If At First You Don’t Succeed – Try, Try Again

Eleanor Kennedy Blog, Iterative Creativity

It’s a proverb made popular in the 1800s, one that can be applied to many of life’s disciplines. But, it has to be noted how fitting it is that the famous saying, which acts as a piece of advice to those facing adversity, was made famous by an educational writer (William Edward Hickson). Iteration is a huge part of a student’s learning experience. It’s foolish to think skills can be perfected and knowledge obtained at first deliverance. Yes, the speed at which knowledge is retained depends on the person. One student might have to recite their multiplication tables twice before they are memorized, while another student recites them five times. But what is important to remember is that each time you make a mistake, you’re a step closer to getting it right. One would suggest this is a startup culture, and perhaps it is. According to Edutopia, many educators that seek to incorporate design thinking and collaborative processes into teaching and learning are looking to the unique culture exemplified by startup companies. They say that by embracing these business models for learning, teachers somewhat become entrepreneurs themselves as they take on a DIY spirit and transform the process of constructing meaning and searching for knowledge. By choosing this startup culture, these educators and their schools are essentially placing a renewed focus on the role of the learner by enabling them to search for solutions to their problems through design activities and iteration. At 30hands, this is preached daily. Failure is a …

Molding a Musician: 30hands Tips from a Music Teacher

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

“Lots of my shy students have started to become emboldened to sing louder and with more confidence as they’ve had chances to hear what they sound like.” These are the words of Kerrie French, a music teacher at Conant School in Acton, MA. Kerrie has credited technology and 30hands with bringing out the best in her students and strengthening their confidence, be it in performance or academically. She said: “With the older students, the more academic-oriented projects have allowed those who struggle with singing or other musical skills to find other ways to contribute and shine in my classroom. It has also motivated some of the older students to be more active participants in group-work because they all want to use the iPads to create the slides. “It can sometimes leads to arguments,” she chuckled, “but learning how to work well in a group is a very important and life-long skill.” Project-based learning is something the 30hands team encourages and sees great benefit in. Kerrie first heard about 30hands from her district’s educational technology specialist, Peggy Harvey, who taught a professional development class on digital storytelling. She played around with it and noted it was a quick and easy way for her students to record themselves singing. As a music teacher, she says, it can be hard to share what goes on in her classroom with families outside of performances. Kerrie saw 30hands as a great opportunity to share her students’ voices with their families and the school community. “I teach approximately 450 students each …

Back to School Teacher Tips with 30hands

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again, but time seems to go so fast these days. The summer has come and gone. Teachers are getting their lesson plans ready, students are getting their supplies, and both are preparing to surpass a number of important milestones over the next academic year. It’s an exciting time, when possibilities seem to be infinite and goals unlimited. Over the next 9 months or so, teachers will bond with their students and create a permanent impression on not only their learning, but their lives. If you’re a teacher preparing to head back into the classroom, or perhaps your district’s school year is already underway, we’ve  decided to give you a few tips to make this year the most rewarding yet. Happy teaching, and learning! Set clear objectives. This will not only be useful for you as a teacher, but your students too. With each grade a student enters, their knowledge and capabilities are expected to grow. Set some objectives on your first day back in the classroom to keep both you and your students motivated.  Learn from your colleagues. Often times, the best way to develop professionally is to talk to your colleagues. Each teacher has his or her own ways of engaging students and delivering content. Whether your colleague has 20+ years experience in the classroom or is just starting out, it can be hugely beneficial to pick their brains for teaching methods, and also share your own ideas! One way …

How to Make Training Stick: A 30hands Lesson

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

Studies show that only 10% of skills presented to employees during training sessions are retained after 6 months. The reasons for this is something we have already discussed here and here. It’s a frustrating reality for the corporate trainer but how do we incite change to ensure that our workforces are more productive than they were yesterday, more in line with company policies, and perhaps most importantly, happier in their job? It’s all about commitment, from the very top down to the trainer and trainee. It would be virtually impossible for any company to successfully train its staff without the support of its highest representative. According to TrainingIndustry.com, this involves a commitment to change, and this doesn’t start with the employee being trained. It starts with leadership, for without the commitment of leadership, there can be no real change. But there must also be a commitment to execute, something which takes time, energy and insistence to adopt new beliefs. And then there’s the commitment of time. New beliefs, behaviors, skills and competencies take time to develop – more time than most people believe is necessary. No matter how good the training is, the actual acquisition of competencies is not gained in a single training. Those competencies are gained in the field, over time. This last point is perhaps the most important. The ease and ability to revisit training, as well as meaningful follow-up assessment is perhaps the key to retained skills. With 30hands video, this is possible while ensuring vital company …

