Quizlet: Do You Need It? You Decide!

Study on the go, challenge your friends and engage your students with a fun and mobile quiz application.

Advertisements

Overview

Quizlet is an online study tool available on any device (desktop, iOS, and Android) for students and teachers to practice learning in an engaging way. Any age group of students can use Quizlet either in class, individually or with friends (see how they started).

Key Benefits:

    • Study on the go with Quizlet.
    • Encourage students to take ownership of their learning.
    • Promote in-class engagement using Quizlet Live.

Getting Started

To appreciate the benefits of using Quizlet, you will have first to create a study set and determine how you will deliver the content to the class using the many different study mode options. Below are two videos to help you get started using Quizlet.

Teaching Ideas

Idea 1 – Visual Knowledge Practice (K-12/Higher Ed)

Placing an image in any Quizlet study mode allows the student to review a picture and define what it is they see. An example would be a series of famous paintings from a particular art period where students are required to identify characteristics of the era or movement. The quiz could prompt them to determine the name of the artist’s style, the period, the artist’s name and name of the work. Students can add levels of complexity to their quiz questions as their knowledge on the subject evolves.

Idea 2 – Audio Knowledge Practice (General/K-12)

Using Spell study mode, students can review and test their vocabulary knowledge and “type what they hear” when they hear the audio. Users can also set up Quizlet to read descriptions of an object and have the student identify what it is that they hear labeled. Listening to audio allows students with accessibility challenges to participate and for all students to strengthen their listening skills.

Idea 3 – Vocabulary Strengthening (General/K-12)

Students studying vocabulary can review definitions or attributes of a word or phrase using Quizlet Flashcards. Images can be used to support student memory through repetition delivered in a fun game (remember images are only available in the paid versions). Adjectives can be provided to help students identify the word (noun) associated with the attribute. Students can use descriptive keywords in any language and can assist in strengthening their comprehension. Teachers can create their study sets or choose to explore other educator’s quizzes. Students are also able to search existing quizzes that may support their learning or decide to set up their own.

Helpful Resources

Quizlet.com | How Can Teachers Use Quizlet
A step-by-step guide to setting up your class on Quizlet

Edshelf.com | Quizlet Review
Video: Educator’s overview of Quizlet used for a secondary English class

Ditchthattextbook.com | Game Show Classrooms
Educator’s review of Quizlet, Kahoot and Quizalize features

PCMag.com | Quizlet Review
The pros and cons of using Quizlet

Cost

Free Version

  • Quizlet is available for free with a variety product features. Quizlet for free is available for desktop, mobile (iOS and Android) and is also available as a Google Chrome app.

Paid Version

  • Quizlet Plus is available for $19.99 USD/1 Year or 2 and 3-year discounted subscriptions. Quizlet Plus enables users to create their voice recordings, add their images, study over time with Long-Term learning and study ad-free.
  • Quizlet Teacher is available for $34.99 USD per year. School discounts are available for multiple users and larger groups. Quizlet Teacher enables teachers the ability to add their voice recordings, images and search teacher-created content. Additionally, teachers can use features for managing multiple class activity and student progress. Teachers with a Quizlet Teacher account will receive a specialized “Teacher” badge next to their user name, which means faster support when you need it.

3 Tips for Combatting Cyberbullying Through Empathy

pexels-photo-218413

The cyberbully is one who can attack anywhere, anytime and with complete anonymity. These bullies are not restricted to school playgrounds or back allies. One can be attacked anywhere they access their technology, even in the safety of their own home. Because the perpetrators of cyberbullying can hide behind the mask of technology, it can be difficult to provide justice and even reconciliation. How can we, as educators in our society, deal with this problem? Some suggest to teach empathy.

Empathy Is Tough to Teach But is One of The Most Important Life Lessons

Empathy is the process of identifying with another person, attempting to understand their perspective and relate to it. As part helping to eliminate hate, and working toward a more inclusive society, empathy is a must.  Is it possible to use the same technology used for hurt to also heal? With cyberbullying being such a big problem, can we teach empathy effectively to help diffuse and limit this destructive behavior? Though it is hard to teach how can we foster empathy online?

