Designing Blended Learning Experiences for FET Learners › Week 3 Lesson
February 19, 2021 at 9:24 pm #24447Pat BrennanParticipant
As discussed during our live session earlier, it is important to try out some of the theory we are sharing with your learners so this week I would invite you try out a strategy or a tool with your learners and see how it works. Then reflect on the experience and share this with us as a reply to this post…
- What tool or strategy did you select?
- Why did you select it?
- How did you or the learners find using this tool or strategy?
- One interesting thing you learned from this experience
February 20, 2021 at 2:05 pm #24454
The tools I used
This week I was continuing to teach social media skills. To aid in the teaching and learning, the tools I selected were Microsoft Teams for Education Breakout Rooms, Padlet, Menimetor, and Vacaroo:
Why I selected them
I use Microsoft Teams for Education on a daily basis. I am online with the learners from 9.30 to 2.30 each day. I breakup the day into segments. By breaking the day into segments you can ensure the acquisition of knowledge it taking place. I chose to use breakout rooms to facilitate group and individual acquisition of knowledge, group collaboration, group interaction and peer to peer learning. Additionally breakout rooms enables the tutor to ensure the learners social and emotional needs are being addressed as online learning can be isolating. I used breakout rooms and allocated learners into groups, each group has a name that the learners chose to encourage a sense of ownership. I designed the background image in line with the name of each group.
Whilst in the breakout rooms each group used their group Padlet to answer a set of questions posed, based on a PowerPoint presentation that had been previously shared with the class. I then downloaded the Padlet from each class and shared it back on the main forum to encourage asynchronous discussion. We then used the main forum for a discussion around the answers given on Padlet in doing so the learners were able to gauge their own level of knowledge, learn from each other and to clarify questions that may have arose.
The next tool I used was Menimetor, where I had created a presentation which included two slides. The first slide was a pole to gauge the learners understanding of the topic. The second slide was a word cloud that enabled the learners to add words in relation to the topic, in doing so again encouraged collaboration and peer to peer learning. The presentation link was shared so that learners could join the presentation on either a webpage or via their phones. I shared my screen and as the learners participated in the pole they could see the results appear on the screen in front of them. We then held a group discussion based on the results. The purpose of using Menimetor was three fold – to encourage asynchronous discussion, for the tutor to gauge the level of knowledge, and for the learners to learn from each other and to clarify questions that may have arose.
The next tool I used was Vacaroo as a means of giving verbal feedback to a mock assessment the learners had submitted via teams’ assessment portal. The teams’ portal enables the tutor to give written feedback, additional using Vacaroo enabled clarification of the feedback in a verbal format. Each method of feedback helps the learner to assess their learning, encourages them to think critically about their work and to reflect on what they need to do to improve it.
How did you or the learners find using the tools?
I found using breakout room and Padlet encouraged interaction between all learners and has increased interaction and motivation tenfold, hence has increased the learners’ knowledge of the subject. I felt the Menimetor findings enabled me to gauge the level of understanding, equally so the word cloud enabled the learners to use the results for revision when attempting their assignment.
The use of Vacaroo enables the tutor to give meaningful feedback to support enhancement and future progress. From the learners point of view receiving feedback in in two forms helps them to measure their progress, written can sometimes be misinterpreted by the learner but backed up by vocal feedback, can give clarification and guidance around pointers for improvement
One interesting thing you learned this week
I learnt so much, using tools takes time to master, don’t be scared to use them as you learn by your mistakes. Additionally there are so many tools out there, you don’t need to use them all, just use the ones that suit your subjects and students, and thinking about what to want to gain from using the tools will help you to select the correct tool for you. Going forward I have discovered you can use Screencast to give feedback to students’ in an innovative way by being used to capture students’ work and provide video feedback to the students in a way that they can see their work visually, and connect that with the audio comments (Marriotta & Teoh, 2012).
Here is an article you may be interested in https://eposterofeassessment.weebly.com/advantages-of-using-video-and-audio-feedback.html
February 21, 2021 at 7:08 pm #24457
Jenny – sound like you are doing amazing things! Thanks for the link.
Your group backgrounds for breakout rooms – you designed the background image to align with the group name – I would love to hear about this? Was it the Padlet background?
I agree, online learning can indeed be isolating and interacting with others class members is so important – especially in these times.
