Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Increase teacher effectiveness with eduClipper

Guest post by Adam Bellow

With so many demands on a teacher’s limited time and a growing number of frameworks and standards being introduced that can increase demands even further, many educators have looked to digital tools as a way to help them make the most efficient use of their time as they strive to be even more effective at the craft of teaching.  

educlipperbammy2.pngSocial media, a somewhat broad and nebulous term that refers to digital tools that allow people to create, publish, share, and exchange information and ideas, is not new. Websites and resources have played an important role to help connect educators from around the world to team up and discuss, share ideas, and resources all relating to education.  

As access to high speed Internet spreads and smartphones become more and more a part of our lives, these networks have taken on a larger job in helping redefine the role of the educator and student.  Educators and students are not roles defined by age or where a desk is placed in the classroom.  We are all learners and social media allows all people to be respected and celebrated for what they create and share.

eduClipper is a social web tool that was born from need to address several issues that educators and students are facing today both in and out of the classroom.  It was designed by Adam Bellow, an educational technologist who spent six years as a classroom teacher before becoming a technology training specialist and then technology director. eduClipper was specifically created for the educators and students in K-12.  

Because it was designed by an educator and specifically for the K-12 space, the tool has many unique education features that support educators and align nicely to Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching.  Danielson’s Framework consists of 22 components broken into 4 Domains.  eduClipper complements many of the ideas that Danielson proposes in order to promote teacher effectiveness and professional learning.

Here are just a few of the main features of eduClipper
eduClipper Feature: Social Network of User-Generated Educational Content
Domain 1 - Planning & Prep
Component 1a:
Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy
Element - Knowledge of Content

Domain 4 - Professional Responsibilities
Component 4e:
Growing and Developing Professionally
Elements - Enhancement of Content Knowledge and Pedagogical Skill and Service to the Profession
Component 4f:
Showing Professionalism
Element - Service to Students

Educators can use eduClipper to search for digital resources that have been uploaded or “clipped” by other educators and students.  With a title/tag search system in place it is easy to find links for Science as a general topic or a more specific sub-search of something like “Human Cell”.  The content is able to be re-clipped (added to your own clipboard of content), commented on and liked which will help it’s “popularity” so you know which resources are getting the most traction with other users of the site. 

The growing social platform has over a million pieces of content that have been collected by users in the past four months.  Users can upload content from their computers (Currently supports PNG, JPEG, GIF, PDF, Word, PowerPoint, Excel), upload Google Drive files, or bookmark entire webpages. 

The site also accepts embed code from sites like YouTube, Prezi, and more - making it easy to share work that students and teachers create from around the web.  In addition, eduClipper also has a powerful bookmarklet tool that can be added to all modern web browsers and allows users to clip dynamic content from the web into eduClipper in order to share it or review it later.  
eduClipper Feature - Curated Collections of Resources
Domain 1 - Planning & Prep
Component 1d:
Demonstrating Knowledge of Resources
Elements - Resources for Teaching and Resources for Students
Component 1e:
Designing Coherent Instruction
Element - Instructional Materials and Resources
All the content from eduClipper can be added to eduClipboards, which are collections of resources. 

Teachers can create boards about any topic they like and students can create boards as well.  In addition to creating boards on one’s own, eduClipper allows multiple users to collaborate on a board together and gather resources in real-time in a group.
eduClipper Feature - Differentiated Instruction through Groups
Domain 1 - Planning & Prep
Component 1b:
Demonstrating Knowledge of Students
Elements - Knowledge of Students’ Varied Approaches to Learning and Knowledge of Students’ Skills and Knowledge
Component 1c:
Selecting Instructional Goals
Element - Suitability for Diverse Students
Component 1e:
Designing Coherent Instruction
Element - Instructional Groups

Domain 3 - Instruction
Component 3e:
Demonstrating Flexibility and Responsiveness
Element - Response to Students
Speaking of groups, eduClipper is perfect for differentiation of instruction. Educators can create sub-groups of classes where they can send different resources to different learners that best meet their needs.  This can be easily changed or edited depending on the assignment so that the learners all get the right resources for them.
eduClipper Feature - Personal Learning Portfolios
Domain 2 - The Classroom Environment 
Component 2b:
Establishing a Culture for Learning
Elements - Importance of the Content and Student Pride in Work and Expectations for Learning and Achievement

Domain 3 - Instruction 
Component 3d:
Providing Feedback to Students
Element - Quality: Accurate, Substantive, Constructive, and Specific

Domain 4 - Professional Responsibilities
Component 4c:
Communicating with Families
Element - Information about Individual Students
Component 4b:
Maintaining Accurate Records

Elements - Response to Students and Student Completion of Assignments
eduClipper has started to introduce Portfolio tools that are all about empowering learners (both teachers and students) to be self-reflective as they look back on the work that they are clipping throughout their time in school. Presentation Portfolios created in eduClipper allow users to take content they have clipped and present it to others as a digital resume of sorts.  

The site is also about to unveil some classroom portfolio features as well that enable teachers to provide students with assignments that they can complete and place into their own personal learning portfolio.  These portfolios will allow educators and peers to provide feedback in a meaningful manner, through text, badges, and even video/audio feedback.
eduClipper Feature - Student Monitoring and Management Tools
Component 2d:
Managing Student Behavior
Expectations and Monitoring of Student Behavior

Domain 4 - Professional Responsibilities Component 4b:
Maintaining Accurate Records
Elements - Student Completion of Assignments and Response to Students

Educator and Student Accounts - Educators and Students can each create accounts.  Teachers can create accounts for their students or create a course code that will allow them to be signed up into a course the teacher is teaching.  Students can alternatively join the site independently of their teacher and later become part of a class if their teachers use the tool.  Teachers can help set permissions for their class as a whole or for individual users including things such as the ability to comment on clips, collaborate with peers, or even limiting or expanding the level of access they have to the content on the site. With more portfolio and assignment features being launched in the very near future, this tool will allow educators to provide deep feedback to their student learners in a meaningful way as the students reflect on their own learning.

eduClipper is a great tool for teachers and students to explore, share, and contribute information.  The site makes it safe and secure for learning to be enhanced by social tools and for teachers and students to build and be part of a global social learning network where what they create and share has social value and matters.

Watch the video below for an overview of eduClipper.

View these tutorials for ideas on getting started.

Adam Bellow is one of today’s leading speakers on educational technology and infusing technology to aid school reformation. He is the founder of both eduTecher and eduClipper. In addition to these free resources, Adam launched the popular charity Change the World student-focused charity campaigns. Bellow is currently serving as CEO of eduClipper a free web tool focused on helping students and teachers find, share, and build valid learning experiences in a K-12 safe educational social platform.

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