Wednesday, April 23, 2014

PFL .... Hyperlinked Writing

Licensed under Creative Commons by Will Montage. http://bit.ly/P8mHjZ
Licensed under Creative Commons by Will Montage. http://bit.ly/P8mHjZ[/caption
 We read a lot of hyperlinked text nowadays on the Internet, but how can we be on the "creation" end of this process? How can we develop a new culture of hyperlinked writing  with our students? Thinking about High School where there is a considerable amount of formal writing, is it possible to hyperlink such "traditional" text to adapt to the modern world? Or we will just be able to embrace hyperlinked text with a very different type of writing?

I decided to explore this topic with High School students after talking to Silvia Tolisano and reading her blog posts on hyperlinked writing. Silvia talks about blog writing and she mentions an interesting Twiiter dialogue with Terry Heick, where he states that:

  "The linking is a kind of art in & of itself independent of the original art of composition. With fluency, can be done together".

So as High School students are learning different writing styles, in a first step towards creating a culture of hyperlinked writing, is it possible to create links as a second stage of "writing"? Different teachers in High School have asked me that question about hyperlinked text. This question seems to be more easily answered for student papers that use parenthetical citations. In that case, the parenthetical citation could be replaced by a link to the source using corresponding words in the text. But when you consider creative writing, then is there a place for hyperlinking?


Hyperlinking a Chronicle: Offering possibilities


Licensed under Creative Commons by Ramunas Geciauskas. http://bit.ly/1ma5sgF
Licensed under Creative Commons by Ramunas Geciauskas. http://bit.ly/1ma5sgF

I had an opportunity to try out this idea in a Portuguese as a Foreign Language class, with Laureana Piragine, where students had finished writing a chronicle. My question was whether it would be possible to  add hyperlinks to "amplify" the reader's experience in the following areas:


Amplify context

LIcensed under Creative Commons by The Italian voice. https://www.flickr.com/photos/desiitaly/2201907500/
Licensed under Creative Commons by The Italian voice. http://bit.ly/1eX4FYT
So as I was reading some chronicles from the students I started to imagine what was in the author's mind and added the following links to experiment on providing a layer of context:

"Luiza se encontra sentada num banco dentro do museu. É o lugar favorito dela, onde pode pensar, relaxar e admirar......  Por que ninguém pode amar estas pinturas como vocês e eu? ela pensa .......    Como eles podiam dizer isso no “templo” da Luiza?... "

 "Luiza is sitting on a bench in a museum. It is her favorite place, where she can think, relax and admire .....  Why nobody can love those paintings like you and me? she thinks .....   How could they say that at "Luiza's temple"?


Amplify discussion 


LIcensed under Creative Commons by Filipe Varela. http://bit.ly/1nsAMoj
Licensed under Creative Commons by Filipe Varela. http://bit.ly/1nsAMoj
In the chronicle excerpt below, the student raises issues about excessive use of technology, so I tried linking to sources around the topic to allow the audience to think further:

"Se é sobre todos usando seu telefone celular durante o jantar, sobre o difícil que é usar o computador, ou algo completamente diferente, eles sempre têm alguma coisa contra a tecnologia..... “Wow”, ela pensou, “Desde quando as pessoas são tão dependentes da tecnologia?"

"If it is about all using the cellphone during dinner, about the difficulties of using a computer, or something completely different, they always have something against technology ...."Wow"he thought, "Since when people are so dependent on technology?"

After sharing these possibilities for hyperlinking a chronicle, students started working, with the option of hyperlinking inside the text or providing "extra" links  at the end of the text to allow continued reflection.



Students' interpretations about hyperlinking


After showing the two possible ways to hyperlink  for context and information, students still made interesting decisions, which made their misconceptions visible. After intervention, most students changed their hyperlinks. Those misconceptions are listed below and they can be used in mini lessons  to support students in the creation of powerful hyperlinking.


