At Home with Sick Kids but Still in Class

I was home with my two sick children but I was still in class with my students.
Previously, I have used Ustream and Livestream to host evening online review sessions with students. For a long time I have wanted to find a way to use this technology to continue meaningful class instruction when there is a substitute. Today was the first day I tried to make that dream a reality.
Short version-
My sub logged in to Google Hangouts (another streaming and live chat option) and sent me an invitation so the students and I were able to see each other. Then, students did part of assignments on the class computers or personal cell phones. Students reported their progress and asked questions via Twitter using the hashtag #taybio. Larger class questions were addressed through Google hangouts. It was beautiful! Short demo below.

Long version with details.
I used a combination of Quizlet, youtube, Twitter, Google hangouts, paper, pen or pencil, and textbook.
Beforehand, I set up vocab words in Quizlet. Quizlet allows you to make flash cards. Once the flashcards are made, there are interactive games built into the set. The games are fun and a great learning tool for students. Students were required to reach a predetermined level of mastery on each game before moving to the next step. As they reached those point levels they would report to me on Twitter and then move to the next activity.
After the Quizlet flashcards (my set for class) students were asked to watch a youtube video about meiosis and answer questions on paper.

Then students turned to their attention to the textbook. Yes, I still feel the textbook is a good resource. Plus, when the power goes out it makes a great backup. In the textbook students practice there photocopying skill and artistry by drawing the steps of meiosis.
Student behavior and engagement was pretty good considering they only saw my face on the screen.
I am thrilled with the our first run at this type of instruction. There are many ways to improve and here are some thoughts for the future….

Thoughts for the future.
– High order activities instead of basic memorization.
– Find more ways for students to have engaging, meaningful, learning activities when there is a substitute.
– YouTube questions done on Google forms instead of paper.
– Your suggestions?…..

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About 2footgiraffe

High School Science Teacher Dickson, TN
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3 Responses to At Home with Sick Kids but Still in Class

  1. Jess Warner says:

    Sounds totally awesome!!! Did you find that all or most students were engaged? Could they hear you really well?

    • 2footgiraffe says:

      The student engagement level was so-so. Students were sharing computers for the assignment and that can be distracting or collaborative.
      They could hear me really well, however, most of the activity was student paced. Mostly I just clarified details of the assignment and answered questions.

  2. mrpiercey says:

    Neat, man. I’m going to try this with my kiddos when I’m down in Australia here in a month. Gonna try a hangout and then collect some of their questions using Google forms to respond real time.

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