Digital Writing,Classroom Spaces, and UDL Brian KayserSpecial Education Teacher at Walton Middle School in Charlottesville, VA firstname.lastname@example.org
The Physical SpaceAs a special education teacher, I havemostly taught collaborative classes, whichmeant I was always the guest in anotherteacher’s classroom.Being a guest is okay at a restaurant, butnot in a classroom.When I was given space this year, I wantedto redesign it so the kids could feel asthough they had their own space.
Steps I took...There were three teacher desks in the space over thesummer. I got rid of all three.Got rid of all desks and replaced them with roundtables. They’ve been much easier for the students touse for collaboration.Took down all posters on wall. The only things that goon the wall are student-created work and materials andour map to show where we’ve connected this year.
Steps I took...Added comfort furniture to the class. There arebeanbags, pillows, empty five gallon buckets, and acouch.Most students sit in different places each day. Thissimple decision means they enter the class alreadythinking.Students can sit where they want as long as they areon task.Students often choose different locations for differentassignments
What it looks like...To view panorama, please visit:http://360.io/KJgU4p
Other Places Students Use Students can also work in:• The kitchen attached to Room 4• The hallway• The library
Writing and UDLEvery student needs to understand andtruly believe they have something valuableto share with the world.Students need to understand what writingis – sharing your thoughts with the world –and the many avenues they can take tosharing their thoughts
Writing and UDLcont…Some students have used Dragon Dictation(free iPod app) for speech-to-text dictation.Others have needed a teacher scribe.Others have tried both options and foundthose processes didn’t work for them,opting instead to type their work.
Writing and UDL cont…The key to maximizing UDL in writing it toknow what you want your students to know,but be very flexible in the path each studentchooses to show they know what they’resupposed to.An example of this is…
The Short Story Project- Students are currently working on this.- Students first write a story and share it onGoogle Docs for feedback.- Once their story is written, students will tell thestory in a different way (movie, puppet show,picture book, animation (goanimate.com),dramatic reading, etc).- Students will then reflect how different mediumschanged/enhanced/limited their story.
The Short Story Project cont.- In this process, we’ve already had discussions about why certain mediums were better than others depending on the story.- Key element for students is telling a compelling story...they’re very interested to learn new technologies to get the best product possible.
The Short Story Project cont.- Currently most students are on Part 2 of their project.- Some are planning a movie, others are adapting their story into a children’s book, one student is producing a puppet show, and one student is retelling the story through Twitter conversations using FakeTweetBuilder (faketweetbuilder.com).- The biggest challenge is being able to help kids with a variety of problems and keeping an idea of where they are in their project.
Student BloggingEach student has their own EduBlog.org blog (total costfor 50 students is $40)Students choose their theme and color layoutStudents learn to post only the work they are trulyproud ofAll student blogs are posted on the language artswebsite for easy accessStudents are given time to comment on each other’sblogs
StripGeneratorAn example from StripGenerator(stripgenerator.com)What I like about StripGenerator:- it’s free- very easy interface-multiple students can be logged into thesame account at the same time
StripGenerator cont.What I don’t like about StripGenerator- strips can not be edited...once they’resubmitted, it’s final- no color- limited characters and objects
BitStripsbitstrips.com- For examples, please visithttps://sites.google.com/a/k12albemarle.org/kayser/history-ii-1865-to-present/civil-rights-movementBitStrips costs money, but they give a one month freetrial. The comics are easy to make, very customizable,and give students a ton of options. This is my favoritecomic creating site. ToonDoo.com is a free site withsimilar options, but it is more difficult to use and takes avery long time to load.
VoiceThread-Students have used VoiceThread(voicethread.com) for a variety of projects, suchas telling about their favorite holiday memory,history projects, and as a digital story forelementary students-Please visithttps://sites.google.com/site/ccglobal2012holidayproject/gw-kayser-charlottesville-va-6th-gradefor examples
SoundCloud- SoundCloud (soundcloud.com, great iPod app) is a free site that allows students to record or post recordings of their work to be shared- Students have used this to tell about their favorite holiday memory after they wrote it.- We’ve also experimented with podcasting using AudioBoo (audioboo.com, great iPod app)
SoundCloud cont.- SoundCloud (soundcloud.com, great iPod app) is a free site that allows students to record or post recordings of their work to be shared- Students have used this to tell about their favorite holiday memory after they wrote it.- We’ve also experimented with podcasting using AudioBoo (audioboo.com, great iPod
Global Fiction ReadingsStudents write, edit, and rewriteWhen students have a final draft, they practicereading with a partnerStudents then read their writing to theirclassmates on a scheduled dayThe reading is also broadcast through Ustream, avideo streaming service (free), to family and otherclasses that can tune in
Global Fiction ReadingCont.Students receive immediate feedback fromtheir classmates and teachersThrough Twitter and Ustream, students alsoreceive feedback
Some Feedback...Thanks, Rebecca, Tyler, et al. Now I know from whence many of you come, yourbackgrounds and bios.I enjoyed hearing yall read. Not only was it interesting to hear your views aboutimportant topics such as bullying, but I enjoyed the fiction and poems, too. Flying dogs,magic bears, ghosts, and dragons (lots of them)? Thieves dressed in flags? Foodsflavored with rosemary? And there was a lot more, too. Some of these things remindedme of what I think is called "magical reality."The writing I heard was very impressive. There were many excellent sentences; the clearsentences made it easy for me to understand the ideas you were presenting. I alsoheard many writers using sophisticated and strong vocabulary.; colorful words helped topaint a picture for me about what was happening in a parking lot, and action verbshelped to describe the movements of characters.Congratulations.JohnL
More Uses for Ustream...I’ve also used Ustream to broadcast ourband concerts, talent show, and graduation.By sharing the Ustream link with familiesand other classrooms, it gives our kids awider, authentic audience.Link: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/walton-wildcats
Google DocsGoogle Docs allows for collaboration during thewriting process.Students can view each other’s work from theirown computer and leave comments and ideas foreach other.Students can collaborate on one document at thesame time from different computers, or from oneand they all automatically have the updateddocument as long as it is shared with them.
Pen PalsStudents have pen pals from Ireland andAustralia.They have the opportunity to describeCharlottesville to their pen pals and to learnabout other cultures.Students share letters through email andGoogle Docs
SkypingMy students have Skyped with other middle schoolclasses to share work and listen to others’ work.We’ve Skyped with our pen pals in Ireland.We’ve Skyped with elementary classes to listen to theirwork and teach them new material.We’ve Skyped with a 9/11 survivor.We’ve Skyped with a variety of classes for Dot Day,Digital Learning Day, and Read Across America Day.
The SuperSchool ProjectStudents maintained a Tumblr page dedicated toshowing what happened at Walton on a dailybasis.Students took the pictures, edited them, wrote acaption, and posted them on their own.http://superwalton.tumblr.com