Misconception: Adding mood with music video


musica
Licensed under Creative Commons by Geralt . http://bit.ly/1gRuMRG

In this situation, students provided links to songs, which added a certain mood related to the theme of the chronicle. This may have happened because students were talking about how stories reminded them of songs. But I don't know where they have ever seen links being used this way. It seems like an idea related to "background" music to a media product. In the example below, even after intervention and a suggestion to link to a site about Pasadena, the student kept the same link.

Original student text in Portuguese: "Andando pelas ruas, eu senti uma emoção estranha. Eu senti que eu tinha voltado para casa. Mas isso tinha sentido. Esta era minha cidade de origem, Pasadena Califórnia. "

Translation: "Walking on the streets, I had a strange feeling. I felt I had come back home. But that made sense. This was my hometown, Pasadena, California".

Misconception: Illustration with static image


LIcenses under Creative Commons by Arnold Chao. https://www.flickr.com/photos/arnisto/1715332001/
 Licenses under Creative Commons by Arnold Chao. http://bit.ly/1rlqVmx1
In this case students chose to link to a static image that could have been used as an illustration to the text. Even though students had the choice of not using hyperlinks within the text, several chose to do so with an image that could have been an illustration. In this case, after intervention, the student decided to remove the link.

Original student text in Portuguese:  "Caminhando devagar em suas pernas fracas e frágeis não é difícil observar que ela é quase a única entre estes corredores sagrados. Por que ninguém pode amar estas pinturas como vocês e eu? ela pensa."

Translation: "Walking slowly with her fragile and weak legs it is not difficult to observe that she is almost the only one around these sacred corridors. Why can nobody love these paintings like you and me? she thinks".

Misconception: Hyperlink words and connection to meaning


LIcensed under Creative Commons. http://bit.ly/1mNDsg2
Licensed under Creative Commons. http://bit.ly/1mNDsg2
 The student in this example chose a video to illustrate the power of music in movies, using the word "horrible" as the hyperlink to indicate that he would not like that to happen. After clarifying the importance of the choice of words and their association with the hyperlink content, the student changed the hyperlinked word to "movie without music".

Original student text in Portuguese:"Eu acho que a vida sem música  seria muito simples. Também, perderíamos uma maneira de nos expressar e nada seria divertido sem a música. Imaginem assistir a um filme sem música ou dançar sem música, eu realmente não quero pensar nisso porque isso seria horrível."

 Translation: "I think that life without music would be too plain. Also, we would loose our ways of expression and nothing would be fun without music. Imagine watching a movie without music, or dance without music, I really do not want to think about it because it would be awful". 

Correction"I think that life without music would be too plain. Also, we would loose our ways of expression and nothing would be fun without music. Imagine watching a movie without music, or dance without music, I really do not want to think about it because it would be awful".


Writing challenge: Predict hyperlinks


Licensed under Creative Commons by xyrcon. http://bit.ly/1ifuCmy
Licensed under Creative Commons by xyrcon. http://bit.ly/1ifuCmy
Here the student provided a link to a great video about third culture kids, but only at the end of the text as a "Know More" option. That was indeed an alternative students had, so they were not forced to hyperlink within the text. But this link could have been embedded in the text if the student had thought about it while writing, or revising, by including the words "third culture kids", for example.

Original student text in Portuguese: "Tudo o que eu aprendi na Guatemala sobre as novas culturas, idiomas, escola, amizades, etc., foi uma vantagem para quando eu mudei para o Brasil. Eu cheguei neste país preparada, pronta para todos os futuros obstáculos da vida. .. Eu posso dizer que eu sou muito afortunada de viajar pelo mundo e nunca vou esquecer o que meus pais fizeram por mim. Eles me deram um presente que ninguém poderia conseguir na loja mais cara do mundo: uma vida cheia de aventuras internacionais.

Translation: "All I learned in Guatemala about new cultures, languages, school, friendship, etc, was an advantage when I moved to Brazil. I arrived in this country prepared, ready for all future obstacles of life... I can say I am very fortunate for travelling the world and I will never forget what my parents have done for me.  They gave me a gift that nobody could get on the most expensive shop in the world: a life full of international adventures.


Now what about the reader?

