Educators need to practice continuous improvement and integrate new tools and skills into “new” post-COVID learning environments and post-pandemic learning

How you can bring pandemic tech into post-pandemic learning

Educators need to practice continuous improvement and integrate new tools and skills into “new” post-COVID learning environments

Embedding Videos in Assessments::  Before COVID-19, teachers were moving away from the old model of using video in the classroom.  In the post-COVID world, teachers definitely do not have the time to show a video for 30 minutes!  So, I’ve found that educators are using their time more efficiently by pairing their assessments with video.  One edtech resource that allows this is the award-winning Discovery Education platform.  

With this tool, you have the ability to embed “quiz” questions into videos or video clips. These video quizzes can then be assigned to your students. I have found, however, that they are most powerful when launched “live” in class. Students go to their DE accounts and join the live activity with a code. Some of my most insightful class discussions this year have been sparked by these live video quizzes. The students love the immediate feedback they receive at the end of each quiz. They can view their total number of correct/incorrect answers, AND they can view each question individually with the correct answers.  In my state, the Discovery Education platform is available through our Department of Education and several other states have similar agreements as well.  Check with your principal or school administrators to see if you have access in your school.

Collaborative Multimedia Projects: Allowing our students to work together either in partner pairs or small groups to complete a multimedia project related to a particular unit of study was important during the “learn from home” era and can still provide powerful insights into student understanding or misconceptions about a topic. Many resources such as those found in Google (Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Drawings, etc.) allow for students to “share” with one another so that multiple students can contribute to the same document or presentation. That feature came in very handy during our remote learning days when we wanted our students to work with a group. It was nice to have some semblance of student collaboration during remote learning, however something was definitely missing.  The students were missing those meaningful discussion opportunities that arise in face-to-face collaboration. Students were able to complete their collaborative projects, however the projects were lacking that personal, creative touch that comes from students bouncing ideas off one another in the traditional classroom.

We can still use those great collaborative resources we came to love during remote learning, and now we can capitalize on the students’ abilities to interact with one another to create more powerful products. Rather than just have a group of students create a Google Slides presentation on a topic, why not allow them to “present” their project in video form using an extension such as Loom? Students would literally be given a “voice” to show what they know! In addition to the research students put into creating their presentations, they are challenged to tap into their creative sides to develop speaking parts for their video presentation. Allowing students to present in video format also provides more reluctant students to feel comfortable speaking without fear of “messing up” in front of the class. We can ALL appreciate the opportunity for retakes!   I try to strategically group my students when preparing for projects so that each group of 2-3 students represents varying technology skills levels. In the in-person classroom, I take into consideration how DIFFERENT personalities and academic abilities might compliment one another, as the interpersonal interaction is key. Yes, the overall goal is for students to display understanding of the curriculum content.  However, I also strive for students to work on their “4C” skills and learn something new from one another that might benefit them as they create future projects on their own.

At the onset of the pandemic, school systems worldwide made unprecedented investments in educational technologies and worked hard to provide educators the professional learning to use them effectively.  These resources’ utility has not ended.  As educators, we need to practice continuous improvement and find new ways to integrate our new tools and skills into the “new” learning environments of the post-COVID world.

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