3 easy tech tools for PLP reflections

Answer Garden, Flipgrid and Adobe Spark

how can students reflect on their PLPs?“What are you grateful for?”  We posed this question to 7th grade Stowe Middle School students, the Monday before the holiday break.

The activity may seem simple, but it allowed us to introduce the students to three easy tech tools: Answer Garden, Flipgrid and Adobe Spark. Stowe students will use these tools to reflect and to collect evidence for their PLPs.

What’s growing in your Answer Garden?

Show us what “gratitude” looks like

Students in Mr. Grogan’s class used their Chromebooks to define the terms grateful & gratitude. They were asked to find both text definitions and at least one image that represented the words’ meanings.  Following a quick discussion of synonyms for grateful, Chromecasting allowed us to easily share students’ screens. These two images generated interesting conversations about the act of giving thanks:

easy tech tools for PLP reflections              easy tech tools for PLP reflections

Then we collaboratively built this Answer Garden

Answer Garden creates a live digital representation of the group’s thinking with the number of times a word is submitted reflected in the size of the word displayed. For instance, when we hovered over the word family, the number 6 appeared. What a quick easy way to give these students a window into their collective thinking, and launch a conversation about our commonalities.

Taking the Flipgrid challenge: “What am I grateful for?”

Students were more than ready to take the Flipgrid challenge to create a video artifact of what each is thankful for…

Click on the Flipgrid above to see all the student responses (and their emoji artwork), and watch the short video below of students in action creating their responses.

 

A student identifying herself as Person P shared this thoughtful response:

“I am grateful for equal expression, the ability to show and make art and contribute to the world. I am grateful for the ability to see and have friends that will make me laugh.”

Creating a “Grateful Spark” with Adobe Spark

Next, in Mr. Shea’s PLP block, we continued the gratitude theme but this time set up a 12-minute challenge to use Adobe Spark tools to express our gratitude. After all students had successfully created an account, we shared this 3-slide challenge with the class and all agreed, a Grateful Spark could be created in 12-minutes.

 

A sample of what we produced with the 12-minute challenge:

Stowe’s self-assessment

While immersing ourselves for a day in sense of gratitude in playful ways was in and of itself fabulous, the objective driving this work together was to introduce these tools to students at Stowe Middle School to choose from in order to document their thinking and learning.

Students will be encouraged to use Adobe Spark tools to demonstrate their learning through their PLPs.

The students will use Flipgrid to reflect on evidence of certain scholarly habits. All Stowe students are responsible for gathering evidence and reflecting on these habits. One of the habits is mindset, so it’s not surprising that the title of Stowe’s next Flipgrid topic is My Mindset.

Students will record themselves speaking about specific evidence of understanding and believing that my efforts and practice contribute to my successWe love that Flipgrid creates a separate link for each card contribution, so students can embed the Flipgrid response card on their PLP. The collective responses shared side-by-side on the grid will encourage each other to find models of other ways their peers approach a growth mindset as well as allowing them to get-to-know their classmates a little bit better.

Which tech tools do your students use to document their learning?

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Susan Hennessey

Professional Development Coordinator at Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education
Susan Hennessey is a reformed librarian and current professional development coordinator with a particular interest in digital credentials and scavenger hunts. She's addicted to flavored almonds, salty, crunchy snacks, and Google Hangouts.

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