A concern voiced by the teacher was about the reader's experience of the chronicle. For her, reading a chronicle is about how it impacts the reader to think further into the issues presented, and hyperlinking could distract the reader's focus and deeper thinking. That is a good point and my suggestion to the class was to experiment reading with hyperlink and without hyperlinks, then debate the impact of such different experiences.
Here are some questions about hyperlinked reading that I proposed to the students for  feedback:
  • Did hyperlinks distracted you as a reader?
  • Did anyone first read the entire chronicle and then explored the hyperlinks?
  • Did hyperlinks add to your reading experience?
  • What type of hyperlinks did your prefer?
The students feedback on the experience of reading hyperlinked chronicles from their friends was mixed. Some liked hyperlinks within the text, others preferred links only at the end, and a couple thought it was distracting. Here are some highlights of students' thoughts:


  • Hyperlinks provided focus on keywords.
  • Hyperlinks provided explanations for terms.
  • Hyperlinks within the text were better because they were in context.
  • Hyperlinks were a distraction because the tendency was to open the links before continue the reading.
  • Hyperlinks after the text were better as extra information.


  • So here is the eMagazine for Portuguese readers, created from the students' chronicles! This work was a collaboration between the PFL teacher, Laureana Piragine, and the HS Academic technology Coordinator, Silvana Meneghini.

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

    Art Exhibit .. Augmented Reality for amplified learning

    Cross post from silvanameneghini.com

    Augmented Reality allows you to expand the experience of the real world with information, video, sound, GPS data, and so on. If well utilized, it can be much more than just another cool tech thing... You will see below an example of how Augmented Reality was used to expand the experience of visitors to our school's Art Exhibit. Students in Mrs Carpenter class had to reflect on and verbalize their artistic choices, an augmented reality layer was created for viewers of the exhibit. In the process, students were excited about sharing with an authentic audience and had to really recall and reflect.  It created a hyperlinked reality that enabled amplification of the viewers' learning experience that was much more engaging than text.

    aurasma1  By pointing a tablet or smartphone at a painting, through the viewing lens of Aurasma App, visitors could learn about the artist that influenced the work and techniques that were applied. Through Aurasma, an "overlay" video appears to be coming directly out of the painting and the student starts talking to you. 

    But wait... this engaging effect of merging the video with the real object does not happen automatically in Aurasma Studio. It was consciously created to provide the "real" augmented reality experience, through the use of green screen effects. In order to do that, the overlay video had to be superimposed on the image of the real object, which is easily done with the GreenScreen by Do Ink App on iPad . So we first took a picture of the painting that was then inserted as a background  at the Green Screen App. As we hold the iPad to record the student, we would already see the painting image on the background, allowing the correct positioning of the iPad camera to give the desired illusion. This is a very easy and quick process if you have a green screen already setup in your school and the students were able to do the recording by themselves.

    Green Screen effect to create Augmented Reality Overlay
    Green Screen effect to create Augmented Reality Overlay


     

     Below you can watch the overlay video for the Horsehead painting created with Green Screen by Do Ink, and check the type of content on artistic choices and technique. Aurasma was used only to create an "Aura", which is a combination of the "trigger" image (picture of the real object, in this case the painting) and the "overlay". This work was a collaboration between the teacher, Mrs Carpenter and the HS Academic Technology Coordinator, Mrs Meneghini.

    Dane M res
    Original student painting


     

    How to:


    Step 1: Take a picture of the real object for your Trigger Image
      • Tip:
        • If the trigger image is not detailed enough it will generate an error.
        • Crop the image on its more detailed parts.
        • The resulting Aura will be focused around the cropped part, but at least it will show.
    Step 2: Use a Green Screen App to create an Overlay Video
    • Install Green Screen by Do Ink from Apple Store on iPad or Cell Phone (Tutorial)
    • Add the Camera to record over green screen
    • Add the Trigger Image (the same as the real object - will show on the background)
    • Place camera so actor appears in the right position over background image
    • Record
    Step 3: Use Aurasma Studio to create an Aura
    • Prefer the online Aurasma Studio to the App
    • Add a Channel
    • Add your Trigger image
    • Add your Overlay video
    • Create / Add an Aura:
      • Select Trigger image
      • Select Overlay
      • Choose Channel
    Aurasma Studio
    Aurasma Studio windows: Trigger Images, Overlays, Auras 

    Step 4: Provide instructions for Viewers
      • Install the Aurasma App
      • Search for your Channel
      • Follow the Channel
      • Then point to the real object and see the Aura come to life!

