Course Prototype – LUMI!

Meagan and I worked together to create introductory lessons for our blended course prototype. For our prototype, Meagan and I are having our students create a radio play. Our prototype design combines in-class instruction with digital components, and Lumi was used as a tool to contribute to an engaging and interactive introductory digital lesson for our students.

You can find my Lumi module here.

My colleague and partner Meagan (please find Meagan’s blog here) focused on introducing Foley Artists and the art of creating sound effects, and I focused on a complementary introductory lesson on the elements of soundscapes. Students will be working toward creating radio plays and will be responsible for creating their own Foley sounds and applying the elements of soundscapes within their work; therefore, it is important for students to understand the world of Foley and the three distinct elements of soundscapes. Lumi allowed Meagan and I the opportunity to create short, interactive launch lessons to introduce both concepts. In addition to using the Lumi platform, we used YouTube and Canva to assist in our final Lumi lessons.

The idea behind my lesson was to introduce the three elements of soundscapes (soundmarks, keynotes, and sound signals), provide the opportunity to identify soundscapes in the classroom, and explore examples of each element in a concise video. I utilized an open-ended question to begin the lesson to gauge what students knew about soundscapes before the lesson. Throughout, I used both multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank questions as an interactive formative assessment for understanding. For my summary task, I posed the following question to close my lesson: what makes an effective soundscape? This will then lead to further exploration and dialogue on the topic.

I will be honest; it took me a little bit of time to get the hang of using Lumi, and I had many frustrating, and at the same time, AHA! moments. I feel that I have just got started with Lumi and acknowledge that there is so much potential for further exploration and further opportunities for student engagement. I reflected on other interactive options that I could have or should have used, as there were so many options! However, I was satisfied with the product for my first go with Lumi!

One of the features I appreciated about using Lumi was creating our own grading scale, which was relatively reflective of the grading scale that Meagan and I indicated in our initial ADDIE profile. The immediate feedback to students is outstanding and provides an opportunity for formative assessment of this unit. 

Another benefit of using Lumi was the accessibility features that are present on the platform. I was pleasantly surprised and impressed that there were options to translate and allow for spelling mistakes (fill-in-the-blank questions). As identified in our ADDIE model, we have a large percentage of EAL students; these features would be especially helpful for these students.

Pros Cons
– Allows for immediate student feedback.
– Easy assessment for teachers and facilitators.
– Database to access lots of resources made by other educators.
– Shareable link for completed projects.
– Accessibility features to meet the needs of a variety of learners.
– Time consuming to create interactive resources.
– Limit on length of videos/size of files in the free version.
– Would work better for older students; while there are features conducive to younger grades, it would be more difficult for early learners to use this tool.

This pros/cons list is based on the limited and my first-time use of Lumi, and I am sure there are plenty more to add! Meagan and I look forward to hearing back from our colleagues on our respective modules, and we look forward to hearing about your experiences with Lumi as well!!

Course Prototype – Community in Online Learning: Guidelines

For our prototype, Meagan and I are having our students create a radio play. Drama can be a subject that takes many students out of their comfort zone; therefore, doing so in a blended learning environment can meet the needs of many students. Our design is a mix of in class instruction with digital components to create our summative piece of a radio play.

Our prototype incorporates Microsoft Teams, Seesaw,and WeVideo. Along with these digital pieces, we will also be incorporating in class learning to teach some important pieces and have students work face-to-face in small groups.

One of the six strategies mentioned in the article is Creating a plan for communication. Using Teams to create this assignment is a one-stop shop to keep everyone informed and on the same page. We can use the class notebook, which is embedded in teams, to put handouts and resources the students will need to complete the project. In addition, we can use the assignment feature for students to hand in formative assessments along the way and keep track of the due dates not only for these pieces but for the summative as well. Finally, Teams also allow students to communicate with others through the channels where they can chat and pose questions to the teachers or to their peers. By doing this, teams also meet the criteria of establishing a social presence, which is another strategy for building community in online courses.

