Project Based Learning Comes to Life with 30hands

Moia Rowsome Blog

Knowledge construction, critical thinking, collaboration, problem solving and learner autonomy. These are just some of the crucial elements that teachers have been endeavoring to include in their daily lessons for some time now. As you can imagine, it is no easy feat. With time restraints and a strict curriculum to cover, it is a challenge to foster all of these valuable skills in class each day. Project Based Learning (PBL) is an effective way to bring multiple elements into your students’ learning process. With 30hands Storyteller, you can make the whole process more engaging as your learners can record and document their learning. Perfect for formative assessment. Sign me up! What is PBL? Many believe that the traditional teaching model, where the learner is a passive observer or listener, does not prepare our students for the world we live in today. This is not to say that instruction is not valuable or necessary for learning. However, it has become clear that room is needed for more critical inquiry, problem solving, collaborative group work and decision making at school. Project Based Learning involves having students actively engaging in real world projects that they care about. The student moves from the passive listener to key instigator in their learning. Their role is investigative and this investigation drives their own learning. According to Thomas (2000), there are five criteria that a project must have in order for it to be considered PBL: Centrality – The project actually is the curriculum. It is not …

Using Images and Visualizations in Video Can Enhance Learning

Moia Rowsome Blog

How often do you look at an image to try to solve a problem or understand something complex? What about Google Maps or a subway station map? Or a How-To instruction manual with images to help you building your new book case? I know I use visualizations every day. They can serve to enhance our understanding and perception of a concept. Not only are they engaging, colorful, and even fun at times, they help the audience to assimilate information by making it more digestible and comprehensive. With 30hands Pro and Web, you can easily use images to explain a concept and energize a digital story. This can help your learners engage in the key concepts that you want them to absorb while avoiding overloading them with TMI (too much information!). Visualizations are everywhere in learning Never before have visualizations been more widely accessible than in the last decade. Sure, they have been used in books and presentations to explain a concept for a learner for a long time. However, with the explosion of technology, we have new tools to create and disseminate images, visualizations and animations for widespread consumption. This has opened up many new opportunities for educators and learners. Chief among these opportunities? Using images and visualizations in video. Learning from Video with 30hands The use of visualizations in a video to explain a concept is a game changer for teachers and learners. And this has only become easier with tools like 30hands Pro and Web. With narration and …

Personalizing Learning Can Start With A Story

Moia Rowsome Blog

It’s nothing new to claim that everybody is different. We all have different talents. We all have different weaknesses. They are the result of a mixture of our genetic make up and the environments we have experienced throughout life. Ultimately, we are complex beings and we each have a different story to tell. So why not start by telling them in school? 30hands Storyteller is an app to engage learners in storytelling where each individual can explain their learning in their own way. It makes the learning experience personalized for each individual. Let’s take a look at how! Some Background Thoughts When it comes to learning, the complexities and differences between people should be fostered and championed. Todd Rose at Tedx Sonoma County said that students are not one-dimensional, either struggling or gifted. Students vary on many dimensions of learning. However, the reality is that many learners are still provided with the same textbook and learning environment in spite of the different talents and abilities in the room. Learners are all expected to absorb the same information and regurgitate it in the same way to score high on summative tests. There must be a way of making learning more personal, so that each person can be reached. Why haven’t things changed yet? Educators have been talking about change for quite a while. Why has there been no monumental shift yet across the education sector? It’s paramount to understand that this situation is not the fault of the teacher. The problem is that …

Script Writing in 30hands

Moia Rowsome Blog

What’s your first step in the process of creating a video presentation? At 30hands Learning, we recommend writing a script to get things going. This allows you to plan out what you are going to say in advance and it provides a structure for your content. Starting with a basic idea of what you are going to say and laying it out in this way can be really effective. And what about the time it takes? Investing a few extra minutes at the beginning of the process makes things much quicker once you go to add images and then narrate over your content. Writing the Script We recommend using Google Docs to write your script. Once you have written out your narration, divide your script up into lines. Each line should represent what you would say on one slide.  Like this: What is a Civilization? A Civilization is a complex society that is defined by many characteristics. First, you need people to live there – that’s important. There must be a concentration of population in distinct areas or cities… And so on! Make sure to press the enter key after each line. Numbering is optional but can help you organize the flow of your story. Starting with a script generally results in a better story. In addition, if you create a script like this in Google Docs,  you can import it directly into 30hands Web. Each line will come out as a slide automatically with the text on the drawing …

Learning to Learn – A Metacognitive Attitude

Moia Rowsome Blog

Fostering independence and autonomy in our learners can be a difficult task to master. How do we get them to learn effectively on their own? How do they become self-sufficient and motivated enough to do work without someone else holding their hand? And to know what measures to take if they don’t understand something? Well, it ultimately comes down to the student themselves and their approach to developing skills for independent learning. However, first the teacher must cultivate some learning strategies over time which will lead to the student being able to learn more effectively on their own. A Metacognitive Attitude An effective way to develop this sense of  learner autonomy in others is to encourage them to be observers of their own learning process. This sense of self-awareness is what is known as a metacognitive attitude. Metacognition means being aware of our own thought process as we carry out a task. A metacognitive attitude is one whereby the learner purposely thinks about and reflects on what they are learning. It also develops learner autonomy by enabling the student to gain more control over what they are doing. If a learner can develop this attitude over time, they will know how to approach future learning tasks and thus become more successful in these endeavors. How do we do this? – A Plan of Action According to Dylan Wiliam of the University of London, it has always been clear that the best students act metacognitively. It involves planning, thinking about their learning process, …

Olive’s Cat Tip – Moving, Resizing and Deleting Multiple Objects

Moia Rowsome Blog

This week, Olive tells us about how you can move, resize and delete multiple objects using the drawing tool in 30hands Web and 30hands Pro. Using our the improvements to our ‘hand tool’ feature within the drawing tool, you can box select multiple or all items on your slide for resizing them, moving them around and deleting them. A nice functionality to create more sophisticated slides in 30hands. Click HERE to watch the short 3 minute video!    

