Digital Technology Tools and Strategies

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Our presentation at the Teaching and Learning Forum wasn’t a sold out event – scheduled at the end of the day, right after lunch – but it gathered a few enthusiastic and curios educators who joined us into fun. I say fun because we laughed a lot, we shared ideas and we even flipped between being a presenter and an attendee. By the end of the sessions we have inquired about:

  • How to use Tagxedo to make word clouds in real time. Carmen uses this tool during inquiry time. I personally use WordFoto
  • How we have used QR codes, Vocaroo, Picosong, and physical movement to enhance Spanish language acquirement through phonetics with Pre 5 students, in this movie. This was a collaborative assessment that we did together.
  • Creating individual and group reports of your end of the unit reflections with Socrative. Carmen is an expert with this tool. I tried it first with my grade 3 students at the end of the Movement Composition Unit and I exported students’ reports straight to their online portfolios.
  • How to use a classroom response system with Kahoot. This tool creates an engaging learning environment, through a game-based digital pedagogy. This was one of the favorite tools by the ones attending.
  • How to record a formative assessment in real time without the need for student devices by using Plickers. The presentation’s feedback was collected with a set of questions and the use of Plickers as you can see below.

Thanks, Carmen! It was fun to put all of this together. Thanks to everyone attending, you’ve made this session so enjoyable! Any negative feedback in the reports below comes most probably from my Mom, who attended but she was still figuring out how to use the cards in the correct position. Or maybe not!

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Digital Technology Tools

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Recently I have been presenting with my colleague Carmen Fernandez at the Qatar Academy during a joint PD session. We have shared some of the strategies and tools that we are using in our lesson when integrating technology.

I have talked about QR codes, video analysis assessments in the early ages and how to record, report and share evidence of IMG_0094these assessments with students, parents, and teachers.

Carmen presented tools that can boost the summative and formative assessment or her Spanish lesson: Kahoot, Tagxedo, Vocaroo, and Socrative.

The highlight of the presentation was our collaboration during an integration unit about ocean animals with pre 5 students. Carmen recorded the students pronouncing various names of ocean animals in Spanish. With these files she created QR codes. I posted the QR codes in the gym and the students had to scan them with the iPads, listen to the recordings, and then imitate the moves IMG_0087of those animals for a number of times. Having a great mix of students for all around the world, this formative assessment turned into a peer assessment and a great way to differentiate. Students with good Spanish phonetics skills helped their partners to identify the animals and facilitated learning.

Acquiring  Spanish or any other language through movement is possible with the help of technology like the one I have described. Students are engaged in the learning process, teachers are learning, and the efficiency of the lesson is increased.

Share your ideas if you have other relevant learning experiences!

My First IB Article : Technology and PE in the Early Years

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I am very honored and happy  to have this article published in the IB Community Blog. This is the result of a fantastic collaborative work with my students, teachers, teacher assistants and a very supportive PYP Coordinator.

http://blogs.ibo.org/sharingpyp/2014/12/18/tech-and-pe-in-early-years/

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The use QR codes with KG students in a stand-alone Adventure Challenge unit in Physical Education is a breakthrough experience at such age and I am very proud of their achievements.  They were able to scan codes, play a movie and perform the exercise shown in the movie. All of this was part of a scavenger hunt which was meaningful and fun for them. They learned how to cooperate in a team, share the same goal and use technology while still performing various physical activities.

 

 

 

The Journey To My First Innovation Award

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I thought I should celebrate my award with a quick reflection about the steps that brought me here.

  •  2012 I receive an e-mail from a colleague and I sign up for a PE technology based workshop in Dubai. I have no clue about technology in PE but this looks interesting.
  • I buy an iPad and tomorrow I travel to Dubai. Still figuring out the basic functions of my new gadget.
  • The workshop is led by Jarrod Robinson. Now understand why he calls himself The PE Geek. I am blown away about the amount of innovative skills and strategies he uses to improve learning.image
  • Back to school with no Wi-Fi network. The challenge starts here.
  • Celebrating my successes and failures becomes a new way of improving myself. I am introducing various tools in the planning process as well as new assessment strategies. It is hard to share my work with the students and parents so I design a website, on a free platform but with limited space to use.
  • I am in a brand new school and the Wi-Fi is covering even the outdoor courts.
  • I introduce iPads in the PE lessons in the Early Years. My students are scanning QR codes and they participate with their own reflection during the individual video analysis assessment in the Adventure Challenge unit.
  • We are creating resources (videos, digital portfolios, assessments) and the feedback from students and parents is enthusiastic.
  • Signing up for a life membership and mentorship at www.thepegeek.com. I am attending webinars and online courses on how mobile technology can be integrated in the PE lesson.
  • My first presentation at the Qatar National Convention Center during the Education Forum, April 2014. I share successful practices with my colleagues from all around the country.DSC_0559
  • My first PD session with the school staff, presenting various digital tools and strategies to improve learning.
  • October 2014. After two years it is time for another PE Geek workshop, in Dubai. Great experience and a good chance to connect with other educators.
  • November 2014. I am awarded for The Best Work of Educational Innovation and Best Educational Practice in Preschool, among all SEK schools from Spain, France, Ireland and Qatar. I guess my Christmas gift arrives earlier this year.

