23 February 2016

IPA: Self-Improvement and Motivation

I went the semi-scripted route for this IPA: native speakers responding to familiar-ish questions crafted with my burgeoning intermediates in mind.

Basically I wanted to see how they would do with someone other than me, but without unleashing the full force of videos like those that frustrated them so in the Pinterest/reflection blog phase of the project.

Put the request out in the universe, and the universe shall answer. The universe or your PLN.

Sra. Plett volunteered her students to answer 4 questions each about time management, saving money, and exercise for my students. What the videos lacked in professional audio quality, I think they made up for in familiar vocabulary and relevant subject matter.

But none of this would have been possible without a few stunning technology revelations.

Did you know you could SHARE Seesaw classes? Like add another teacher!
Sra. Plett just uploaded the videos to a Seesaw class and just shared it with me! Super cool, right?? I will say that the video quality for downloads from Seesaw is not the greatest, which caused some consternation for struggling students on my end. But this way no student privacy was violated, and there's an established pipeline for future collaboration! (Sra. Plett says the Joven Voz series may have to become a thing!)

Did you know you can send videos straight from WeVideo TO CLASSROOM?
didn't, mind you. But I could have. Stored that nugget for future reference as I cobbled together a few shorter videos (the dangers of enlisting native speakers in a school with bells for your semi-scripted videos) to upload to EDPuzzle.

Did you know you could IMPORT your students FROM CLASSROOM to EDPuzzle?
Gone are the days of begging the superheroes behind EDPuzzle to set up my class for me the Sunday before the IPA. Just click, click, done! No extra sign-ups for students!

EDPuzzle vs Vibby vs school firewalls
I went with EDPuzzle this time because of issues with YouTube last time. The kids really would have preferred to use Vibby, but the videos I uploaded were mostly "restricted" on YouTube (videos of teachers talking about school stuff? In Spanish??? SO dangerous.) I considered offering a Vibbing, but I was not about to risk what happened with the personalized final exam videos last semester. Plus I have NO way of checking what will be restricted on Chromebooks for students--short of taking class time to have one check EACH video. I mean, I log in with my teacher account, and, you know, there are some perks to being the teacher--like watching your own videos with impunity.

It turns out that was a good idea, because even the one video I had EDPuzzled from YouTube was restricted. I found a workaround with the 6 desktops in my room for the 6 students who needed that video first period, then downloaded and uploaded that video to EDPuzzle too, and all was well.


I think the interpersonal also went a little better (sick days aside), #1 because of adjustment to the IPA process and #2 because I'm getting a little closer to a legitimate two-way discussion. Also, I did feed them the topics in advance again.

Be prepared to EXPLAIN
  • problems you have had with your project
  • how the ideas IN THE VIDEO can help you
  • strategies you have used
  • new solutions you can use
  • future plans and goals for self-improvement
Be prepared to ASK about
  • suggestions for your problems
  • MY problems with self-improvement (pretend to care)
  • strategies I have tried or can try

The presentational writing was another video storyboard, a la school inspiration video (only this time a "change" inspiration video). The sick day wrought a little havoc here, because there were some mighty suspicious imperative constructions popping up in my absence, BUT that's also the peril of having the exact topic the day before you write: time to cram and memorize a translated phrase or two.

Still, my kiddos had some cute ideas with this prompt:
Create a storyboard for a video using your experiences and research to inspire other people to make a change in their lives.

What problems can they have? What strategies can they use to solve them? 
Use the blocks to quickly sketch what image you want to appear in each block. Use the boxes for any written text (IN SPANISH) you want to appear in the video, and the lines below each block for anything you want someone to say out loud.

And now they're working on adding to and revising their video plans as we speak. We'll have a showing this Thursday!

We had a brief celebration of everyone meeting their weekly goal not too long ago. Just a little time to go hang out in the college cafe at the end of class, NBD. But I got to converse with a few of the kiddos about their progress. Several were very glad they had started the project, and they had made some discoveries and changes they wouldn't have otherwise. One student, whose parents hail from Mexico, said she thought the project was "sent by God just in time" because she needed some money. And who knew? Her parents actually had some tips on how to save money, not just scoldings to save it! My one Spanish III independent study kiddo has dropped some serious weight and started a complete lifestyle change--only because she had to for class originally!

I'm looking forward to what the research and records and advice from other students in Oklahoma all lead to. And maybe if this self-improvement project doesn't go much beyond the video turned in this week, at least they'll know how to find motivation.

Even with amigos across the country.

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