We decided to use We Video as our editing platform because, in Regina Catholic, teachers in the connected education program can apply for free licenses for the students to use. This allows access to the full version, allowing students to use all the features as opposed to paying or only using the trial version. This version not only allows teachers to create projects but allows students to work collaboratively on the assignment. Again, meeting is another important strategy and “reduces the feelings of isolation.” Being able to use this digital platform as a group is great for students who may be more timid to express themselves in a face-to-face setting, especially in a subject such as drama. Therefore, being in the safety of their own home, in front of only a computer, may allow them to express themselves more effectively to their peers than in the constraints of the classroom. I think being able to work collaboratively live on the project is an essential part of the overall success.

We also decided to use Seesaw to teach various components of the project, such as how to use sound to create effects and other digital pieces.  SeeSaw allows interactive and engaging lessons for students, which helps with engagement without a teacher’s presence. The other important feature of Seesaw is the ability to connect with parents so they can be informed and keep up with the progress of the student. There is also a journal where students can reflect, and parents can comment on their work, which is an effective motivator for many students.

The assessment pieces will all be formative pieces supported by teacher and peer reviews throughout. The Seesaw activities will be formative pieces building the knowledge they need to use soundscape within their radio plays. In class learning will focus on using We Video and how to write a script. Teacher and peer editing will be done periodically to revise their script until it is ready for the final performance. Students will also have a chance to peer and self-evaluate according to our criteria, which we will have established in the beginning.

In order for the project to be effective and meaningful, clear guidelines and expectations need to be set at the beginning during face-to-face instruction. Going forward, weekly check-ins, posting new articles on Microsoft Teams, and posing questions in the chat will help keep students focused on the project. Taking the time to connect with each group during face-to-face time and seeing their progress is also important to ensure the final deadline is met. Teacher interaction and engagement in the process are crucial to the overall success.

There are many things to think about in this project and some digital learning pieces for the students, which I know we will come across along the way. I think new lessons will develop as the project progresses, and we may have to stop and adjust to meet the students where they are. I know it will be a learning experience for everyone!

Course Prototype – Community in Online Learning: Guidelines

For our prototype, Meagan and I are having our students create a radio play. Drama can be a subject that takes many students out of their comfort zone; therefore, doing so in a blended learning environment can meet the needs of many students. Our design is a mix of in class instruction with digital components to create our summative piece of a radio play.

Our prototype incorporates Microsoft Teams, Seesaw,and WeVideo. Along with these digital pieces, we will also be incorporating in class learning to teach some important pieces and have students work face-to-face in small groups.

One of the six strategies mentioned in the article is Creating a plan for communication. Using Teams to create this assignment is a one-stop shop to keep everyone informed and on the same page. We can use the class notebook, which is embedded in teams, to put handouts and resources the students will need to complete the project. In addition, we can use the assignment feature for students to hand in formative assessments along the way and keep track of the due dates not only for these pieces but for the summative as well. Finally, Teams also allow students to communicate with others through the channels where they can chat and pose questions to the teachers or to their peers. By doing this, teams also meet the criteria of establishing a social presence, which is another strategy for building community in online courses.

We decided to use We Video as our editing platform because, in Regina Catholic, teachers in the connected education program can apply for free licenses for the students to use. This allows access to the full version, allowing students to use all the features as opposed to paying or only using the trial version. This version not only allows teachers to create projects but allows students to work collaboratively on the assignment. Again, meeting is another important strategy and “reduces the feelings of isolation.” Being able to use this digital platform as a group is great for students who may be more timid to express themselves in a face-to-face setting, especially in a subject such as drama. Therefore, being in the safety of their own home, in front of only a computer, may allow them to express themselves more effectively to their peers than in the constraints of the classroom. I think being able to work collaboratively live on the project is an essential part of the overall success.

