Study Opportunities' Blog
Videos. They can help your learners with mastering new content. If you use YouTube they are free and available anywhere. That's the good side of videos. From a teacher's perspective videos do come with a few problems attached to them like limpets:
Number 1: You do have to watch and vet the content of a video before you recommend it to your learners (not all videos out there are accurate or up to date). This can take a lot of time.
Number 2: It is hard to check that learners actually watch the video.
Number 3: Video watching is passive - and we know that learning is more effective when the learner is actually active.
Enter a solution. Edpuzzle is a free web site that allows you to take videos (whether you have created them yourself our sourced them from YouTube) and add in questions - turning the video into a more interactive activity and giving you a way to check how much of the content the learner really understood (and that they watched the video!). You do have to create an account to use the site.
Here's an example you can look at, try and even give to your learners to work with. It covers basic hardware (something CAT and IT teachers should be doing in Grd 10 theory).
Here's this week's news:
We all know that learner activity is far more productive than their sitting watching you PowerPoint. The problem is the time and effort it takes to create meaningful and worthwhile activities. Last week we looked at Quizizz as a re-enforcement and assessment tool. Crosswords can be another fun way to re-enforce vocabulary and help your learners... learn!
Crossword Labs is a free online tool that lets you create crosswords, print them out or even complete them online. When I say free I mean really free - no irritating advertising or clutter. A simple clean interface that allows you to create, print and share crosswords that works as easy as pie.
Crossword Labs also has a huge library of crosswords made by other people (some of which can be used by other teachers in other subjects at school - think of how popular you'll be when you tell them about this free resource!).
To get a little bit of extra capability - and to support the author of this very useful tool - you can choose to pay a once-off lifetime fee of $9.95 for which you will even be able to download the answer keys for crosswords created by other people - so that you don't have to work out the answers on your own! Paid members can also choose to make their crosswords private and protect them with a password.
So how does a tool like Crossword Labs help you as a teacher?
Well, here's an idea to keep your learners busy (and learning) for a lesson or two:
When they have completed the crossword you can then test how much they have learnt by following it up with a Quizizz test that will help you see what work they know and what work they are struggling with!
You could even make the work count for marks.
We've taken the time to create a crossword with all the basic terms for the hardware section of Digital Technology Grade 8 Module 1.1. These terms overlap with CAT Grade 10 and IT grade 10 basic hardware concepts - so teachers of these subjects - you can also use this example for your learners as well!
If you press enter after typing a word into a line in the crossword then your answer will change from blue to either green (correct) or red (incorrect) to give you an idea of how well you are doing!
Once again, if you create some crosswords that you would like to share with other teachers and readers of this blog then please add a link in the comments. The more we share, the better everyone's life will become!
Windows 7 is officially dead and off life support. Microsoft will no longer issue patches or security updates for Windows 7, so please make sure that your computers have been updated to Windows 10. Please also inform your learners and encourage them to upgrade as well - and make sure that your school's IT department has upgraded all the school computers as well.
Networking and Internet
There is hope for better batteries yet. We all know that battery technology is the big hurdle between us and better, more powerful, longer lasting mobile devices. Two new technologues show a glimmer of hope on the horizon (maybe in 5 years time):
It's good to know a little about these technologies so that you can talk about future trends where the move to mobile continues and accelerates thanks to better batteries!
Hacking and Security
When talking about subscription software models you can add a new disadvantage. The software company can simply cancel your scubscription at any time for any reason - and you don't even get a refund!
In September / October 2019 Adobe cancelled all Venezuelan user's accounts for their Creative Cloud subscription products. President Trump had just signed an executive order stopping US companies from doing business in Venezuela.
Adobe gave users until the end of October to download their files but claimed that the Presidential order prevented them from giving refunds.
Internet publicity led to Adobe backtracking on the decision not to give refunds - and, by the end of October 2019, reversed its decision to cancel the accounts.
This is an example of one of the possible risks associated with a subscription software license and can serve as a good discsion topic in class.
That's all for this week. Happy teaching!
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