Studies have been undertaken to discover and test ways to lower the impact of cyberbullying and to encourage positive relationships through teaching empathy. The following sections sugges a beginning: 3 ways that educators can affect positive changes in cyber-relationships.

1. Intervention Over the Long Haul

Not surprisingly, the most important step in combatting cyberbullying is for bystanders (teachers, family members or friends) to intervene. In a study by Machackova and Pfetch (2016), it was discovered that providing empathy to the victims of cyberbullying had a positive result.  As educators, we can encourage our students to build healthy relationships and to support each other.

Teachers can find use lessons and units of study that help to foster positive online relationships and limit cyberbullying on sites like mediasmarts.ca.

Schultze-Krumbholz & Scheithauer (2009) found that short term intervention through lessons in class tend not to last. The results of their study showed that longer term intervention was the only intervention condition showing significant positive outcomes regarding cyberbullying perpetration. (p.153) Thus, teachers may find better outcomes through longer term planning of units that address cyberbullying and building empathy.

2. Modelling

It is not enough to teach students what empathy looks like, or how to provide it, teachers must demonstrate it and engage in it themselves. In an article about teaching in online environments, Fuller (2012) states that having an empathetic environment for learners requires instructors to practice it themselves. This will look different, depending on the level of education. An example in online environments might be to make frequent contact with students through selective discussion board postings or regular email contact. The key is to connect regularly and frequently, especially early on to build trust. (p. 43)

3. Exploring Empathy Through Gaming

Role playing and the use of drama have been explored to foster understanding through multiple perspectives. Online gaming can be used to provide students with fun ways to engage in real world issues of poverty, globalization, and conflict through playing different roles within the environments such as Serious Games. Other online games like thomaswasalone  can help students explore feelings of isolation and problem solve to find solutions for it in a virtual setting. Other games presented on sites like commonsensemedia.org provide games and videos that are geared to various age groups, presenting issues related to bullying and cyberbullying that encourage greater thought about others and attempting to understand differing views.

As can be seen, there are strategies and tools that educators can use to help their students combat this issue. Being prepared and acting pre-emptively is important. Readers are welcome to share other resources and ideas as well. Let’s do something about it together.

Another video to ponder…

The Importance of Empathy in Everyday Life

References

Fuller, R. G. (2012). Building empathy in online courses: Effective practical approaches. International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Education (IJICTE), 8(4), 38-48. doi:10.4018/jicte.2012100104

Gentès, A., & Cambone, M. (2013). Designing empathy: The role of a “control room” in an e‐learning environment. Interactive Technology and Smart Education, 10(1), 31–48. doi:10.1108/17415651311326437

Machackova, H., & Pfetsch, J. (2016). Bystanders’ responses to offline bullying and cyberbullying: The role of empathy and normative beliefs about aggression. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 57(2), 169-176. doi:10.1111/sjop.12277

Mindshift. (2017, February 8). Empathy is tough to teach but is one of life’s most important lessons [web log post]. Retrieved from https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2017/02/08/empathy-is-tough-to-teach-but-is-one-of-the-most-important-life-lessons/

Schultze‐Krumbholz, A., Schultze, M., Zagorscak, P., Wölfer, R., & Scheithauer, H. (2016). Feeling cybervictims’ pain—The effect of empathy training on cyberbullying. Aggressive Behavior, 42(2), 147-156. doi:10.1002/ab.21613

Game-Based Learning: The Key to Improved Math Engagement

Does making math fun produce better results?

iphone.jpg

By Brandon Koebel

2015 EQAO data indicates that Ontario’s current math strategy is not working. Only 35% of students in the Applied Stream agree that they like mathematics, and 21% say that math is their favourite subject (EQAO, 2015).

The traditional math classroom can be summarized using a simple recipe:

  1. Teacher-centred lesson
  2. Worksheet
  3. Repeat

This repetitive cycle has resulted in disengagement, a lack of interest, and negative feelings about math education. Game-based learning may make mathematics a more engaging process.