We also decided to use Seesaw to teach various components of the project, such as how to use sound to create effects and other digital pieces.  SeeSaw allows interactive and engaging lessons for students, which helps with engagement without a teacher’s presence. The other important feature of Seesaw is the ability to connect with parents so they can be informed and keep up with the progress of the student. There is also a journal where students can reflect, and parents can comment on their work, which is an effective motivator for many students.

The assessment pieces will all be formative pieces supported by teacher and peer reviews throughout. The Seesaw activities will be formative pieces building the knowledge they need to use soundscape within their radio plays. In class learning will focus on using We Video and how to write a script. Teacher and peer editing will be done periodically to revise their script until it is ready for the final performance. Students will also have a chance to peer and self-evaluate according to our criteria, which we will have established in the beginning.

In order for the project to be effective and meaningful, clear guidelines and expectations need to be set at the beginning during face-to-face instruction. Going forward, weekly check-ins, posting new articles on Microsoft Teams, and posing questions in the chat will help keep students focused on the project. Taking the time to connect with each group during face-to-face time and seeing their progress is also important to ensure the final deadline is met. Teacher interaction and engagement in the process are crucial to the overall success.

There are many things to think about in this project and some digital learning pieces for the students, which I know we will come across along the way. I think new lessons will develop as the project progresses, and we may have to stop and adjust to meet the students where they are. I know it will be a learning experience for everyone!

Course Profile – A.D.D.I.E. by Meagan M. and Arkin K.

Teaching middle school drama is tough. A quarter LOVE it, a quarter REALLY dislike it, and the rest are going through the motions and counting the days until we are back to painting or drawing. It is not unusual for performing and presenting to cause anxiety, so we decided to design our course around meeting the needs of our students in a subject that can be difficult to teach and hopefully help them have fun and fall in love with the content along the way.

WHAT

In our blended and synchronous course, our grade 7 students will learn about the elements of radio plays, how to create soundscapes, how to use Foley sounds to create sound effects, and record, edit, and produce their own radio plays in small groups. The focus is not on writing skills so they will use pre-written stories; however, they will edit and adapt the stories to use soundscapes, effects, and voice acting wherever possible.

Our course will touch on each outcome of the grade 7 drama unit:

CP7.5

  • Use drama elements, strategies, negotiation, and collaboration to help shape the direction of the drama and/or collective creation.

CP7.6

  • Express ideas about the importance of place (e.g., relationships to the land, local geology, region, urban/rural environments) in drama and/or collective creation.

CP7.7

  • Investigate improvisation using the voice, instruments, and a wide variety of sound sources from the natural and constructed environment.

WHO

Our course will be used in a grade 7 Connected Classroom which has a high percentage of EAL students. In our experience teaching middle years, we frequently see student anxiety around presenting and performing. We have seen an uptick in absences on presentation days, a willingness to ‘take a 0’ on a presentation mark, issues with collaboration, and requests for alternate presentation times, like at recess or after school. Our goal is to meet students where they are and help build presentation and communication skills without increasing anxiety.

Our students are also very ‘techy’ – the vast majority have access to tech at home, and the novelty of tech at school has yet to wear off! We are hoping this meaningful integration of technology can help build excitement and the new platforms can keep things fresh and exciting.

HOW

Our LMS is primarily Microsoft Teams and Seesaw. Both these platforms allow for student/teacher communication, allow for feedback and assessment, can host resources and links, and parents can be involved in progress through Seesaw, which is a big plus! Both Teams and Seesaw are licensed by our division for all teaching staff. Other tools we will use are:

WeVideo – while there is the ability to edit and mix for free, as Connected Educators we are able to access licenses so we can use each feature of this platform. Here, students can share their projects with their group, edit on their own devices (much like a shared document in Google Docs or Word!), record,upload recordings, and share with the teacher. Licenses are usually granted for 30 days, but these can be extended based on need. Another benefit of using WeVideo for collaborative projects is that students do not need to be present to record. If a student is absent for an extended period of time, they can record their parts before leaving OR when they return, and their contributions can be spliced, layered, and reorganized in to fit the script!

