Yesterday was our Instructional Coaching Tech Day. I love them! There is always this pinpoint focus on how can we use technology, purposely, so that students learn. I never walk away from these sessions without my head being turned to mush. Sean Nash, our Academic Technology Instructional Specialist, shared annotating tools to aid in reading comprehension.
One that will be easy for you (as well as your students) is FineTuna. This tool specifically looks at how we can annotate an image. Someone can upload an image, post sticky notes and draw. What a great tool to process information!
My class has been learning about the physical and chemical changes that occur in matter. With the unbelievable events occurring in Japan, our 8th grade science department has decided to stop what we are doing and take the time to investigate the tragedy. But, I KNOW kids still are struggling with some of the content.
On the last checkpoint, most students told me that as temperature increases, viscosity increases. If you are not a science teacher, you may not know that is exactly the opposite of what is happening. As the temperature increases, the viscosity DECREASES. I had to reteach, and check again.
Using images that focus on the tragedy in Japan, we can continue with our current topic, while creating quick checks of what the students are thinking about past learning. At the top of this post is an image I used to reassess what students know about viscosity.
One educational decision was to post the image on a discussion thread. ours was here. That way, students could write as much as they needed without clouding up the image. Discussion forums are a great way to see what kids are thinking on a particular topic. And if a student reads 10 responses before creating their own because they didn’t understand… AWESOME! What better way to learn that by seeing other students explain their thinking.
Try out FineTuna. Better yet, have your student upload an image relating to a current topic and annotate it. I’d love to hear how it helped your students learn!