Sunday, July 3, 2016

Attention! A Personalized YouTube playlist Can Raise a Reading Level!

This year I figured out a way to use YouTube playlists as a way to provide extra practice for my struggling readers.

I came up with the idea after meeting with the parents of two students who had fallen behind in reading.  I wanted to create a set of video playlists on my YouTube channel that my students could watch every evening on their own that would reinforce reading skills and strategies necessary for success. To my surprise within two weeks one student advanced a reading level.

You can easily create individualized playlists for students on your YouTube channel.

Here's how:

1.  On your YouTube channel click new playlist

2.  Title your new playlist.  I used student names for my titles. For example: "Edelyn's Special Playlist".

3.  Click on the "Public" tab and choose a share setting for the new playlist.

Now you are ready to search for videos on YouTube that will provide your student with extra support.

To add videos to your student's playlist:

1.  Under the video screen find and click on the "+ Add to" icon.  A box will appear.    

2.  Then click on your student's playlist to add a checkmark and the video will be added.

Here is a link to see a playlist I created for my student Edelyn on my YouTube Channel.

Image of Edelyn's playlist

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Why Augmented Reality Apps are Innovating in Education

Why are floods of people streaming into movie theaters to see blockbuster hits in 3D?

Because it's fun!  So let's take 3D into our classrooms and hook our students interest.  

Watch this video of my students interacting with to two amazing Augmented Reality Apps:

Follow this link to uncover more dynamic Augmented Reality Learning Apps

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Unbelievable How I Connected With All My Parents Using Facebook

I teach in a small rural farming community that is primarily comprised of Mexican and Hmong immigrants. Last year, I wanted to leverage social media to connect and communicate with the parents of my first grade class.  However, I wasn't sure if my particular parent population would embrace the idea of connecting with social media.  So I took a chance and sent a note home inviting my parents to follow me on Facebook or Twitter.  

And here's what I learned!

  • My parents preferred Facebook. Why?  They are using Facebook to connect with loved ones back in their native countries.
  • They understood how to use Facebook. So I did not have to provide any parent trainings.
  • My parents mutually understood that our class Facebook page was about featuring positive things going on in our class. So every parent was very respectful when leaving comments and likes.
  • All my parents have their Facebook accounts synced to their smartphones and could receive alerts and messages immediately.
  • My parents frequently used the private messaging component of Facebook to express concerns or ask questions.
  • I connected with parents who unfortunately stay away from campus because of gang affiliation. And guess what?  I learned that they want their children to succeed academically and transform their lives.
  • Parents and students watched educational videos together that I posted.
  • Parents followed links to articles about parenting and student success.
  • Facebook connected me to my parents like I had never done before in my 20 years in education.

Considering Facebook?

If you have been on the fence about whether to use Facebook to connect with parents I highly recommend you do your homework before you hop in.  Learn all the features Facebook has to offer and pay close attention on how to secure your Facebook page. Lastly, commit to posting daily on your classroom Facebook page to draw in and maintain the attention of your parents.