    Thursday, February 13, 2014

    BSS 9 ... Urban patterns analysis with Google Earth

    Mr Youssef 's Brazilian Social Studies 9 class is learning about the first urban society that was developed in the Portuguese America. For this purpose, students have to analyze the urban characteristics of the main 17th Century cities of Minas Gerais, in order to identify whether the Portuguese colonists forced a urban pattern. The students have been on a school trip to those cities earlier in the year, so this activity is a follow up of the trip.

    Google Earth was chosen as a means to support such urban analysis, looking at different types of buildings and urban characteristics, including street design. In class, students learned the rationale behind their Google Earth activity looking through the SAMR model lens, as shown below. The class activity was at the Modification level.

    Substitution
    At this level, students could use a Google Map to individually draw/highlight street patterns and buildings. Substitution happens through a transfer from a paper map to an online map.

    Augmentation
    Using Google Earth to go on Street View to visualize urban characteristics and refresh the memory of the school trip is a way to enter the Augmentation level. And so is the use of images, text and links to explain and illustrate pinned locations.
    Augmentation element: Visualization to connect with school trip.

    Augmentation element: Adding explanation, links and images.


    Modification

    In Mr Youssefs’ class, students worked in groups, cooperating to identify the urban characteristics of their chosen city, and later sharing with the whole class for comparison and analysis.

    Collaborative City Urbanism 


    Sharing with whole class for comparison with other cities



    Redefinition
    A Redefinition level could involve using those Google Earth maps to support a video conference with an Urbanism specialist to discuss students' analysis. Students who live in those cities could also be contacted to add their view of how they see their own city urbanism and any heritage from the Portuguese. Based on such feedback, students could review their interpretation of their maps and perhaps better highlight important characteristics.

    Monday, November 25, 2013

    International Relations ... Visual Notetaking Strategies Braintorm

    The idea of taking visual notes is spreading on the Internet. Sunny Brown has called it the Doodle Revolution, and it is supported by brain research that highlights the importance of images in learning. Students in International Relations, with Ms LaFrance, have been assigned different articles for reading and becoming experts on.  In order to share and contribute to the learning of others, students will produce Visual Notes in RSA animation or screencasting format. Ideas for applications for laptop and iPads are given at the Visual Thinking page within the HS Academic Tech Support site.

    Students were introduced to visual note taking strategies through a MODIFICATION level activity (SAMR Model by Rueben Puentedura). So instead of the traditional approach, students were actively engaged while the video was played in class, by collaboratively creating a Google Spreadsheet with main keywords from the video. Each student or group of students typed keywords in one column of the spreadsheet. At the end of the video, they had to "clean up" the keywords list by deleting or renaming keywords in agreement with peers, so we could have as many similar keywords as possible. The keywords were directly copied from the Google spreadsheet to Wordle, to create the class list of visual note taking strategies.

    We are now looking forward to the student created visual notes videos! This work was a collaboration between Ms LaFrance and the HS Academic Technology Coordinator, Mrs Meneghini.





    Visual Note Taking Strategies Wordle - from International relation class


    Class keywords brainstorm during video presentation

    Monday, September 9, 2013

    Integrated Math I ..... Blogfolios

    This is a cross post from Moving Up the SAMR Model.


    Ms Ange in Grade 9 Integrated Math I, has taken the challenge of having student create individual blogfolios to reflect on their math learning. As all students in Grade 9 have already created a Google Site Digital Portfolio that is being used in English and Visual Arts, so the students were taught how to link their Math blogfolio directly from the ePortfolio site under "Mathemathics". In this way, all their learning reflections are connected to a central hub.

