Friday, 3 June 2016

Google Class OnAir & Apple tools

Today, we had a focus on Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir. Matt Goodwin, one of the teachers who has a class OnAir, joined us. Matt brought along the equipment which he uses in the class to film. The equipment included a microphone, as well as a camera which could be remotely controlled to pan and zoom, and which included a wide lens to capture a lesson in the classroom. After exploring a range of the Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir sites (which you can access from the link above), we held our own OnAir discussion around what we had explored. This was a great opportunity to experience what it could feel like for the learners taking part in this, as well as for the teachers who are taking the classes.

I enjoyed setting up my own google hangout On Air and reflecting on ways I could use this in my classroom. Here is a photo from the hangout of me giving it a go:

One idea was to use this with my learners so they can then access rewindable learning, as well as reflect on their ability to discuss and collaborate in group learning. The concept of navigating within, and editing the recording through youtube was a new concept for me too. I quickly realised the differences and challenges between editing on YouTube compared to in iMovie. I also realised how strange it felt being filmed while talking about an aspect of teaching. I can imagine that this is something that would take time to get used to. I look forward to using this tool in the classroom and having a go at creating a Class OnAir in the future.

We were lucky enough to have Meredith Bean, from google, join us to share some great tips for using Apple products. I found it really interesting to learn about some of the accessibility functions which Apple has created to make the products accessible by everyone. There are tools which would be great to explore in more detail as possibilities for differentiating learning for learners. An example of these tools is dictation. Dictation can be used as another way of getting ideas onto the digital device. However, it is not always accurate. Therefore, I would not be confident using this dictation tool in the classroom with my learners. Another aspect of dictation which I feel could be more useful for my learners is the computerised speech which can read back what you have written. I have created a google hangout OnAir to demonstrate how to use this tool:

I feel this could be useful for encouraging learners to proof-read their writing before publishing it onto their blogs. A tool like this could be useful to draw attention to omitted punctuation, words, letters, and incorrect grammar.

Today has given me a huge number of new tools which are going to be extremely useful in the classroom. I am really excited about the prospect of using google hangouts OnAir in the class to make learning rewindable, and to encourage learners to reflect on their learning when with a group and what they can improve.

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