Better Than Kahoot!?

EDTC 300

Hello friends,

In today’s post, I am going to break down an overview of the program/ website known as “Quizizz“. This website is a game like program that allows students (or whomever is playing) to answer questions about specific topics through their cellular or electronic devices. Now you may be thinking to yourself “Wow! This sounds an awful lot like Kahoot!” and you my friend, are correct. The only difference, is it is better!

Quizizz is a tool that creates an online interactive quiz where students have the ability to either create or view another quiz and test their knowledge on a particular content they are learning in class. Students LOVE THIS. Not only do they get to use their phones, but it gets their minds stimulated as they are looking at an interactive and visually appealing quiz rather than a white piece of paper with black words printed on it. And the music that plays along creates such an enjoyable atmosphere.

Image result for quizizz

(via google images)

Rather then explaining how to use each tool on the website, I found a video from the Quizizz team’s YouTube that had a fantastic walkthrough. Check it out:

5 Main Benefits to Quizizz:

  1. Students can create there own games just like Kahoot!; however they are able to take previously constructed quizzes and either add their own questions to them or pluck a few away and add it into their own. This is all done by the ease of clicking a few buttons as opposed to copying and pasting.

2. Students are not timed in their responses to the quizzes. Students do not have any amount of pressure put upon them for answering a question as the clock ticks down. This allows for critical thinking and offers the option of eliminating potential answers successfully.

3. You can track the progress in which each student answers correctly or incorrectly. Individually you can see what students missed what answers.

4. You can track the progress as a group. With statistic sent to you through the form of charts, the facilitator can visually see where the gap of knowledge lies and can then move forward in paying attention to that area.

5. Therefore, this tool can be used for both summative and formative assessment! With spreadsheets that are printable for individuals or a group as a whole, teachers are able to really narrow down where the gap of knowledge is, or can print out the quizzes and use them for marks afterwards (what an amazing tool to give yourself some breaks from marking).

Weaknesses:

  1. Can be hard to navigate for first time users. If you are using this tool as a resource for students to create a quiz for a presentation or an assignment, you absolutely need to conduct a class on HOW to use this tool.
  2. Depending on the class, they may not feed into this idea of being quizzed through an online format.
  3. This tool can only be used to quiz through multiple choice answers. No supporting facts or evidence can be made. It doesn’t give a chance for students to explain their answers.

 

Please give Quizizz a shot if you have or have not tried Kahoot! The benefits outweigh Kahoot! by extreme lengths and this is such a useful took within the classroom!

Let me know how your experience goes, or if you have tried this within the classroom already!

Thanks,

Alyssa

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Week 9 and Back to the Basics

EDTC 300, Learning Project

Hello friends!

Are we all stressed out of our minds?! It is really winding down to the last few weeks of school and EVERYTHING is due! All I want to do is sleep, procrastinate and eat. And by eating, I mean stuffing my face with all the greasiness I possibly can #comfortfood

oh no lol GIF by AwesomenessTV

(via giphy)

From my title you may think this post will be quite ironic, and in a sense it is. However, just like any learner, sometimes you get ahead of yourself or your focus leaves what you have been paying attention to. So this past week my recollection of many of the things I had learnt, seemed to just diminish. This is exactly why practice and consistency is key!

However, I don’t think having to go back to the basics is a bad thing. Sometimes a refresher is what will make your learning experience that much more heightened. And as educators we know repetition can be so very beneficial for anyone.

You’re probably wondering what basics I needed to revisit; that is chords and hand position. My hands have seemed to not remember how to switch from chord to chord with a comfort level that avoids any pain, and my memory of chords is slim to none.

So this week was simply a refresher of everything I have done. So this week I found myself looking for a resource that could help me to memorize chords effectively so I don’t run into this issue again. I really enjoyed visiting Guitar Six, which is a website that focuses on strategies to recalling skills you have learned previously and strategies to avoid forgetting. The article I read was specific to both of these aspects.

Not as exciting of a post, but I think its important to outline our “fails” within our learning journeys. I heard and acronym once that “fail” means “first attempt in learning” and that is exactly what I had experienced and the mindset I held this week!

Question for my readers: What fails have you been having?! And how are you overcoming them or overcoming the feeling of defeat?

 

Thanks,

Alyssa

 

Strumming Some Love

EDTC 300, Learning Project

Hello friends!

For this weeks #LearningProject, I am going to speak to a different side of my learning journey that has arrived from many weeks of practicing guitar.