    The challenge in a blogfolio is to create appropriate "labels" that will allow retrieval of posts according to learning goals. The thoughtful creation and use of labels is a great support to reflection, which is a Modification stage on the SAMR model.

    In the figure below you will see stages in the use of blogs for learning in Math. Those stages are described in more detailed below with emphasis on "Modification", which is the example described on this post. You can also see our ICT Standards associated with each stage.



    SAMR Augmentation

    If the students were sharing problem solutions on a blog, it would already be a great step as they could learn from each other's problem solving. This type of activity would be under the Augmentation stage of the SAMR Model (see entire model on the figure below). This is because students would be able to add visuals to support explanations and of course make those visible to others, as an augmented approach to solving problems individually. But the idea that is central on a blogfolio ( or ePortfolio) is reflection, which then takes us to the Modification stage as explained below, which is the adopted at the integrated Math I class.


    SAMR Modification

    One step further on posting in a blog is the reflection on learning that not only happens along the way but also happens as students are able to retrieve blog posts under a certain learning goal and evaluate progress according to goals. The definition of labels was a crucial discussion between the teacher and the Academic Tech in order to guarantee labels that would  live through all the grades in the HS and that could also link to previous grades.

    Labels for Learning Goals
    The conversation started with my suggestion of the use of Graded's core values, as well as the grade and class name as labels. Then, the teacher explored possible labels to indicate learning progress in Math. After some discussion on how to use main ideas from the Math AERO standards that would add subject related specificity , here are the final labels that covered core values and math specific goals. An initial task for the students was to create a post where all labels were copied from the teacher's template, so the whole class had the same labels to work on during the year:




    Long term learning goals
    The first post created by the students involved their learning goal(s) for Math associated with Graded's Core Values. As they wrote their posts, students also selected the core value labels that corresponded to their goal as shown in the example below:




    This is Ms Ange's comment on the students's goal setting exercise on the blog:




    SAMR Redefinition

    At  the Redefinition stage, students would get input from experts on their blog posts and also connect with students from different cultures who may see and use mathematics in different ways.

    Wednesday, September 4, 2013

    PE 10... Fitness Portfolios for Lifelong Learning

    In PE 10, Ms Arcenas' class is taking the learning outside of the classroom and also outside of the "Unit" by recording fitness workout every week along the entire school year. Students will reflect on their own fitness plan and also on how it should be adjusted to provide the desired results and support other activities like basketball or soccer practice.

    In order to make this record viable, students will enter the weekly workout on a Google Form that feeds a spreadsheet where they will collect all the information to be used as a basis for reflection and review.

    The images below show how the Form looks like on a cellphone, and how the filled out spreadsheet looks like.

    Such use of cellphones to enter fitness data is interpreted at the Augmentation stage of the SAMR model. This is because the cellphone offers clear advantages to paper record. It allows better organization and more importantly, it allows easy record on the spot, avoiding imprecise recording at a later time.


    SAMR Augmentation

    Cellphone Form

    Spreadsheet View
      

    Challenges on this Stage
    There are several challenges in this activity, which already start at the Augmentation stage they are in. so to move to Modification we need to make sure the following is guaranteed:

    Paradigm Shift for Students - Fitness for Life
    Students will have to keep a record of fitness workout outside class and outside the Unit timeframe to learn fitness for life. Usually students tend to think that when a Unit is over, all activities related to it are over as well. Reflection will also focus on challenges in the process.

    Recording Habits
    The habit of recording on the place they do the workout will be a challenge, because students are not used to recording workout (which includes heart rates). The use of the cellphone in the gym is supposed to help record on the spot , so it will have to become a habit.