BBC Sound Effects – a great little website filled with free-to-use soundscapes and sound effects! Students are able to layer sounds and create their own mixes for free. They can download their mixes straight from the website and upload them into WeVideo.

SEQUENCE

First, students will learn about soundscapes, and spend some time identifying different sounds in different environments. They will practice making their own soundscapes using BBC Sound Effects.

Then, students will spend some time learning about Foley sounds. For those unfamiliar, check out this video to see Foley engineers in action! They’ll make their own sound effects with Foley in mind.

Lastly, students will put these elements together with the introduction of radio plays. They’ll learn about radio plays, listen to examples, identify elements, and then plan and produce their own radio plays in small groups.

CONSIDERATIONS AND ADAPTATIONS

We are heavily influenced by ITSE Student Standards, particularly the empowered learner focus (Students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences). We will try to dismantle as many road blocks as possible so students can still be challenged, but ultimately find success. Because of our high EAL percentage and performance anxiety in our class, there will be no story writing or ‘live’ performances. Students can take stories and make them their own, practice their parts, rerecord if they need, and share their final products in safe settings.

Attendance and hard deadlines are an inevitable aspect of our course. However, a benefit of our chosen platforms is that students can record all their parts individually (whether that be voice acting or creating sound effects) and these files can be edited in the order and sequence required. They do not have to record their play in its entirety at once, hoping for no errors! Students can also share audio files through Teams and access the platforms at home, if they have access to technology.

Here is our link to our ADDIE template https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZLmdhdib-2TbJyBY6BhV6QFMS2r5OzA_Kk5xLOZTgNk/edit?usp=sharingwe look forward to hearing your feedback and learning more about the courses you designed!

Co-author Meagan M.

Blog #1 – The Hybrid Huddle… A Look Into Blended Learning

Hello everyone! Welcome to my first blog post for EC&I 834. Enjoy!

My name is Arkin Kauf, and I am a Vice Principal with the Regina Catholic School Division. I have taught grades seven and eight and have had experience teaching in inclusive education settings. EC&I 834 is my tenth course toward the Master’s in Educational Leadership program.

During my time teaching grades seven and eight, I was fortunate to have been accepted in the second round of ‘Connected Educator’ applications within my school division. This program equipped my class with a cart of 1:1 Windows laptops to enhance student learning through the integration of technology. This was an exciting opportunity as the access to technology welcomed authentic and unique assessments and tasks to meet student needs. Further, it allowed for collaboration beyond the classroom walls.

My experience with teaching and learning through the modality of blended learning was introduced during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Valerie Irvine’s (2020) article speaks of the ‘simpler days’ of technology, and through enhancement and development, synchronous and asynchronous modalities became a reality – and with that, “the first layer of semantic confusion” when defining blended learning. For me, blended learning is a combination of face-to-face and virtual learning opportunities. As I ventured to learn a bit more about Brian Beatty’s HyFlex learning, I stumbled upon this video that provides a concise understanding:

Due to safety measures, education relied heavily on technology to deliver and maintain education standards to students while at home. I quickly became familiar with Microsoft Teams and its ‘one-stop’ fit to meet my vision for blended learning. Along with the distribution of paper homework packages, our class used Microsoft Teams to meet each morning to review expectations of the day. This was followed with a live Mathematics lesson using the whiteboard and video-call features. As students became more comfortable with Teams, we expanded to using platforms like SeeSaw, OneNote, Microsoft Forms, and Flipgrid to share our learning and stay connected as a class.

Collaboration became seamless with other grade seven and eight teachers using Microsoft OneNote. A group of us created shared documents for each subject. This ‘pivot’ also encouraged students to collaborate also…but blended learning was met with challenges.

I felt it was difficult to teach or that I was teaching to the wall with no instant response from students. Many students did not turn on their cameras or have access to technology to attend our virtual learning space. I see the potential of blended learning and opportunities that emerge from successful implementation, but it certainly takes a shift in mindset and a lot of educating and modeling! I am looking forward to learning more about blended learning, the benefits, and education around integrating blended learning successfully.