A New Generation

With technology integrated into every aspect of modern-society, educational practices must evolve to remain current and relevant to students in the 21st century. This sentiment is captured perfectly in a 2010 study by The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership: “Teachers who use technology frequently to support learning in their classrooms report greater benefits to student learning, engagement and skills from technology than teachers who spend less time using technology to support learning” (Walden University, 2010). Why not use technology to build an engaging, learner-focused approach to math instruction?

Game-based is an interesting possibility. Here are two examples you may wish to consider in your math classroom:

Knowledgehook

Knowledgehook is an online mathematics platform first released in 2013. Its premise was simple, “Education would be enhanced through gamification because students would want to join in and have fun while learning” (Moreira, 2015). The program can be accessed on any mobile device with an internet browser, making it easy to incorporate in schools operating on a BYOD policy. Knowledgehook’s user-friendly interface based on the Ontario Mathematics Curriculum provides educators with an easy-to-integrate platform that increases engagement, provides instant student and teacher feedback, and provides students the opportunity to practice skills outside of class. Students participate in collaborative blended-learning through a game show-style competition featuring a leaderboard and achievement badges.

Prodigy

Prodigy is an online platform that captures student interest through its video-game design. The program incorporates the curriculum, and allows students to work on differentiated tasks at their own pace. Prodigy includes lesson content, formative feedback and assessment tools.

Should everything be a game?

Opponents to the recent inquiry-based math approach suggest that a more “back to basics” math strategy will produce better student learning and retention. Perhaps our attraction to game-based learning, technology-enabled learning, and inquiry have derailed mathematics. Anna Stokke, an associate professor at the University of Winnipeg, states “tackling math instruction through direct learning may be more repetitive, but ultimately more successful. When information in our working memory is sufficiently practised, it is then committed to long-term memory, after which it may be recalled later.” (The Canadian Press, 2015).

No. It doesn’t make sense for every aspect of every day to be game-based. However, game-based learning has shown positive results. Supporters of the game-based learning movement identify positive outcomes including, “increased engagement and motivation and…social learning” (Christy & Fox, 2014).

References:

Christy, K. & Fox, J. (2014). Leaderboards in a virtual classroom: A test of stereotype threat and social comparison explanations for women’s math performance. Computers & Education, 78, 66-77. Retrieved from

Moreira, P. (2015). Knowlegehook Nears New Funding. Retrieved from

The Canadian Press. (2015). Canada’s math teachers should get back to basics, report says. The Canadian Press.

The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership (2010). Educators, Technology and 21st Century Skills: Dispelling Five Myths. Retrieved from

Thinking of Flipping? Try These Out!

Top List of Resources for Flipping your Classroom

By: Farheen Zaidi, Marcia  Anderson and Shirley Merith

Thinking of Flipping Your Classroom?  Don’t know where to start?  Need the right list to get you going?  Look no further.  Here is a list of the top resources that you can use.  Let your creative journey begin.

  • Ted Ed Talk from Salman Khan – The creator of Khan Academy, Salman Khan,  speaks about how his entire collection of educational videos is based on the concept of the flipped classroom model.  Furthermore, he provides methods of how to meaningfully use technology to effectively integrate a flipped classroom model into your own classroom.
  • Flipped Learning – Online website that has links to various resources, webinars, videos and examples to promote the usage of flipped classroom into pedagogy.
  • Youtube – A video clearly explaining the need and method of how a flipped classroom is integrated into learning.  Furthermore, Youtube can be used to upload videos for students to be able to remotely access.  
  • Moodle – Technological platform that can be used to promote student collaboration within a flipped classroom.  
  • Edmodo – Technological platform that can be used to promote student collaboration within a flipped classroom.
  • Screencasting tools– These tools can be used to create videos for students to watch. Some are free and others you pay.
  • Wikispaces encourages collaboration amongst students. Through content presented by a teacher, students can participate in discussions, review and make comments in and outside of  class. Teachers can track how engaged students are with the content of the work.
  • Zaption – Allows you to create engaging videos.
  • How TED-ED Site Turns YouTube Videos To ‘Flipped’ Lessons – This article with how-to videos demonstrates how videos can be turned into flipped lessons.