February 22, 2021 at 2:18 pm #24475
Hi Frances thank you for your kind comments. You can name a room in Teams breakout rooms. On Padlet I created a Padlet for each group, gave it the name they learners chose for their group and used Padlet images for the background. Here is a screen shot of one of the Padlets.
If you would like any help with Padlet’s give me a shout
February 24, 2021 at 8:31 pm #24673
Fantastic ideas here. Would you mind if we took a few minutes tomorrow where you show how you used some of the tools you mention above. This is very comprehensive but you might pick one of the tools and show how you used it and what impact it had on the learning? Well done
February 24, 2021 at 8:33 pm #24674
Also note you can provide audio feedback to learners using OneNote, if you are using the MS tools. But you highlight a key ‘enhancement’ here for using technology – that of providing feedback other than written feedback.
February 21, 2021 at 3:23 pm #24455Chloe McLaughlinParticipant
On a daily basis, I communicate with my PLC students through Google Meet and Google Classroom. I use Google Meet as it is face-to-face communication very much like a classroom, with cameras on, and then Google Classroom to post assignments and resources, to collect assignments, correct them online and provide personalised feedback to each student.
The formative assessment techniques I engage in are sharing the Assignment Briefs (Learning Outcomes) with the students on GC. I often give them Success Criteria. We engage in class discussions online on Google Meet and use technologies such as Kahoot or Socrative to show evidence of learning after each topic – the students love quizzes – they often ask to do a Kahoot after a topic – they love the competitive aspect of it! They also enjoy Padlet – sometimes they prefer not to put their name to it – which is totally fine with me, leaves more room for a discussion about responses.
Assignment drafts are collected on GC and that is where I provide feedback to each student, they can re-draft then if necessary and re-submit. This helps them to become owners of their own learning.
The summative assessment for my PLC students would be their final submission of their assignments as well as their final written and computer-based exams in May. Should students not be back in school by May, we may have to opt for alternative assessments which will all be based online.
I think Vocaroo may be an interesting way to provide feedback by recording and sending voice messages rather than just comments on GC – these audio recordings would be great opportunities for formative assessment to my students. I think my students could also make use of Vocaroo to share ideas that may be a little lengthy to type up. I will explore Vocaroo this week in class. Would be interested to hear what other uses teachers/tutors have for Vocaroo….
February 21, 2021 at 7:19 pm #24458
Kahoot is always such a hit. Great tool. I recently thought one group didn’t like them that much, so I didn’t use it too much (then at the end of modulet, the feedback was wishing we had played Kahoot more! assumptions are a killer – note to self).
I think you should check out MOTE as a Google Doc add on. It does the same as Vocaroo but built directly into your Google Doc. Same purpose – just less steps for the tutor (no need to copy and paste share link) and learners listen directly in the document so they can see the document as they listen (another video doesn’t open up).
See what you think.
February 24, 2021 at 5:10 pm #24630
We are getting closer to upgrading G Suite to the enterpride version so breakout rooms will finally be available soon.
FYI there’s podcast training being delivered in late April which might be of interst to you. It’s a 2 hour webinar with poca productions.
February 24, 2021 at 8:35 pm #24675
That is great Chloe and I wonder might you share how you use Socrative with us tomorrow – just take a few minutes and share an exmaple of how you use it with learners? Great ideas here
February 21, 2021 at 6:07 pm #24456
Set up:I have a group of 20 learners on an online Level 5 course. Very articulate group with life experience to draw on from a range of sectors.
Classes set as follow: 1 hour pre-record early in the week. End of week a live Zoom for an hour and half. Generally low level of technology skills across the group. No one domain is being used (learner access resources through Moodle).
With the above in mind – I decided to place my own videoed prerecords into Nearpod as a full video and use the activities within Nearpod to automatically stop the playing video and incorporate questions/polls/resources for viewing as learners. Hence, on the spot – share your views on what was just covered type of experience. (I found the forum responses were not working for this group – using Nearpod like this resulted in a much higher level of participation and responses are beyond the depth I was expecting)
Learners feedback has been extremely positive (anonymous form feedback scale and open ended questions). Range of reasons from the practical side of having to do something to motivation paying more attention to content.
I follow up on responses either individually or in live Zoom sessions and draw connections to responses in our live sessions and or invite learners to elaborate (after gauging how confident they feel about this of course).
I played with a few different options for this in viewing approach without different windows etc. Anyone know of other options?
