Individual Learning Project

December 16, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Individual Learning Project

For my Individual Learning Project, over the course of the semester, I have tried a few different online technology resources that I can use with my classes. I have designed and implemented some of these digital learning and teaching aids. I have evaluated and reflected on my findings below.

There are two technology classroom applications that I will write about in this essay. The first is Google Forms, and the other is Kahoot. I have designed material and used these in my classes this year. There is a learning curve and some limitations but overall they are great teaching tools.

 

Google Forms (docs.google.com/forms):

This application can be used for many different content areas. The idea is that one can make a document that can be used as a questionnaire, quiz, test, or used as an exit ticket. The results are live and the quizzes can be auto-graded. Each question can be weighted with different points and individual sections can be set to be required to fill out before moving on. Each section can have a different type of response which includes giving a short answer, paragraph, multiple choice, checkbox, or a drop down list. This variety is nice and within a form, one can choose different types of responses within the entire form. For example, I can have the first 5 questions be multiple choice, the next requiring short answer, back to multiple choice for two more questions and then finish with a set of drop down answers. It is nice to have a variety of tests and makes it more engaging for students.

There are at least a couple of drawbacks that I can see using Google Forms. One is that each student must have a computer to take it which means that each student has access to the internet. It would be easy enough for a student to not know a question and flip over to the web browser to look up an answer and then jump back to the test. One of the other disadvantages that I can see is that the form is made public for students to see and take. This can be done by adding it to Google Classroom and then students can access it and take it. Making it public also allows other students to see it that may not have taken the test yet and look up the questions and find the answers to the test or quiz. Overall I see these as workarounds that I may have to accept or find a way around the issue.

I can see this online tool as being a time saver for grading certain tests that have the one or a few answers to choose from. It is also nice to have responses typed so that I can read their writing. Some students have nearly illegible handwriting.

Students will be able to have more assessments with quicker results which will result in more focused instruction from the teacher.

 

Kahoot! (https://getkahoot.com):

“Create, play and share fun learning games for any subject, for all ages, for free!” Kahoot is an online tool that I have used more of this semester and so far I like it. This teaching technology lets students use their phones in class and anytime they are allowed to use their phone is a plus for them. When I tell kids that I have a Kahoot planned, they are happy and excited. I think because it is more of a game with a winner, it gets them more into it.

Kahoot is an interactive game that needs one computer to show the question and answers and the students answer multiple choice responses and can be done with a phone, computer, or tablet. Just as with any multiple choice assessment, there is some time that goes into setting up the questions and the different answers. Kahoot is no different. It takes some time to set up the questions and answers but it is a lot more fun to take for students. Each potential answer corresponds to a color and shape. This makes it a little easier for some students to answer on their device.

At the end of the quiz, results can be published to an MS Excel spreadsheet for easy assessment later. The game can be set to have a clear winner that is posted after each question or not. It can be set up to act as a survey to get information too.

This new tool that I came across is by far the one that kids enjoy the most. They can have fun while learning and some students want to keep playing it after it is over. Having a quick response to the class and their understanding can help the teacher focus on ideas and concepts a little more if the quiz reveals that it is necessary. I will use more of this online technology in my future classes.

 

Reflection Summary

The learning environment for young students is changing so fast that if one does not keep up with it, they will be phased out and passed up quickly. Physical books are becoming a thing of the past. Online learning is moving in more and more. Flipped classrooms are being more common and nearly every student has a smartphone in class with so much information at their fingertips. I intend to try to keep up with the fast-moving technology explosion so that my students are learning with up to date methods and techniques. Tools like Google Forms and Kahoot are some of the digital instruction vehicles that are successful and necessary to stay in the game of teaching. I look forward to learning more digital teaching tools that can help me be in the game and stay in the game.

The images below are from Kahoot and Google Forms


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