Blended learning is necessary for today’s students to compete in the world. It incorporates many of the skills that we want our student’s to have. Knowing how to use technology to communicate, collaborate, and problem-solve are important skills students need. I have also come to realize that while you think using computers means less face-to-face time, you can still work on language and speaking skills if you are using tools like VoiceThread or Screen Cast-O-Matic. There are many models that can be used in a blended learning classroom like the Rotation Model or the Flipped Classroom. Take a look at my VoiceThread on blended learning and see if you learn something new!
This week I learned about an app that teachers in Washington County have access to–called Shadow Puppet Edu. It is really easy and simple to use. It can be used for anything–math, art, science, social studies, and of course, ELA. I think that once I can show the teachers at my school, how easy it is to use and that it can easily be uploaded to SeeSaw (another favorite app at my school), they will be using it all the time. I especially see the primary grades using it. Students in Kindergarten can make a simple video of work they have done or a story they have written. It is super easy to include text, voice, and music!
Only downfall that I see is finding a quiet area to record in. I found with my video, that no matter how hard I tried to not have any background noise, the microphone picked up everything! It was frustrating to say the least! I recorded it so many times and every time….
The other issue that I had was with my internet connection. If the internet is slow or down, then you can not use this app. My internet was out during the wind storm and everything was on hold until it came back on! Students would be frustrated if their work got ruined or if they couldn’t work due to internet connections. Believe me, I know!