Connecting Globally at MassCue 2016

Moia Rowsome Blog

The theme this year at the MassCue Conference was Global Connections & Digital Learning. As I am Irish but currently living in Boston,  this theme resonated deeply with me. I believe that making connections with others, near and far, has become an essential part of making progress in the world of education. These connections are not just for teachers to make. We should involve students, principals, parents, superintendents, vendors, tech specialists, speakers and researchers in the process.  For me, MassCue was a perfect example of how to connect everyone. People from all corners of education were in attendance and ready to connect and learn. I was very excited to take part both as a vendor with 30hands Learning and as a presenter talking about digital storytelling and Ancient History. And, as I have a background in High School teaching, I felt right at home with all of the like-minded educators and EdTech enthusiasts. What a place! The venue itself is a sight to behold. MassCue is held in the New England Patriot’s home the Gillette Stadium. Not that I’m a huge sports fan if I’m honest, but I could certainly appreciate what a spectacular place this was. The indoor area here was just like the Philips indoor Arena. This was the view I had for my 30hands Learning presentation on Engaging Students in Ancient History through Digital Storytelling! So the setting alone got people pumped for the 2 days of connecting and learning. Who was there? In attendance was a …

Video Lessons Made Easy

Moia Rowsome Blog

Since the rise of the smartphone and faster Internet speeds, people have changed the way they access and consume content. More and more, we are drawn to videos and multimedia. Why is this? One reason may be that “Videos are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than text.” (Psychology Today). That’s a phenomenal number! It’s enough to make you want to go out and create a video. As educators, there are so many ways video can be used with students both in and out of the classroom. But isn’t it too difficult to create videos? Doesn’t it take too much work? Read on to see some tips on how to make the process relatively quick and easy. Where to Use Video with Students Introducing a Topic: Video lessons can be a great way to introduce a topic in the classroom. It takes the students’ attention away from the teacher and focuses them on something new and fresh to kickstart the new topic. Illustrating a Concept: To illustrate a concept or perhaps experiment that you cannot do in class time, a video lesson can be very effective. Let’s say you are studying photosynthesis. It can be difficult to illustrate this immediately as it is a process that occurs over a period of time. So in order for your students to really visualize what happens, you could create an animated video with diagrams and labels and even pictures of the plant growing over time to illustrate the process. This approach to …

30hands at Home – My Summer Diary

Moia Rowsome Blog

So we’ve come to the last couple of weeks of the summer break. It’s our final chance for fun and frolics in the sun. But just because your kids are out of the classroom and hanging with their friends, it doesn’t mean they have to stop learning! How about having them document their summer fun in 30hands Pro? The summer break is everyone’s favorite time of year. However, it is always a concern that our students and kids will become a bit disengaged and miss out on wonderful learning opportunities. So this is an activity especially for parents who want to keep their kids engaged in learning activities throughout the summer months, and to prepare them mentally for going back to school. And the good news is it’s very simple. Let’s say you’re taking a vacation in Florida and you have various activities planned for your week. Maybe you are spending some time on the beach. There’s a lot of nature on the beach that kids can explore and learn about. So maybe they could take some photos and videos of what they see on the beach using 30hands Pro and then narrate over their slides to tell a story of their experience! Maybe they could even interview their siblings or parents who have spent the day with them about what they learned. Or perhaps you’re not going to the beach? This activity is transferable to any vacation or outing, such as walking in the woods, fishing, or even going out for dinner in a restaurant! Perhaps you …

Edcamp Cape Cod – A True Learning Experience

Moia Rowsome Blog

Have you ever been to an Edcamp? I had my first experience when we attended Edcamp Cape Cod in August of this year. Collaborating, connecting and planning were themes that made up an exciting and motivating day. Everyone’s openness to share their ideas and what they have learned in their classroom truly inspired me. It also reminded me of the amazing work teachers and principals do every day to better their schools, their lessons and their students’ learning. I could sense everyone’s enthusiasm to listen to and learn from others. And as teachers and principals don’t always get the time to communicate sufficiently with each other, this was a great opportunity for them to do so. A bright and fun-filled atmosphere captured us as we began our day. What is an Edcamp? The philosophy behind the Edcamp is that it is an ‘unconference’. In other words, it’s not supposed to be a place where people ‘teach’ the attendees, sell their products, give keynote speeches or any of the common activities that engender the traditional educational conference. Rather, it is a place where teachers come to connect and communicate with each other. Conferences certainly have an important place in the  world of education, however the Edcamp is an opportunity solely for teachers and administrators to share their classroom and school experiences. Anyone can arrive and put up an idea to talk about on the board, which then gets input into the official seminar timetable for the day (see right). You are then set to …