4 Edtech classes it is becoming ever more evident that technology has the potential to be a catalyst for learning, it allows student to express their creativity, show their learning and build understanding.

Video Conference with Ian Landy

Tuesdays class was my first experience with a video conference call, we met with Ian Landy, Principal at Edgehill Elementary in Powell River. Next time I will make sure that I get there early so that I am not in the front row, I was a bit uncomfortable with being on the big screen and the camera moving to wherever the sound was coming from seemed to have a mind of its own.

Ian talked to us about technology as assessment in the form of e-portfolios, fresh grade , just one example of a digital portfolio/ assessment platform (currently being used in SD61) provides educators with a way to report student learning rather than reporting student achievement (what the old fashioned report cards did). It allows teachers to document, capture and communicate learning to parents and students in a secure way, student data is stored in Canada but does spend a few seconds in the US. Through this platform teachers can also share resources and provide their students with formative descriptive feedback. All this capturing and documenting sounds like teachers would spend a lot of time using devices to upload student content, Ian suggested adding archivist as a class job which I think is a great idea that teaches students how to upload to their own e-portfolios. One thing that is great about e-portfolios is that it gives the students the opportunity to document and share their own learning, providing a sense of responsibility. Ian suggested scaffolding independent use of e-portfolios starting at around grade 5 or 6.

Each student comes to class with their own experiences and worldview, no two students are exactly the same so why would we assess them in the same way? As Ian pointed out ” we can’t compare students… E-portfolios allow for personalized achievement”.