February 22, 2021 at 2:43 pm #24476
Hi Frances, hadn’t considered Nearpod, just watched a tutorial on using it, it looks really interesting and something I could use. Must sign up and play around with it. Thanks for the information.
February 24, 2021 at 5:12 pm #24631
Are you using the free version of Nearpod Frances? I priced the payed version last year and it was very expensive.
February 24, 2021 at 8:36 pm #24688
Well done Frances and you might say a bit more about this tomorrow and I wonder would you share your screen to show us how you are using Nearpod?
February 23, 2021 at 1:52 pm #24522Denise DohertyParticipant
As my class has not started to date due to the restrictions, I am mainly concentrating on my CPD and building updated resources for the course to follow. I am currently using the Office Suite of tools including Classroom Notebook (One Note for Windows 10 App and Online versions) linked to Teams and Stream for short demonstration videos for the learners. The Assessment tool in Teams will also be prove to be very effective.
Forms is also an extremely useful tool for learner feedback and formative learning by creating a Quiz in Forms.
I hope to get started soon and utilize the newly available digital tools which, in my opinion, will be invaluable in the future.
February 24, 2021 at 8:39 pm #24689
Excellent Denise – yest there is a lot of functionality within O365 that can be used to design and implement engaging learning. Thinking ahead these tools can really ‘enhance’ face-to-face teaching by allowing learners to engage with materials in new ways and to share their understanding with you using audio and even video. So best of luck when you are let loose.
February 23, 2021 at 8:20 pm #24577Connie Mc GranaghanParticipant
Hi I am Level 5 Childcare Tutor and am currently working with three different groups.
I put any relevant resources on google classroom in advance of classes, which are held on google meet.
The learners submit their assignments which I suppose could be deemed both formative and summative assessment as are submitted throughout the course , beginning, middle and end. I have become very familiar with google classroom/meet etc since the beginning of lockdown and have been using screen castomatic also, I find it difficult to get some of the students on board as a lot of the learners have children at home etc. and may balk at new technology.
I have been making great use of screen castomatic and have been encouraging learners to use it by making it part of assessment. AS mentioned some are afraid at first but with help have come round to it.
In regards to something interesting I have learned this week – i have a lot more to learn!
February 24, 2021 at 8:40 pm #24690
That is great Connie. I wonder might you show us how you are using Screencast-o-matic tomorrow. Might just be one example if that is possible. Sounds like it is working for you.
February 24, 2021 at 12:25 am #24585sonia mcgarveyParticipant
Hi Pat, I’m confused here. I went through this material last week and wrote into a forum which now appears to be updated and does not have my post on it. Is there Anyway you can access the old forum-was the same topic and copy paste?
also i note the material has been tweaked so going over it again to cover what wasn’t in original week 3
apologies also as wont be able to attend this week if there is a scheduled live session as clashes with another course that doesnt finish until 1.
Thanks for all the learning. sonia.
February 24, 2021 at 8:41 pm #24691
Not sure what happened there – I will ask Pat to check that one out? Michael
February 24, 2021 at 9:27 pm #24701Pat BrennanParticipant
Apologies for any inconvenience caused. Just wondering we’re you previously enrolled on on a TeachNimble course before Christmas when it was hosted on cpd.teachnet.ie? A couple of issues have arose recently with duplicate accounts? If this is the case I can retrieve your post and re-post on your behalf? Regards, Pat
February 24, 2021 at 11:03 am #24592Gareth AustinParticipant
What tool or strategy did you select?
The tools I selected this week were Google Drive, Jamboard, Padlet, Screen Record, Quizziz, Google Form, Google Slides, Mentimeter, Google Hangout and Google Meet
Why did you select it?
I’m looking to broaden my students ICT skills, further develop their soft skills, build their e-portfolios, introduce more verbal interaction, check for understanding and conduct some Formative testing.
How did I structure these?
The day before I send out the lesson plan with all the resources and links for students to review.
At 9am I conducted a Google Meet where I hold a Live Quizziz review from yesterdays session. I then introduce the topics for today and highlight pieces in the learning material. Finally I select a learner to create a Jamboard on a topic we’ve been covering who will then present to the group at the 3pm meet. The Quizziz from this morning is assigned as Homework and can be played as often as a student wishes over the next week.