Digital Storytelling and ISTE Standards for Teachers

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

With ISTE 2017 a matter of days away, we here at 30hands Learning have decided to explore the ways in which digital storytelling fits ISTE’s standards. We have already took a look at the organization’s student standards, so now we move on to the teachers. Digital storytelling is a captivating way for teachers to share their knowledge, and there is a wide variety of great apps out there that make this easy in the classroom. So if you’re a teacher on the edge about digital storytelling, read on and hopefully we can give you the push you need! Enjoy! Standard 1: Facilitate and inspire student learning creativity Teachers use their knowledge of subject matter, teaching and learning, and technology to facilitate experiences that advance student learning, creativity, and innovation in both face-to-face and virtual environments. Through digital storytelling, teachers can promote student creativity and learning through assigned projects for an individual or group. Digital storytelling is a magnificent tool for innovative thinking and inventiveness. Teachers can encourage students to explore real-world issues and create their own digital stories on topics of their choice. As well as this, teachers can facilitate creative learning by encouraging students to work with their peers, thus testing the ways in which they use digital tools in groups. Standard 2: Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments Teachers design, develop, and evaluate authentic learning experiences and assessments incorporating contemporary tools and resources to maximize content learning in context and to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes identified …

Digital Storytelling and ISTE Standards for Students

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

Last year, we published a blog post which detailed the benefits of digital storytelling in the classroom. Digital storytelling is a fun and creative way for students of all ages to illustrate their knowledge and learn through the process. But digital storytelling also has many real world benefits. In fact, the process of creating a digital story forces learners to think analytically and visually, as well as practice their communication skills. These are traits which are also represented in ISTE’s standards for students and teachers, and with the 2017 conference just days away, we thought we would examine just how digital storytelling fits ISTE’s standards. Keep on reading! NOTE: Only ISTE standards that are representative of digital storytelling are included in this blog post. STUDENTS Standard 1: Empowered Learner Students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences. Digital storytelling empowers students to show what they know creatively and actively. For instance, if a learner is studying Photosynthesis in Science class, he or she can create a digital story illustrating all the steps involved. Not only does this show their competency, it helps them retain their knowledge and also provides a platform for them to go back and re-watch the lesson that they themselves created. Standard 2: Digital Citizen Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical. …

Training your staff with 30hands video: A no-brainer for your business!

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

Seventy billion dollars. That’s how much money was estimated to be spent on corporate training in the US in 2015. Seventy billion dollars for only 10 percent skills retention. That doesn’t seem right, does it? There’s got to be a better way… and there is! There is no doubt that corporate training is a necessity in today’s world where technology is constantly changing and job specs are regularly altering. But one of the biggest mistakes companies make when training their staff is ignoring follow-ups or meaningful assessments.  That’s why research conducted by Eduardo Salas, a professor of psychology and Program Director of the Institute for Simulation and Training at the University of Central Florida, found that approximately 90 percent of new skills learned at workplace training are lost within a year. One way of combatting this issue is through video lessons. It is estimated that video accounts for about 69 percent of all consumer internet traffic and it is thought that video-on-demand traffic has tripled in the last two years. It is all over our Facebook newsfeeds, our Instagrams, Twitter timelines and even quirky Snapchat stories. People clearly love video, so how do we use this to improve corporate training and ensure employees retain skills longer? It’s actually quite simple: take advantage of the accessibility of video. With 30hands Web, businesses can create simple, engaging videos that employees can access on demand on their mobile device, tablet or computer. This means the videos can be re-watched by staff at any time of the day, and as …

Practice makes perfect! Or at least it makes for more effective presenting…

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

Most people agree that presentation skills are important, but effective presentation skills are even more important. But how does one improve their presentation skills? The first time I ever gave a presentation was my first week of university. It was in my college’s biggest lecture hall and in front of about 100 people. It was terrifying. There is no better way to describe it than that. My voice shook, my words stumbled and the palms of my hands greased. It was a short, five minute presentation, though I have no idea how long I spoke for. It could have been a mere two minutes, or ten. I was just glad to get it over with and honestly didn’t care if I spoke well or not – as long as it was over. It was times like then, and this is something I even still think about, that I wish I had the chance to practice my presentation skills at a younger age. Confidence My first presentation was when I was 17 years old and my issues ultimately came down to a lack of experience which resulted in nerves and no confidence. Now, I see teachers from across the United States tweeting their students’ wonderful 30hands presentations, and these students are as young as kindergarteners. I firmly believe that there is a direct correlation between effective presentation skills and confidence. How do you build confidence in a task? And how do you implement effective techniques to engage your audience longer? Through …

Sharing Your Lesson Plans as Videos, The Newest Trend in Education?

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

Sharing lesson plans as videos with your colleagues can be a great way of both comparing ideas and obtaining new ones. Education is an incredibly time consuming gig and with much of a teacher’s time dedicated to the classroom and grading papers, it’s difficult to find the time to create new teaching materials. That’s why sharing materials is not only convenient, but educational. How do teachers benefit from this? Sharing your lessons online is a great way of expanding your knowledge and there are multiple websites which provide platforms for teachers to do so. Some of these (see Teachers Pay Teachers) have recently introduced the ability to do this through video. This is where 30hands shines in its ability to simplify, personalize and speed up the video creation process for teachers. Creating video can be a daunting task if one lacks experience in doing so, but with 30hands Storyteller, this fear quickly disappears as the app uses easy techniques which bring unique results. Unlike a lot of similar apps out there, 30hands Storyteller also makes it incredibly easy to edit your video, whether it’s to personalize it further or just to correct mistakes. There’s absolutely no need to alter your entire video just to fix one mistake! Creating 30hands videos from PowerPoints and Google Slides One of the best features of 30hands Storyteller is the ability to import your Google Slides or PowerPoint presentations and publish them as videos. This is done within a matter of seconds. If you have …

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 …