I am already lucky to be awarded by my students on daily basis. They ask questions, they are not shy to express what they like or don’t like about what we do. We experience a climate filled with their creativity, enthusiasm and energy. Their knowledge is an inspiration for me.

This special award is topping up the daily reward I get from my students. This is why each and one of us is still in this game. It is the game of change. We influence them, inspire them and shape a future that we’ll probably not even see.

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Mobile Technology In Physical Education

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It all started three years ago when I joined a “PE Geek Workshop”, done by Jarrod Robinson, an enthusiastic educator and true innovator in the PE community. At that time I bought an iPad right before the workshop and I was definitely the dumbest in the room, being exposed to technology in PE and in the same time learning how to use this device. Fast forward to the present: I am doing a presentation about the use of mobile technology in education. Thanks, Jarrod! You can read more about his brilliant work at http://thepegeek.com/ and make sure you don’t miss his webinars or workshops.

Recently, the Supreme Education Council from Qatar offered to our school the opportunity to have some of us present different topics that can impact learning. After an initial application process, the presentations were accepted and we were very excited to face the challenge.

This three days event gathered educators from international and public schools, and it took place at Qatar National Convention Center. The set up was excellent with everything ready in hand.

The title of my presentation was “Mobile Technology In Physical Education”. I have been using iPads and iPhones in my lessons for more than three years now and it feels extraordinary when I see the outcomes of using these tools. With practice it turned quickly into a passion, so I feel comfortable when talking about it.

For almost an hour or so, I have shared with other physical educators the good examples of practice and the challenges I’ve been facing in planning, facilitating or assessing the learning. During the presentation we have inquired into how:

  • The power of Twitter is connecting enthusiastic educators from all over the world. I am happy to be inspired by them and to be part of a very strong and growing community. I used an example of how just simply tweeting a topic or addressing a question it will connect you to others’ perspectives.
  • Attendance, assessment and behavior can be monitored while students, parents and teachers are involved. The Class Dojo app that I am using is a great tool that can award and record real-time feedback.
  • Assessment has never been so exciting for students, educators and parents. Using apps such as Coach’s Eye empowered us with a video recording and analysis tool that we never dreamed of having it 10 – 15 years ago.
  • QR codes can be used in a variety of ways with students of any age. I showed the example of a summative assessment done with my Kindergarten students in their stand-alone Adventure Challenge unit.  By the end of the unit (8 weeks) they were able to use the iPads and scan QR codes, play and watch a content prepared for them, and also perform the exercise shown in the video.

With everyone present in the room we then scanned QR codes and went through the process of planning an activity and how to use them.

  • How to use other apps such as: Coach Note, Stretch It, Spin It, Easy Portfolio, iMuscle, Video Tagger, etc.

It was great to meet with new educators, share the good practice and brainstorm about the ways we can better facilitate learning. I learned about the challenges they are facing – not having enough iPads, Wi-Fi connection or even permission to use photos or videos) and we also inquired about how these challenges offer us the opportunities to experience failure, tension or success, and how they finally lead to a potential growth as professionals.

Our students, the so called “digital natives”, prefer receiving information quickly and from multiple sources. They prefer pictures, sounds and videos before text and they love to interact in “real time”. They also enjoy learning that is instant, relevant and fun and I am very excited when they find meaning in what I have planned for them. It is time consuming preparing a unit and sometimes it takes forever to have a lesson prepared the way I think it will impact my purpose. There is tension when I apply something new with them, but in almost all situations I am blown away about how quickly they can shape ideas, using their imagination and creativity. It is the moment when I feel I am only moderating and I become a learner too! What can be better than this?