The learners work through the learning material which contained;
Watching an episode of a TV series
This episode contained a feature on Holly Trees – so I created a Jamboard on sexing Holly Trees with a screen record of me talking through it. After reviewing this Learners accessed a further website link on popular cultivars, from this they had to select some varieties from this for their Padlet E-portfolios – giving rationale on why they selected these. (These padlets are shared with me so I can ask questions and probe for more information)
This Episode also contained some details on a propagation method called Whip & Tail Grafting. On this learners had to populate a Google Form with some questions which they would have had to carry out research on to complete. They had to identify a plant which was suitable for this propagation type and add it to a different Padlet E-portfolio.
Within the course material there was some cross modular work introducing the next topic (Start Your Own Business), with some discussion on the value of the material being grown.
During the day I interact with the group on Hangouts, but instead of typing I posted verbal files from my voice recorder on my phone, and learners can jump onto Google Meet if they need any support. I am also feeding back to learners on their exercises from yesterday and from the Quizziz I can identify what topics students are struggling with.
After lunch a Menti Word Cloud link was sent out and populated on what key words they were discovering today
At 3pm we held a Google Meet where a student gave a presentation on a created Jamboard to the group and the group asked questions. After this I did a probe on the work which had been carried out with leading open-ended questions to learners. Learner who presented today nominates tomorrows speaker.
How did you or the learners find using this tool or strategy?
I use Exit tickets on Google Forms and the feedback on being prepared for the topics was positive, the range of resources offered was positive and I ask what they found most interesting about todays topic and it’s normally something I’ve provided in the anchor reading material. I have spent a good bit of time at the start of the course learning who my students are and what their goal from the course is, and as such I have moulded my course to suit.
One interesting thing you learned from this experience
From reading other participants reports in this section I realise that I am pushing on a good bit with the the range of resources that I’m using. I like the look of Nearpod and have signed up for an Introduction Workshop as I think this could useful.
February 24, 2021 at 8:44 pm #24692
Thanks Gareth – great variety there. I wonder might you be ready to share an example of Jamboard and maybe highlight why you like it and where it else it could be utilised?
February 24, 2021 at 1:21 pm #24612Diane GreerParticipant
What tool or strategy did I use?
My example this week is very basic. I used break-out rooms in Zoom on a non-ETB related piece of work and sent a PowerPoint with video out beforehand.
Why did I select it?
For two reasons :
1) A high number of the women I’m working with in a particular group are unfamiliar with technology. It was a feat in itself getting them all online in the first place. Some are much older and have vocalised their resistance to using anything beyond joining an online meeting.
2) Many of the women in the group have been traumatised during the ‘Troubles’ and had joined a Peace IV Programme just before the first lockdown. It has taken all this time to persuade them to engage online. The programme has two purposes, one is to bring them together and the other is to engage in discussion and learning with topics including Women in Peacebuilding and Women in the Justice System.
It’s early days and during the first session I realised I was doing most of the talking. I knew in order to help them relax and open up they would benefit from being a little more prepared ahead of the session and working in smaller groups for part of the time online.
So … I used a very light touch to introduce the idea of the PowerPoint with audio. I was enthusiastic about it and encouraged them to “have a go at trying to look and listen to it” before this weeks session. I also reassured them that it wasn’t the end of the world if they didn’t see it.
How did you and the learners find using this tool or strategy?
Re: PP – I was really glad I did it because at least 80% of them engaged with it and said they found it useful to think about things before the session. They were also all delighted that they managed to open it at all. Win/win!
Re: Breakout rooms – this worked a treat, especially since the women could be assigned to a particular room beforehand. They were asked to share the time and the feedback was that they all engaged and enjoyed it. Relationships will have deepened a little now which is important for some of the more challenging sessions ahead.
One interesting thing I learned from this experience?
I’m not sure it’s very interesting but I was reminded about not loving the sound of my own voice and to trust that, new ways of doing things when introduced with a lighter touch can persuade even the most reluctant learners.
I also realised that I may have been spoon feeding some of my students on another course a little too much. I’m going to review and increase the self-directed element.
February 24, 2021 at 8:47 pm #24693
Fantastic Diane and always remember SIMPLE Works. I think it is great that you tried out the materials in advance and that for the majority it worked and that the breakouts worked for you. I think the big thing about breakouts is that they get people to build relationships and they provide a ‘safer’ space to talk. So keep building on these tools and approaches and become more comfortable as you go.
February 24, 2021 at 4:09 pm #24629Marguerite Mc GeeParticipant
The tools I used
This week I used, google classroom, google meet, screen cast and Kahoot as a means of enhancing both the teaching and learning experiences.