    SAMR Modification

    The chart below shows what moving up the SMAR model would look like for this activity.  The SAMR model has been developed by Rueben R. Puentedura and its image is being used to support the analysis of the PE Fitness Unit associated with our ICT Standards, An initial level in Modification would be having students share their reflection on the portfolio through a blog. A next level to complete Modification would be to have students comment on each other's posts, in this way learning together.
    SAMR Model Image developed by Rueben R. Puentedura - adapated to analyze PE Fitness
    Challenges on this Stage

    Continuous reflection on a blog as an extra step
    Students will have to show their reflection along the way, and not just as an after thought at the end of the year. Then they will need to look at some of their peer reflections to learn from them and offer suggestions.

    Teacher Check Points
    Another important strategy will be to check student worksheets through Teacher Dashboard from time to time to avoid students filling out a "fake" worksheet only at the end of the school year. Those checkpoints can help with student reflections and connection to other Units like Basketball, for example, so students can analyze their fitness log to see if the workout plan is effective for that sport , what needs to change.

    SAMR Redefinition
    Redefinition would then happen when students make connections with experts and other students around the world to open up their learning and reflection about fitness.

    Tuesday, August 27, 2013

    ePortfolios talk in the Brazilian Studies Department

    This is a cross post from ePortfolios Development Spirals.


    Today we had a great meeting with the Brazilian Studies Department where Geoff and Jennifer Carpenter shared their experience with ePortfolios. Their presentation can be seen at Digital Portfolio Workshop, where the Reflect page was particularly emphasized. Other teachers in the audience have already started publishing student work in different formats like showcase portfolio webpages, student product page in a class site or even class blogs. Middle School has in fact started a focus on Blogfolios and 5th Grade students are creating blog posts with labels based on Graded's Core Values.  So in order to provide some context for ePortfolio experiences already happening and possibilities for growth, I created and shared the following Infographic describing ePortfolio development spirals as seen from different perspectives. Silvia Tolisano and Jennifer Peterson, representing Middle and Elementary School Academic Technology were also there.

    Thinking about "Learning", ePortfolios can start by showcasing best work, or in other words, the final product of a learning experience. As evidence of student progress and development is also presented, the ePortfolio becomes a richer window into the student as a learner, enriching formative assessment. Reflections are then crucial as those create meaning and provide the "glue" that holds together all the artifacts of the learning experience. Reflection as a metacognitive process should be central to the ePortfolio.  As students connect with others by sharing their ePortfolios, learning from the experience of others and helping others on their learning path, then the ePortfolio grows. The ultimate connection is the global one, where different cultural perspectives and different learning contexts are used as a basis for learning about others, learning about yourself and learning about learning.

     In terms of  "Content", ePortfolios can start as a class showcase, then move on to student individual portfolios separated by subject area. Here you can see student pages inside class sites or subject specific blogs.  Growth from this point implies "general" student ePortfolios that include all subject areas, plus any other activities and learning that happens outside school. Here you would see Blogfolios with labels being used to organize subject areas and learning goals. The final step would be to develop a "progressive" ePortfolio that would cover a long period of time, or many grade levels (ideally from K-12 and beyond).  In this way it would be possible to see progress across many years for very different learning targets.

     The "SAMR model" can also help understand a development spiral for ePortfolios. In the "Substitution" stage we have the showcase of student product, so the ePortfolio acts a substitute venue for sharing the work.  "Augmentation" happens when multimedia is incorporated. We start to move towards "Modification" when process is represented. But it is only when we incorporate reflection that the "task" of collecting work is truly modified to become a metacognitive exercise.  "Modification" also happens when students start making connections with other student ePortfolios.  A final "redefinition" then emerges from a global connection where the individual learning path is influenced by and also influences other very different learning paths.

    Finally, in terms of "Platforms", our school has been using both Google Sites and Blogs, as the ePortfolio central hub. We notice that blogging as a paradigm for ePortfolios grows as we approach reflection and connection, particularly global connections. This is because, first of all, a blog offers the flexibility of different labels assigned to the same post, so the same learning experience can be reviewed under different lenses. On a site, a learning experience tends to be categorized in a more fixed way. Then a blog allows for easy RSS feeds and other ways to follow the posts, so it is a more easily dynamic environment which fosters the connections we want to make. The comment feature is also crucial on those connections and those are very specific to the post and encourage a two way feedback.