How Technology is Changing Play

As play becomes more digitized, our youngest learners are missing out on crucial sensory and motor development experiences. Can we find a balance?

kids-playing-1253096_960_720

By Melissa Bishop

Once upon a time, young children and preschoolers were found engaging in rough and tumble play, exploring in nature and engaging in face-to-face interactions.  These activities have a major role in a child’s sensory and motor development.  With access to technology growing exponentially in the past 15 years, play in the early years is becoming more reliant on digital technology.  This reliance limits children’s abilities to be creative and imaginative as well as limits opportunities for sensory and motor development (Rowan, 2013).     

The statistics are shocking:

  1. 6% of 2 to 5-year-olds have their own smartphone
  2. 72% of the top 100 top-selling education apps in Apple’s iTunes App Store were aimed at preschoolers and elementary aged children
  3. Products designed at putting an iPhone into a baby’s hands are rapid sellers (Laugh and Learn with Fisher Price)
  4. More than 25% of 2-5-year-olds use the internet (Erickson, 2012).

So What Do the Stats Mean?

Our children are engaging in digital technology use at a much younger age.  The use of smartphones, tablets, and laptops are engrained in their everyday activities.  With small children spending hours using devices, their sensory and motor development is impacted.  Young children are not meant to be sedentary in their play.  They are biologically programmed to engage in physical activity to develop effective gross and fine motor skills (Rowan, 2013).  Low muscle tone, obesity, poor gross and fine motor skills, difficulty with empathy, low social skills, and challenges with self-regulation are growing concerns in preschool and school-aged children (Rowan, n.d.).

Video Games and the Preschooler

At such a young age, tactile and attachment systems are under stimulated where the visual and auditory sensory systems are in overload.  When young children and preschoolers are exposed to violence in video games and television, their body enters flight mode.  Preschoolers bodies have not yet developed enough to know that what they are watching is not real.  Exposure to violence in games and television puts strain physical on their body because it is in a constant state of adrenaline and stress.  Their heart rate and breathing increases, and their bodies are on alert.  Placing children in a chronic stress of this sort can weaken immune systems and lead to much more severe diseases and disorders (Rowan, 2013).

What do our Preschoolers Need?

They need movement, touch, human connection, and exposure to nature (Rowan, 2013).  These basic needs support the development of healthy active children, development of self-regulation skills, and coordination.  Preschoolers need tactile stimulation.  They need to run, touch, hug, and play with materials not devices.  Young children are developing empathy skills and at this critical time in development, they need human connection to develop empathy in addition to tactile stimulation (Turkle, 2015).

Teachers are Noticing

Rowan (2013), notes what many of my colleagues and I have noticed in the early years, children are entering Kindergarten developmentally unprepared.  In fact, 30% of our earliest learners are developmentally vulnerable (Rowan, n.d.).  They do not have the basic skills to thrive in the classroom.  Fine motor skills are becoming increasingly more difficult for young children entering Kindergarten.  Often, children have not yet been exposed to experiences requiring fine motor skills.  Teachers are noting that early learners have a great ability to ‘swipe’ on devices, but if you ask them to pick up a pencil or scissors, they lack the strength to hold these objects.  Ontario has put an emphasis in the Full Day Kindergarten Program on outdoor play.  Being in the outdoors not only offers young children the rough and tumble play required to develop gross motor skills, but nature has a calming influence and allows students an opportunity to restore attention for better learning in the classroom.

What Can We Do

Technology is here to stay, educators and parents need to work with it.  We need to put boundaries and time limits on devices and provide opportunities for play outside of technology to support healthy development and encourage a balance between technology and active play.  Providing preschoolers with age-appropriate material is crucial, so their bodies and minds are not in a chronic state of stress.  Parents and teachers can also ensure that children are given plenty of opportunities to play outdoors and engage in games that encourage hands-on play such as tag, red-rover, and hide-and-seek.