Why did I select these tools?
I used google classroom to upload slides with audio for learners prior to the live class to enable discussion and collaboration during the live session which was delivered on google meet. I used screen cast for the first time under the expert guidance of Chloe. Using screen cast, I pre-recorded an example of the construction of a ledger account in excel which is an essential element for learners for their upcoming exams in the e assessment platform with the ATI. I uploaded the demonstration using screen cast to google classroom for learner access. The feedback was positive from learners as they could view the construction step by step.
The next tool I used was a Kahoot quiz, sending a code to learners during the live classroom to assess their understanding of the topic discussed. I found this to be most beneficial to learners as it helped gauge their understanding of the topic and in turn I was able to give formative feedback by providing an evaluation of how much a student and the class had learned.
How did the learners find using these tools?
In general the tools used were well received by learners. The above mentioned tools enabled the use of active learning strategies while allowing for the production of engaging course material for learners.
In combination, these tools encouraged interaction and discussion between learners as group discussions took place afterwards in break-out rooms. It also provided stimulation and motivation to the learners as learners fully engaged with the learning and there was no resistance to the use of the various platforms.
What have I learned this week?
I was given an opportunity to assess various tools which could be used in both the online and blended learning platforms and I did find that there are so many tools available out there for one to use. From my own perspective and from a practical learning perspective the takeaway for me was the use of screen cast proved to be most effective in its simplicity as a means of delivering practical lessons.
February 24, 2021 at 5:18 pm #24633
That sounds like a really interesting Peace project Diane. Well done on getting them to engage in breakout rooms.
Like you I hate the sound of my own voice in any recordings.
February 24, 2021 at 8:50 pm #24694
Well done Marguerite and you certainly did you use a good number of tools but what strikes me is that they all had a clear purpose and that is key. Great to hear the screencast worked for you and again take your time and develop that skill further with your content area. We might call on you tomorrow to share how it went?
February 24, 2021 at 5:16 pm #24632Seamus MurphyParticipant
due to continuing I.T. problems I was restricted in what I could use but I battered on regardless. I like the ” Near pod best of all especially for my students who may have literacy issues. We were on “mid term” last week so no students available to try out on (lucky students)
Google classroom was my favourite up to now and has been deposed by Near Pod.
Some of the tools are very “American” or is it just me?
Chat to you tomorrow.
February 24, 2021 at 8:54 pm #24695
Good Seamus and give NearPod a try. We might ask that question tomorrow in relation to the ‘American’ nature of some of the tools but I think people get beyond that quite quickly. I think the key is are they helping them learn and if they engage them and allow them to interact with you and each other, I think they don’t mind. So keep the faith and hopefully you get a chance to try out Nearpod this week.
February 24, 2021 at 6:36 pm #24639Karl SweeneyParticipant
Hope you all had a good week. Played about a bit with a few of the technologies this week. So much to learn …..
What tool or strategy did you select?
I tried out Kahoot and Menti, neither of which I had used before. Just dipped my toe in the water and used my kids as guinea pigs just to get a flavor of what its like to use the tools. They loved the extra ‘technology time’!
Why did you select it?
Want to liven up the content that we put up for online and enrich the experience for learners in the interest of keeping them engaged and motivated as they come back to online learner every day over the lock down. When its 5 days a week every week, it is nice to introduce variety in interactions.
How did you or the learners find using this tool or strategy?
Very good. Hope to use them with learners soon. Both seem straight forward once you get to use them but it is worth playing around to familiarize yourself first before going live – as there is nothing worse that struggling with the technology yourself while trying to convince a class that it is ‘easy to use’!
One interesting thing you learned from this experience?
The tools that are out there are endless – and the interface’s now for learner engagement are so straightforward. The technology development has been amazing over recent years. In so many occasions the only thing standing in the way is lack of motivation to do it !
February 24, 2021 at 8:56 pm #24696
Thanks Karl and I agree – the list of tools is endless so dont worry about that. Pick a few that interest you and that you can try with your learners. Then you can delve deeper into the ones you find work and exhaust them to their full potential. Become confident in these and then add others, sparingly, where you think you need to. Just be warned that many tools do similar things.
February 24, 2021 at 8:27 pm #24646Thomas KellyParticipant
What tool or strategy did you select?
I am currently working with apprentices and ESOL beginners. The apprentices don’t have the same language concerns when guiding learners how to access and use online learning support tools. I used Socrative space race as a means to review and check for comprehension.