Although I have been practicing this week and have an exciting video and post brewing for next week, I would like to focus on the WHY behind people playin guitar and how it has become a tool for me to relax. It is crazy to think that homework relaxes me, haha! It almost makes me uncomfortable because it does not seem like an actual real life thing, however learning to strum and compose chords together has  create a real serenity for me in time of stress (a.k.a the last couple weeks of school). So I am going to talk about the inspiration behind me having motivation to play guitar weekly.

Now, I am OBSESSED with American Idol audition videos on YouTube. Is anyone else with me? Anyways, it is specifically the auditions that have to do with guitar playing as well as singing that are giving me some serious motivation to become a rock star. There were two videos in particular that I have been playing on repeat. The first being a more soul – bluesy type of feel. This type of guitar playing is what I have listened to growing up, so the chords and rifts and the transitions between just give me goosebumps, take a listen:

 

And this video really captures the connection and relationships that music can make. I dare you to watch this and not tear up:

Other than videos, I was trying to find some articles as to why music is soothing to some and not as effective for others, but instead found a great blog about why people play guitar. It outlines the effects of playing guitars and the benefits. This blog post is clear and concise which I love, so I highly recommend you take a quick peek if you have any interest in music. I understand the WHY so much more now.

SO my question for you is actually not a question. But if you so choose to comment (if not, simply think about my prompt): WHAT is something you do that you love and WHY do you practice or do something that you love?

I think we often forget about the why behind committing actions or practices within our lives. Once the reason is understood behind doing something, I believe the experience is enjoyed at a higher level because the understanding is there.

Thanks for reading, can’t wait to hear your responses,

Alyssa

 

Twinkle Twinkle Little Rockstar

EDTC 300, Learning Project

Hello friends!

Andy Samberg Guitar GIF

(via giphy.com)

Time for my Learning project post for week eight of my journey. I mentioned last week that my goal was to be able to play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, as my boyfriend had mentioned to me that if I had learned to play that I could essentially learn most songs a little easier.

Before  show you my absolutely amazing skills of playing the nursery rhyme we all know and love I quickly want to share my better half’s YouTube channel of his covers. he plays all the guitar within and sings as well. I KNOW, I KNOW, shameless plug…. hahah! Here is my favorite cover he has done, and perhaps the reason why I was inspired to learn to play:

There aren’t a ton of covers, as he doesn’t practice as much anymore, but I’m sure a few comments on his video might inspire him to do so 😉

Alright so, the video I found myself referring to in order to learn how to play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” was from the user Quail Studios Guitar. Check out the video I used:

I really enjoyed listening to Hal as he not only seems humble and patient, but he has a kind tone to his voice, which is what honestly attracted me to using this video as my guide. The shorter length of the video makes learning the song a little less intimidating and he has a means to convey his teaching in a clear and concise matter.

I know this post has an abundance of video, but take a peak at my “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” Cover:

 

In the tradition of my Learning Project posts, I am going to outline the pluses (something I did well on, am feeling motivated by, or improved upon from last week) and the deltas (areas of opportunities for the next week to come).

 

Pluses:

  • my hands are able to grip the neck a little better without any pain
  • I am able to transition from chord to chord
  • I have been staying motivated with achieving my goals each week

 

Deltas:

  • I am not utilizing much of a strumming motion (perhaps I need more challenging songs to try for this)
  • I am having trouble with confidence of not looking what I am strumming (I know this will come with time, but I am a perfectionist haha)
  • Would like to understand the WHY behind how a guitar works and perhaps learn about why some people play

 

So until the next week, I will leave you with a note and a question: I am noticing I feel more relaxed all around or “mellow” as you will because of my journey in learning to play guitar. Are you finding a sense of calm in your learning journeys?

Thanks,

Alyssa

InstaClass

EDTC 300

Jessi Gaja and I created a scenario to outline both perspectives that would be shared within a classroom when it comes to using a technology or social media platform within the classroom. We decided to take the roles of an “anti tech teacher” vs. a “pro tech teacher” in order to use some defense mechanisms and provide some articles so both perspectives could be evaluated. I took on the anti role, while Jessi took on the pro tech role.

Our scenario was about myself overhearing that Jessi (pro tech teacher) was planning on creating a classroom Instagram. Being an “anti tech teacher” I immediately texted Jessi with my opposing ideas in mind hoping I could change hers. We did this through recording our screen as we texted through our scenario and linked some resources to back up our opinions. Take a peek here at our text convo:

(If you would like to know how we screen recorded our iPhones using iOS 11, click here to a video that can show you.)