Parent and Teacher Resources

Young children entering Preschool and Kindergarten are struggling with motor development and self-regulation.  These skills are required for successful learning and development.  Most important in the early years are human touch, opportunities for play, and exposure to nature.  This chart can help parents and educators identify age appropriate gross motor developmental milestones.  Below are some resources to support the development of fine and gross motor skills, self-regulation, and exposure to nature.

  1. Get Outdoors: Playing outdoors helps to develop gross and fine motor skills. When they are developmentally ready, children will then be able to grasp and hold pencils for emergent writing because they have had exposure to outdoor gross and fine motor experiences.
  2. Provide Tactile Opportunities: In addition to human touch, providing opportunities to explore with materials stimulates child motor development.
  3. Fine Motor Activities: to develop dexterity skills.
  4. Self-Regulation: MindUp Curriculum and Zones of Regulation are often used to support teaching self-regulation skills in the classroom and can be used at home as well.
  5. Rough and Tumble Play is beneficial on many levels. It provides gross motor development opportunities, contact through touch, social skills, self-regulation, and coping skills.
  6. Go to the Playground: Not only is it beneficial to gross motor development, but many social relationships can be built here too.

References

Erickson, T. (2012). How mobile technologies are shaping a new generation. https://hbr.org/2012/04/the-mobile-re-generation

Rowan, C. (n.d.). A research review regarding the impact of technology on child development, behavior, and academic performance. http://www.sd23.bc.ca/ProgramsServices/earlylearning/parentinformation/Documents/Impact%20of%20Technology%20on%20Young%20Children’s%20Development.pdf

Rowan, C. (2013). The impact of technology on the developing child. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cris-rowan/technology-children-negative-impact_b_3343245.html

Turkle, S. (2015). Talk to each other, not your phone. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/01/opinion/talk-to-each-other-not-your-phone.html?_r=0

 

 

 

The Dark Side of Internet Use: Addiction

Amazing things are connected to Internet use but what happens if it overtakes your life?

Internet addiction is the loss of control over internet use which can have negative outcomes if not maintained, treated and monitored (Ko et al., 2014, Quinn & Oldmeadow, 2013).

One Last Time, I Swear

Do you always feel the need to be connected?  Constant email checking is a form of addition.  First, think when you check your email.  You are probably looking for mail in your inbox (something to do with work and or a personal message). Possibly you need to create a message or response?  I agree in many ways email communication is convenient and useful, however, by checking your email you are ultimately looking for an award without realizing it.  Many connections have made with email addiction and Operant Conditioning. You may check your email five times a day or a hundred times a day and even though you may not have an email in your box you are unconsciously looking for that reward.  Furthermore, research suggests that email addiction can be related to signs of a Workaholic.

Level Up

Do you know someone who you have to ask multiple times to stop playing their online game on their Ipad, tablet, system, computer, etc. ? Do you question if you or someone you know might be addicted to online gaming? Internet gaming takes on many forms from online gambling to online bidding, and interactive virtual multiplayer games.  With the availability of internet use worldwide multiplayer gaming has gained its popularity.  However, a multiplayer online game with motivation users has experienced an increase of addiction behaviors (Kuss et al., 2012).  Check out this Quiz to see if you have some of the signs and symptoms of gaming addiction.

I Have 100 Likes & 500 Followers

Participating in social media networking sites is one of the fastest growing online activities that offer users the ability to share photographs, videos, links and thoughts.  It allows instant feedback through platforms such as Myspace, Facebook, Orkut, LinkedIn, Instant Messaging, and Online Chat rooms (Quinn & Oldmeadow, 2013). Overuse of Social Media can lead to signs and symptoms associated with addiction. Some of the general mental health conditions that link to social media use addiction include anxiety disorders, low self-esteem, mood disorders, depression, eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

 Resources

Internet Addiction Treatment Centers in Ontario

Social Media Use and Eating Disorders

Tedx Talk: What you need to know about addiction

References

Ko, C., Liu, T., Wang, P., Chen, C., Yen, C., & Yen, J.(2014). The exacerbation of depression, hostility, and social anxiety in the course of internet addiction among adolescents: A prospective study. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 55 (6), 1377-84 . doi.4oi:rg/10.1016/j.comppsych.2014.05.003

Kuss, D. J., Louws, J., & Wiers, R. W. (2012). Online Gaming Addiction? Motives Predict Addictive Play Behavior in Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games. Cyberpsychology, Behavior & Social Networking, 15(9), 480-485. doi:10.1089/cyber.2012.0034

Quinn, S., & Oldmeadow, J. (2013). The martini effect and social networking sites: Early adolescents, mobile social networking and connectedness to friends.Mobile Media &
Communication, 1 (2) 237-247. doi: 10.1177/250157912474812

Prodigy Math Game: Free Online Gamification Made the Way it Ought to Be!

