Some notes, part of a ragged collection on lockdown learning.

So far I’ve been following a pretty standard pattern for our class team meetings. 1 hour a day 5 or six items running from a prepared PowerPoint.

I think most of the pupils enjoy it or at least the ones that have turned up come back.

I try to give as much time to them to talk as I can, but it is difficult getting contributions when we don’t know who is going to talk. I do a fair bit of round the class and some shout out when you have an answer!

My main problem is the slides failing to show up on the pupils screens. I don’t think I’ve managed a meeting where everybody has seen the slides in a timely fashion. My screen is white/black is a common cry.

We had a meeting this morning where less than half the class turned up, so only 12 in the meeting. I gave up trying to use the slides as there were too many problems. This was with a 1.9mb powerpoint so I am not sure where the problem lies? I have generally a very basic approach to slide decks. No transitions, very few images, lean & mean.

I’d really like to know how to get the slides to work a wee bit better. I even tried turning my video off to see if that would help, but it didn’t make much difference. As I’ve no idea about the pupils connection it is difficult to even guess.

I had though earlier that flipped learning might be the way to go, and do link or embed some videos on our blog. I got the impression that they were not much watched. I am now thinking that it might be better to make my own videos and ask the class watch them just before the meet. This will of course mean more prep.
So my classes timetable for tomorrow looks like:

  • 12:45 – 1:45 Minecraft
  • 1:45 – 2:00 time to watch a couple of wee videos uploaded to Teams.
  • 2:00 – 3:00 Team meeting

In other news:

I thought hands up in Teams had reached the iPad, but it seems not.

I am beginning. To see a drop off in participation, or in the sending me ‘work’ via Teams, e-Portfolios or email. I don’t think the May holiday helped, although I had a few pupils posting and even opened Minecraft up for a while on Monday. Maybe changing things up a bit in the meetings will help.

Replied to Sarah Clark on Twitter (Twitter)

“@Beakhar @MicrosoftTeams So our p7 transition have a task this week to design in minecraft. They can submit a photo of their build or now a video . Kids could upload a video of their science exp though. Or an explanation. Need to be smaller than 50mb though”

‪Might be good #digitalliteracy to talk about video size? I remember back when I started kids posting online 1st lesson was resizing jpgs to 480 pixels. Unfortunately more modern tech makes this less easy.‬ In class we do an Airdrop back & forth so I can squash videos for kids.

=GOOGLETRANSLATE(A1,”en”,”fr”)

Hat tip @TheoKL

Works in Glow Blogs too.

Replied to Reclaiming Vimeo (bavatuesdays)

I’m hoping to catch up on some blogging about stuff I have been doing with ds106.tv over the last month or so, but before that I wanted to quickly share an awesome tool that Chris Lott pointe…

Hi Jim,
You might be interested in jaimeMF/youtube-dl-api-server: A youtube-dl REST API server/
Might help with some reclaiming.

I love YouTube-dl useful for lots of things. Some YouTube videos are blocked for me at work but I’ve got a Hazel script watching a folder in OneDrive on my home mac that will use YouTube-dl to download videos from ids in a text file added to the folder;-)

Replied to Aaron Davis on Twitter (Twitter)

“@johnjohnston @IaninSheffield @Sfm36 @Miss_Anderson @athole @StephenReidEdu @IanStuart66 @claganach I am a POSSE kinda guy to be honest John. I will often carve a response on my site and then either send it via SNAP or copy it and then manually add the syndication link. Documented much of my workflow here https://t.co/8pmpBCxrPD”

POSSE is best, but I sometimes knee jerk or fire a quick tweet & then think that would be best on my site. I am also lazy & inconsistent. Some real gold in Managing Content Through Canonical Links, thanks

Some notes, part of a ragged collection on lockdown learning.

Teaching via blogs, teams and meets it a bit like throwing mud at the wall and seeing what sticks. I am not getting the same bunch turning up everyday. This makes planning a series of lessons difficult. Or continuing something.

My team meetings consist of some of the following:
– A bit of chat, perhaps “round the room” sharing news although if that happens every day most folk dry up after 2 or 3
– A few maths questions, pupIls note down answers and then we review and discuss.
– “Number talks”
– Tables bingo
– Every week we take a poem: read it on the first day; discuss words the next; Poetic techniques the next and do a bit of writing the next two. 10 minutes a day.
– A general knowledge quiz
– Discussions of some of the tasks on the weekly blog post.

I try to keep it moving along, light and happy.

We tried 5 minutes drawing with soft music one day this week, it seemed to go down well. I’ve done the same with writing. On paper then pasted into the chat. Again using poetry keeping it short.

Of course this is interrupted by pupils dropping out, trying to get back in! Mics not working, audio dropping etc.

I also run a Minecraft Education Server for an hour or so everyday. I mostly step back. Stick on the text to speech and try and get some prep done. Not particularly successfully. Every so often I wander about amazed at what is being done. It is a pretty open ended task, a Virtual Banton. It seems to develop in fits and starts. It drops away then an idea picks up. Fascinating to watch. I’ve never had more than 7 pupils in at once.

Today I was completely surprised, two of the class wanted to ‘give’ me the school uniform. It seems in Minecraft there are ways to pass on these thing. Some instructions in chat followed, but they were to complicated for me. One pupil then decided to make a video. And drop it in teams. 2 minutes later job done. I’ve got my uniform on.

Text of a pupil  blog post today, “I know I’m like two weeks late with this work but here it is.”