Thursday, November 1, 2018

The One-Pager: Amalgamation of APPsmashing Awesomeness

The One-Pager
Amalgamation of APPsmashing Awesomeness

One of my favorite extracurricular activities is finding ways to APPsmash
multiple GSuite Tools to produce a collaborative, creative, student centered
lesson. APPsmashing is a way to bring in multiple tools, such as Google Docs,
Google Slides, and other Google friendly apps and meld them together to
create an amalgamation of awesomeness. One such lesson that I love to
implement multiple times a year is my “One Pager” activity. In this activity
I assign 3 to 4 current/relevant articles to my students from sites such as
NewsELA, and ask students to independently annotate the articles to dig
deep into the meaning of the text. This annotation can be done through
pencil and paper, or entirely in a Google Doc using add-ons and extensions
(See Redefining Annotation Blog) . Once the annotation process is complete
the students move on to the “One-Pager” Google Doc to collect their thoughts
and summations of the article. As the students complete this “One-Pager” they
gather into groups of 3 with other students who also read the same article. In
a group setting, the students then discuss their findings, difference, and similarities
in what the article was trying to convey. During this discussion students realize
that even though they were reading the same text, many of their takeaways from
the article could be completely different.


Once the articles are discussed, the group then creates a Google Slide
presentation/lesson on their findings. By allowing the students to share
this document and work collaboratively, each student's point of view will be
heard and the lesson will be created in a student's authentic voice. Once the
collaboration process is complete the students need to practice their
presentation, but how can this be done effectively so they can critique
themselves on their delivery? Screencasting, as I have discovered, is the
best way to go. By getting the Google Chrome extension “Screencastify”
students can record their screen and voice, then watch their presentation
to make adjustments to slides, timing of delivery, and the addition of more
visual resources. Once the students are happy with their presentation, we
add another layer of awesomeness by turning the Google Slide into an
interactive lesson via Nearpod. By using the Google Chrome extension
“Nearpodize” we can, in one click, transform our static lesson into an
interactive presentation. Through Nearpod we can add questions, videos,
drawing activities and more with the simple click of a button. Now the
students are not just listening to a presentation, they are becoming part
of the lesson. Through this “One-Pager” activity we are actively cultivating
the idea that students can become the creators of content, all the while
participating in a fun, collaborative, creative process.


In preparing for this lesson we have to remember, as educators using
multimedia and technology is a great addition to traditional methods,
but all technology should be looked at through the goals and
achievements you have in mind for your students. Going digital
does not mean to go 100% paperless, it only means to begin to
leverage the digital techniques our digital natives are already using
outside the classroom walls.  Many educators will continue to point out
studies that show pencil and paper allow for more measurable growth.
These studies may show writing notes to be more effective than typing
notes, but that is not what we are doing here. In fact the integration of
integrated/manipulable/hands on technology use is still in its infancy
and studies are just beginning. Data is hard to gather based on the
many variables at play with technology use such as the tools being
used, who is teaching/implementing the technology in the classroom,
and the activity being studied. Blended learning is the best model to
look at when implementing technology into the classroom.  Correct
use of technology in the classroom allows for the instructor to make
the learning more meaningful by allowing their students to interact
with the lesson, not just consume it. It allows the students to become
creators of content, not just a passive audience. When used correctly,
technology can become a powerful tool to enhance and empower
student growth. Anything new will cause pause in our community,
but remember no one ever became a leader by following the status
quo, and you can’t be a leader if there is no one following you.
Through implementing technology in the classroom we can consistently
uphold our mission as educators: To be lifelong learners and to prepare
our students for tomorrow, not just today.


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