Tuesday, May 27, 2014

CSSE:TATE (Technology and Teacher Education)

Roundtable 15: Teaching and Learning Mathematics by Explaining Everything.

Leslee Francis Pelton & Tim Pelton
University of Victoria

For a handout, check out the page with this title on the right --->


Monday, May 12, 2014

ISTE Mobile Learning Network Webinar 

Learning by Explaining your Understanding

Tim Pelton
May 15, 2014 

Welcome to www.explainingunderstanding.com - a website we have created to support the sharing of our growing collection of projects and videos created with Explain Everything (EE).

What is this tool? 

Explain Everything is a whiteboard app that allows teachers to create and share interactive resources (project files) and video explanations. We can then use these projects and videos as part of our lessons (or flipped lessons) to support students as they explore, organize, compare, identify, annotate, reflect, discuss, consolidate, and demonstrate. In addition, we can use these interactive resources and videos as exemplars to support students in using EE to build their capacities to solve problems, represent concepts, make connections, share reasonings, and communicate understandings.

An EE project may consist of one or more virtual whiteboards (slides) that can include drawings, text, imported images, video clips, webpages, etc.. Users (teachers or students) can interact with the slides can then manipulate/animate the objects on the screen (like virtual manipulatives), and/or record the screen activity along with audio commentary to create a video explanation/performance.

Projects may be stored in your EE app and retrieved at any time, or shared with others through email or the web, and then opened and used on other iPads running the EE app. Similarly EE generated video clips can be stored on your iPad for ready access later, or shared via email or the web.

For further information on EE – check out the app developer's website and watch their video on Explain Everything

Why Explaining Understanding? 

iPads and other tablets have huge potentials for the future of education. These include:

  • Accessing prescribed content (e.g., web pages, books, videos, etc.)
  • Searching for data or information through search engines (e.g., historical records, definitions, images, videos, etc.)
  • Exploring concepts with interactive resources (MathTappers:CarbonChoices, Desmos.com, EE projects, etc.) 
  • Consolidating understandings with apps and games (e.g., MathTappers:FindSums, Multiples, Clockmaster, Equivalents, EstimateFractions, Numberline, etc.) 
  • Creating interactive projects confirm mastery of concepts and allow others to explore  
  • Creating video explanations to share understandings of concepts, and presentations demonstrating mastery of information and techniques. 

EE is an app that supports most of these activities by allowing both teachers and students to generate interactive projects and video presentations.  Just as we expand our understanding when we strive to explain concepts to our students - so to do our students when we challenge them to engage in a process of explaining their  understanding through a project or video.

Some examples please? 

We have created a website (www.explainingunderstanding.com) for sharing the projects and videos we have generated using EE to support learning math and science in elementary and middle school - and we encourage folks to borrow what we have and expand upon it!

Below I share some videos I created to share ideas with students (and to provide students with exemplars they may use for inspiration), and some video presentations created with EE to demonstrate a few of our interactive projects.  With many of the resources  I also share the actual EE projects, but to access the projects you will need to have EE installed on your iPad.  (Note that most of  the EE .xpl files can be found in the previous blog entry - see NCTM - April 10th)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Explore, Understand, Represent and Communicate


Tim Pelton & Leslee Francis Pelton  
(tpelton@uvic.ca lfrancis@uvic.ca)
University of Victoria

NCTM – New Orleans – April 11, 2014

Expand the educational potential of iPads with a creative app like ‘Explain Everything’. In this presentation we explain and share our free collection of teacher created interactive projects and video demonstrations designed to support discovery and sense-making in math.  We encourage participants to adopt this tool in their practice. Take it to the next level by challenging students to demonstrate their mastery by creating similar resources.

Some context:

iPads (or Tablets) have many different powerful potentials (for both learners and educators)
  • Content Conveyors (text, video, etc)
  • Exploration Environments (manipulatives, widgets, challenges)
  •  Data Collectors (camera, video, audio, sensors, notes, assessment)
  • Consolidation Tutors (games, practice tutorials)
  • Communication Devices (mail, social media, synchronous)
  •  Creation Studios (images, videos, podcasts, learning objects)
  • Presentation Tools (pdf, web, document camera)

Screencast apps on tablets support all of these potentials:

More specifically you can:
  • Access examples of virtual manipulatives generated by others (educators, etc.) to support exploration 
  • Generate virtual manipulatives to support explorations by your students
  • Capture performances for sharing, review and assessment
  • Generate interactive projects/contexts/challenges to guide student discovery
  •  Publish links to resources for home based review/exploration/discussion
  • Access demonstration videos – generated by others (educators, etc.) to support understanding
  •  Generate educational videos to efficiently share your best ideas/demonstrations with your class (you do it once or twice and your class and others repeatedly benefit)
  • Encourage students to master topics as they create, generate and communicate new concepts, models and manipulatives.
  • Support collaboration as educators work together to create, evaluate and refine resources
  • Contribute to a wider collection of free learning resources by sharing your manipulatives, projects, videos etc.

The Explain Everything tool:

The features of this tool allow you to:
  • Create – lines, text, objects, slides
  •  Import – images, videos, webpages
  • Manipulate – duplicate, rotate, scale, layer, lock,
  • Record – animation, voice, together or separate
  • Share – projects, images, videos

Examples to Share:

 Note that although we selected Grades 6-8 as the focus grade range for this presentation, we believe that this type of tool is useful in a broader range of classrooms and share some resources with this in mind. 

Some Manipulatives:
·      Draw-it
·      Pattern Blocks
·      Triangle Sorter
·      Aqua Glyph
·      Mystery Number
·      Function Machine

Use these and the recording function to capture and assess student mastery:
·      Can you make $3.67 (3 ways)?
·      Show me 1/4 + 2/3 = ? (with fraction strips)

Demonstrating how might you create/modify/expand and export a manipulative (in live presentation):
·      Expand fraction strips  (3x and tape)

Some videos:
·      Divisible by 3
·      Add Fractions
·      Proportion

Demonstrating how you might create a video (in live presentation)
·      Triangle sum

Questions?   Thoughts?   Suggestions?