I found many great resources to back up the opinion of an “anti tech teacher” when it comes to Instagram, however this is the one I linked Jessi to in our text conversation.

Here was another one by Amanda Macmillan that I found super useful as well.

There is so many more valid points that each side could have made as to why Instagram would be beneficial or not within a classroom, ultimately it is up to the school board, administration and comfort of parents a students. It takes a unified agreement to make using any social media platform useful, meaningful an successful inside the classroom.

Here is Jessi’s post from this experience we created and shared together as well. She used this meme and I think I have died laughing over and over cause I feel like she says this to me all the time:

How would you go about defending utilizing Instagram or any social media platform within your classroom? Do you think many platforms could use very similar arguments to support their use?

 

Thanks for reading,

Alyssa

 

Smoke on the Water

EDTC 300, Learning Project

Time for my Learning Project #6 post! Getting back into the swing of things has been tough since reading week. I was away in Winnipeg for five days training a session for my part time job at Sephora. It took a lot out of me to be travelling on the one week I had to catch up with all my homework for my last semester of my degree, and I must say…. I did not do any catching up whatsoever. In fact, I fell behind more than anything. My  learning project took a hit too so I have been working extra hard this week to get back to the point I wanted to be at by now. I originally said I would try different platforms for learning, however I now know that would only slow me down as I found success with shorter videos last week. So I’m sticking to the path that has been working for me. My fave videos are from Yousician on YouTube.

My goal for this week was based on my own schedule I had created at the beginning of this project was to be able to play a small portion of an easier song to learn by now. I am happy to say I did it! I posted my latest video to my YouTube channel of my playing it and am super stoked I did it with little hesitation. Here it is:

 

Not too bad, hey? I basically feel like this now:

Freddy Krueger Guitar GIF

via giphy

Each week I write down some Pluses (things that went well this week) and Deltas (areas of opportunity) that I have come in contact with. I compare each week to see if some of my deltas were met, here is the progress:

 

Pluses:

– My hands aren’t hurting as much anymore!

– My wrists are becoming more flexible

– I met my goal of playing an easier part of a song

– I am feeling more confident in playing

– I have memorized the chords and don’t have trouble remembering them

 

Deltas:

– I still have to look at the chords I’m strumming to make sure they are correct

– still have trouble with getting practice in each day

– have trouble going beyond a small part of a song

 

Any tips on gaining confidence of feeling the chords as opposed to looking at them?

My plan for next week is to learn how to play the entire “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, as this is a song that can be the basis for translating to others. My boyfriend (who has been playing guitar for years) said if I can learn that song, I can learn any basic song there is!

 

Wish me luck,

Alyssa

 

Sleuthing My Partner in Crime

EDTC 300

I don’t often think about cyber sleuthing myself or my fellow educators, however it seems to be a good practice for what students may find when you become a teacher. I decided to sleuth my partner in crime Jessi Gaja. We have been in many classes together and have known each other for a few years. I am not going to lie that when I first met her, I creeped her on Facebook and Instagram. I cannot exactly remember finding anything specific about her other than I knew she was in education and that she seemed like she had a pretty relaxed personality. Through knowing her for some years now, I definitely have gained a lot more knowledge about who she is as a person and through sleuthing I couldn’t really find out much more. I think this is a great thing. She is a transparent person, what you see is what you get. Here is some info I already knew, but is presented through her digital citizenship:

Facebook:

  1. Her profile is locked down like a high security facility. so anyone who is not friends with her could probably not find a single things through this platform.

Instagram:

  1. Once again locked down like a mother hiding cookies from her child by placing them in the highest location within the house.

Twitter:

  1. 5th year education student
  2. Has a religious/ Christianity theme running throughout
  3. Follows education and religious accounts
  4. Goes to the U of R
  5. Currently resides in Regina, SK
  6. Birthday September 30th

Blog:

  1. Has a University page that outlines a class and the assignments that she has for it.
  2. Has a resume page that contains  her resume used for professional applications in regards to education.
  3. Has a teaching philosophy page which outlines her motivation for being a teacher and her best practices within the classroom.

I think Jessi shares the right amount of information that makes her feel comfortable and represented at the same time. I love that she has a focus on Religion through her twitter pages because this can connect her to so many new people and school districts. Through sleuthing Jessi, you are able to get a clear picture of who she is without knowing too much.

My question is shouldn’t something like this be taught in schools? Wouldn’t this be a useful tools for students who essentially live their lives through the internet and social media platforms?