Why did you select it?
I tried Socrative as it was recommended by another trainer.
How did you or the learners find using this tool or strategy?
Many of the apprentices found Socrative fun. However, as learners are increasingly sophisticated in their expectations, I think there is a need for variety of approaches as constantly using the same resource may become tedious. Taking ESOL learners through similar tools may take a little longer, but once the class is established I will try to introduce something similar. As I was using PowerPoint I tried a Slido wordcloud as an icebreaker before with the ESOL group but many struggled with it. With ESOL learners I have had more success with online interactive worksheets.
One interesting thing you learned from this experience
I just enjoy the fact that people are sharing their experiences using different tools and the creative approaches to learning. Nearpod is something I will investigate more.
February 24, 2021 at 8:58 pm #24697
Thomas that is great and good to hear Socrative worked well and again I might ask you to share this tomorrow during the session so people can see what you did. On the ESOL that is fine because more and more we are going to have build digital literacy into all our courses. So well done and I agree it is fantastic to see people sharing and learning from each other.
February 25, 2021 at 10:06 am #24703
I just to thank you all for once again contributing to the forum in such a generous manner – sharing and learning from each other is key.
I will refer to a recent video from Professor Diana Laurillard today and here is a link to it if you have time to review it.
The talk is entitled, Education and technology with Diana Laurillard, and it is a discussion based event. Worth reviewing to hear what she has to say on the topic. Enjoy.
February 25, 2021 at 8:23 pm #24722sonia mcgarveyParticipant
Doing this backwards-What I learned? that staying up till 2 pm one night writing up a quiz on kahoots and the other night attempting a prezi presentation may have been a little too much but the results-delighted with them-such a sense of achievement but doesn’t mean it all went plain sailing AND i’ve now learned there were easier ways I could have done things.
So in a nutshell, I had run a quizziz quiz last week but kept hearing about kahoots and thought would give a go-took ages designing quiz-i never knew about the discover link that pat brennan mentions in his post and as I’m no quiz master the wording of some of the questions threw the class off and sometimes there was more than one right answer or could be deliberated on-lead to alot of confusion but also alot of discussion which was good and bad AND my students didn’t like me making comments about their answers to each question-I ruined the fun by turning it into a teaching session!!!-more fun with other tutors-ahem-Frances!
I’ve now today learned about the quiz assignment in google form and will use this for prep for short question exam as use google classroom and they can do it itn their own time-no need for a quizmaster.
Already use google doc for feedback and cant rate it highly enough-sometimes i meet with student and share screen and go through feedback but will now try vocaroo as less time consuming option.
The collaborate boards of nearpod (under activity not lesson) are brilliant for group and individual work (and can put a few pages together) to ascertain understanding and for peer comparison/support and facilitates discussion and we made some decisions today in relation to the format of our skills demo on their input into the nearpod boards.
On a huge positive note I am on a high after designing my SO professional looking prezzi presentation-not a picture or audio in sight but still so so proud. I am lucky to have an amazing work colleague kerry nee who took her time to screencast a ‘how to prezi’ video in very basic language and step by step so must say supportive colleagues are a must and when they are driven and high achieving also it brings out the competitiveness in me-especially seeing we share the same class-even the students comment on our inventiveness and my attempts at keeping up with the Jones’-in this case Kerry!
This course could not have come at a better time!
February 25, 2021 at 8:34 pm #24724
Just to add to what I posted yesterday. Today I am using Microsoft team chat to hold 1:1 meetings with learners to give them verbal feedback on their draft assignment. Additionally here is a link to an article discussing giving formative feedback. https://eposterofeassessment.weebly.com/advantages-of-using-video-and-audio-feedback.html
February 25, 2021 at 8:39 pm #24738
Lovely Sonia. You learners are lucky to have you!
I cab tell you- when I started to use technology in education I did what you are doing and went all out. A year in, I realised it was not the technology that was making the difference. It was the interaction between me, the learners and the content and I was pushing the technology side of things way too hard. For my Teamworking module in class we would do hands on bridge building and crime solving, or clock solving team tasks (not a laptop in sight and great learning). . Amazing that you have tried so many tools in such a short period of time. Take it easier on yourself and, if it’s not too late – do not go too technology mad :-). As for the ‘Jones’, impossible to compare, and you are not the Grinch :-D!)
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