Posts Tagged ‘Scoop.it’

With our seniors heading into practice exams next week, there’s been the usual flurry of emails this weekend from students in various stages of panic. While I am more than happy to give feedback to students who have come to class, contributed, met milestones and generally brought something to the learning table, it’s a little harder to know how to help those with questions like”Can you help with dystopia? I’m really confused.”

Like I said, difficult to know where to begin.

We’ve a got a few months yet ’til externals so I hope their questions will become a little more refined in the near future! In the meantime, I’ve had a go at summarising an Achievement Standard via a web based presentation tool called mysimpleshow. This allows you to explain topics using a range of templates to create a short video. You supply the script (there’s a word count limit per slide so it tests your skills in brevity). The programme then matches your words with visuals which you can keep, delete or replace and even reads the script for you. If you don’t like the male American script readers, you can record your own. Each step is navigated via a set of tabs at the top of the page logically labelled: Summarise, Visualise, Add Audio, Finalise.

I’ve used similar tools in the past – ShowMe is a great one to use on iPad. I’ve used it for Slide the Corner,  The Whale Rider and Level 2 ConnectionsOfficeMix will do similar for Microsoft people. These programmes enable you to project directly off the site or if you’re worried about WiFi connectivity, you can download and save your presentation. Another plus for time-poor teachers is these sites feature collections of presentations made by others so you might find what you need ready to use! (A bit like SlideShare).

Curation sites such as ScoopIt, which I love for students looking to elevate their thinking and make independent reflections on the text, are also helpful at this time of the year. It’s also handy for saving all the sites you bookmark for a topic in a more visually appealing space.

Mysimpleshow combines text, visual and audio elements catering for a range of learners. You can elect to turn subtitles on or off – I put them on – and choose the speed of the speaker. I view it as a starting point to get students focused on key concepts. For my subject area at least, students will always have to engage with material, develop their knowledge and then synthesise and express their ideas via a well structured written response but as we all know, starting if often the hardest bit!

Next time I teach these topics, before writing a practice essay, I’ll get students to hone their thoughts by creating their own  Simple Show – flipping the learning should enable them to reflect on the content in a meaningful way AND ensure they create their own revision resource for later in the year.  I’d call that a win:win.



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Online pinboards

I’ve always been a fan of pinboards as sources of inspiration and motivation. Our kitchen pinboard is jammed with random postcards of favourite spots, appointments, photos and general reminders of family life. The boys have one each in their bedrooms featuring accolades, favourite art work, school photos and other precious memories.

In the past I’ve used Scoop.it as an online focal point for students to find out more information about specific topics. While I love ScoopIt’s easy navigation and interface, I’ve reached the limit of my three free pages so if I want to collate more, I need to pay. Darn. I can still use Scoop.it to follow other teachers as well as source and share material with students but unless I want to delete a site, I’ll need to sign up.

Hello Pinterest. I’ve been aware of this site for a while but steered clear mainly as Scoop.it met the need. Pinterest is based on the same concept – you “pin” photos or pages of interest and group them in folders. So far I’ve got a couple of school related folders plus a personal one. My aim is to link these to the school’s ultranet site to reinforce recent lessons on poetic devices and give my junior students some visual and fun reminders to use as revision at home. It’s also incredibly easy to use and has plenty of potential for students to create their own sites of interest for revision or plain old inspiration. There’s an app for iPads so you can collate on the go. Get pinning! (more…)

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I first came across Scoop.it last year via Peter Mellow of Curtin University. Like many good ideas, it got put on the back-burner until recently when I made time to have a play – and I’m glad I did.

Scoop.it is a great online curation tool that enables us to share relevant information with students in a visually appealing, easy to use format. “Creative consumption” according to the folks at Scoop.it.  Previously I’ve shared links to websites with students via koodle/wiki/email but Scoop.it enables creators to “scoop” several sites onto one page (or online magazine).  It pays to show students the page to pique their interest.

There are plenty of reasons to love Scoop.it including:

1. One click and you’re there – saves time

2. You can include sites that appeal to a range of learners – yes, differentiate 🙂

3. You can critique each site in a separate thumbnail that appears under each previewed site for comments like “great for revision” or “has a quiz”  – saves time

4. It’s a fantastic way to extend those hungry for more than you can cover in class  – feeds the mind

5. Each site is presented visually so it looks good – holds attention

6. You can arrange the sites from most to least important – makes sense

7. It’s easy to create a topic – intuitive

And even better for time poor teachers, if you aren’t inclined to create your own page, simply search on Scoop.it and it’s highly likely someone has beaten you to it. Working smarter not harder right?

So far I have shown my level 2s a link via koodle and hope like heck they’re visiting this weekend (you can check site stats) before next week’s exams.  My iPad class should have all bookmarked and, wifi willing, will create their own pages on Romeo and Juliet next week. There is an app for iPad users to use Scoop.it too.

It’s easier to supply your students with a link to your topics as they could be searching a while otherwise .  Anyhow, check it out yourself.  Here are links to my Hone Tuwhare, To Kill a Mockingbird and Romeo and Juliet pages. Enjoy.

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A while back now I reviewed a host of apps enabling students to create newspapers online.

Scoop.it is a similar idea that enables users to “scoop” (or copy and paste) their favourite online discoveries to their own scoop it page. The purpose is to provide a platform to create an online magazine (so a publishing option for students) as well as to increase the user’s web presence.

Teachers could use Scoop.it as a repository for resources for students, to raise their academic profile via a web presence or simply as a place to share ideas with colleagues. Here’s Curtin University’s elearning and design team’s Scoop.it page, shared with me by Peter Mellow.  Peter recently introduced the Scoop.it platform to delegates at Aoraki Polytechnic’ Eyes on Learning Conference held in Timaru.

The concept of curation of other people’s thoughts/ideas/research/resources got me thinking about the vast array or choices for sharing ideas nowadays, and the related criticism that there are no truly unique ideas left – just recycling of someone else’s! I personally don’t have an issue with retweeting/sharing/reversioning material as long as the original author is credited somewhere.  That’s a challenge for many young people who don’t often make the distinction between ripping off ideas and critical analysis whereby you add to a thought process by reflecting on another person’s work.

If teacher leaders make sure their students understand the difference, Web 2.0 has certainly added a host of options to the curation basket.

Share and share alike I say.

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