Overview

Prodigy is a free, interactive, adaptive, Pokemon-style Math video-game created by two Canadians, Alex Peters and Rohan Mahimker in 2011.  Prodigy is an on-line Math platform which allows students to practice Math curriculum-based content, Ontario, Common-Core, MAFS, or TEKS while being guided by the host named ‘Noot.’  The teacher selects the appropriate Country, State or Province and 1 to 8 grade level for their students where there are built in game supports such as the questions being read aloud, hints, lessons, and virtual manipulatives that support differentiated learning.  Teachers can use the individual student data as diagnostic or formative assessments to differentiate and support student learning needs using real-time reports.  Diagnostic, Formative, or Summative assessments can also be customized in the Teacher Dashboard where the teacher is able to control exactly what math content the students see during the game without them knowing.  Students can play the game individually or collaboratively in a Multiplayer World as well as practice their math skills and share their learning at home with their family on this free, 24/7 educational math platform.

Getting Started

Teaching Ideas

Idea 1 – Playing with Virtual and Hands-on Manipulatives

Students can explore and demonstrate how the Virtual Manipulatives that are available in most skills areas, can be used to support all learners while playing the game.  In whole or small group learning, students can play the game on the Teacher’s account using the hands-on manipulatives that are available in the classroom.  The teacher can monitor or support the students to ensure the manipulative is used appropriately.  This also reinforces the importance of using manipulatives to solve problems whether they are playing an on-line or a hands-on game.

Idea 2 – Use the Prodigy Planner

Create assignments using Prodigy Planner  to support the content that is currently being taught in the class using the Calendar tool.  This tool allows teachers to use Prodigy to plan ahead and add assignments on a specific start date to reinforce or introduce new concepts in school and at home.

Idea 3 – Easily Differentiate Assignments

Teachers can create differentiated assignments with the Math content by choosing the grade level, math skills and selecting the specific students to complete the assignment.  Create homework assignments for students to share their learning at home with their family.  When teachers assign specific skills for each of the students to practice, they can monitor the student’s data on the Teacher Dashboard and support as needed in the classroom.

Helpful Resources

Be in the Know! Click on Prodigy Blog to learn about new features

Minds On Math Videos for K-12 Teachers and Students 5 Best Math Channels on YouTube for Teachers and StudentsResource

Why Gamification in the Classroom? Changing the Game in Education

Cost

Free Version

  • Teachers and students can use Prodigy math game 24/7 online platform for free.
  • Teachers can send home a Parent Letter to learn about how their child can link to their account, use at home, access reports, weekly usage data, and an email about the child’s progress.
  • Free online Video Tutorials Training for Teachers on ‘How to get Started,’ ‘How to use Prodigy’s Reporting and Assessment tools,’ and ‘Using a Planner’ to align the game with our math curriculum in class.
  • Free online Training Sessions are offered regularly, where teachers can sign up to learn how they can use the game and get great student results.
  • Over 900, Grade 1-8 curriculum math skills that adapt to student’s skill base.
  • Free Achievement Certificates that can be downloaded to reward student success.

Paid Version

  • An optional parent upgrades that has no impact on the learning on Prodigy.  The upgrades only unlocks extra features such as new hairstyles for student’s character.
  • Become a Prodigy Member of a Monthly Plan for $8.95/month or Yearly Plan for $4.99/month.  Features that Members receive.

Other Helpful Resources  

The Ontario Curriculum Grades 1-8 Math

Common Core State Standards

Mathematics Florida Standards (MAFS)

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)