While Learning from Home Participate in Big Dayta’s Interactive STEM Global Data Collaboration Project

Families around the world are finding themselves at home with their children and are looking for ways to #keeplearning.

Almost 1,000 students have participated in BGL’s Big Dayta project with their classes. But did you know that it’s also open to kids who are learning at home? The project is free and does not require a log in. 

 

What do I do?

Kids, keep track of one weekday in your life and complete the form so you can add your day to our Big Dayta tracker! 

Then you can explore the data. Check out the spreadsheet with all the data, and explore it however you wish. Or if you would like some guidance (especially parents who are looking for grade-level ideas!), check out our idea guide

We even have some worksheets that automatically update as more kids add their data. Due to COVID-19 keeping so many people at home right now, we are creating worksheets as fast as we can. Check out the list below (and please send a request for a specific grade level so we know where gaps need to be filled! :

  • Second grade investigates only second grade, 2- and 1-digit numbers with comparisons
  • Second grade investigates all data, 3-digit numbers
  • Fourth grade investigates all data, comparisons of 2- and 3-digit numbers
  • Third and Fourth grade investigates all data, estimating, rounding, and subtracting with 2- and 3-digit numbers
  • Fourth grade more estimating and rounding

 

Resources:

 

We look forward to seeing what you investigate!

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This project was created by Banyan Global Learning and is provided free by BGL. If you are a teacher or school leader who is transitioning to online learning, check out their free resources for getting your class online quickly

 

Working from Home? Resources for Young Children Home from School

Online teaching resources for teachers – click here.
School closures are keeping the nation’s children away from school while parents are being asked to work from home. Even the biggest critics of screen time will need to rely on some virtual babysitting just to stay afloat during this crazy time. Rather than turning on Netflix, why not edu-tain them?

 

With fun characters and catchy hooks, BGL has a library of media content for young kids. Please feel free to share these YouTube playlists:
Themes: TransportationAnimals and more!
There’s even an educational show that encourages active participation from children. With sing-alongs, read-alouds and fun activities, there’s sure to be some content on the BGL YouTube channel that will bring joy to your child’s online home-based learning.

 

By working together and sharing our resources, we can ensure that students receive the best education no matter what the classroom looks like.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response: Best Practices for Online Teaching Using Interactive Video Conferencing

COVID-19: Online Contingency Plan for Educators

This guide is a crash course for how to transfer learning magic from your classroom to an online environment.

  • You’ve probably never done this before. That’s ok. We’re here to help.

BGL’s TITAC training method has effectively transitioned classroom teachers to online environments for over a decade.

  • We recently presented this method at the NCCE conference in Seattle. Here are the slides from that presentation which can support overview training.

This training video is an overview of BGL’s TITAC method for how to teach over interactive video.

  • Due to our decade-long experience in the field we find ourselves in a unique position to support educators so that learning can continue during school closures.

(Updated 3.19.20)

Other Tips for Teachers Quickly Transitioning Online

  1. Even though you know your students already, treat it like the first day of school. Spend time first building community and your routines for this new virtual classroom.
  2. If possible split your class into small groups. Large groups will be harder to manage especially at first. If large groups are inevitable, Zoom’s breakout rooms are a good way make things more manageable.
  3. Make sure your students or an adult in the room are prepped on how to use the technology you plan to use. Especially important will be the ability to mute people; they will be in their homes and random noises can disrupt the lesson. In Zoom, you yourself as the host of the meeting can mute participants.
  4. Many teachers will not connect with their students daily over video conferencing. To stay connected to your students record a short video greeting every day. This is an uncertain time for your students and you are a grounding force in your students’ lives. Little efforts toward human connection can go a long way toward keeping them feeling safe and engaged.

We’d like to send you more of our free training. Give us your email? No pressure. These are weird times.

 

Here’s a Summary of TITAC (Also Covered in the Video Above):

This resource is intended to help quickly transition teachers to an online teaching environment using interactive video conferencing (IVC).

Overview

Distance learning and teaching vary widely in methodology, with some online classrooms having equivalent (Bernard, Abrami, Lou, Borokhovski, Wade, Wozney, Wallet, Fiset, & Huang, 2004; Cavanaugh,  Gillan, Kromrey, Hess, & Blomeyer, 2004; Bertsch, Callas, Rubin, Caputo, & Ricci, 2007) or even greater success than traditional classrooms (Harris-Packer, J. D., & Ségol, G. , 2015) . Given that online teaching and IVC are not monolithic, constant forces with consistent elements, BGL has developed the TITAC method to create a powerful education environment.

 

TITAC Method Overview:

  1. Teacher – The IVC teacher is effective and highly engaging.
  2. Interaction – Meaningful interaction is central to lesson design.
  3. Technology – The technology used is driven by learning goals and enhances the learning experience.
  4. Aesthetics – The aesthetics of the lesson engage the learners.
  5. Collaboration – Open communication facilitates collaboration between all stakeholders.

 

TITAC Best Practices for Online Teaching Using IVC:

  1. Teacher: The teacher is effective and extra engaging.
    1. The lesson design, pedagogy, teaching methods and tools are founded in best practices, meticulously planned and optimized for the student population and delivered effectively.
    2. The IVC teacher brings excitement and passion that extend beyond the 2-dimensionality of the medium.
    3. The IVC teacher’s word choice, pace of speech and intonation are appropriate for the medium and audience.
  2. Interaction – Meaningful interaction is central to the experience.
    1. The students have frequent opportunities to lead and to share their ideas.
    2. A sense of global citizenship – including cultural respect and empathy – is developed while connecting with otherwise unattainable people and places.
    3. The interaction introduces students to and/or reinforces 21st century skills such as communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.
  3. Technology – The technology used enhances and is driven by the learning experience.
    1. Operation of supplementary technology is internalized and back-up plans are on the ready.
    2. All stakeholders are invested in the capacity of technology to redefine education and prepare students for the future.
    3. In 1:1 environments, blended learning tools redefine student work and teacher assessment.
  4. Aesthetics – The presentation looks and sounds good.
    1. The IVC setting and all people in it are camera-ready and professional.
    2. The IVC feed is well-framed, well-lit, has good acoustics and good use of color.
    3. The IVC visual and aural experience is multi-dimensional and dynamic.
    4. Any digital resources are pithy, visible and well-designed.
  5. Collaboration – The relationship of stakeholders to each other is communicative and collaborative.
    1. Teacher roles – both on-site and IVC – are well-defined beforehand including classroom management and assessment.
    2. The teachers have an open back channel with which to communicate during class.
    3. All teachers know the lesson plan, design and contingency plans and discuss these beforehand.
    4. The classroom teacher handles individual behavior management.
    5. The IVC teacher has an accurate class roster.

In addition to the free resources that will be available soon on our YouTube channel and our website. Follow up training sessions are available by writing to info@banyangloballearning.com or by clicking here.

 

Background

Teaching with IVC removes limitations of physical location and therefore dramatically expands possibilities for human connection. Mastering these connections is critical in a world where unanticipated school closures can restrict access to education and where demand for flexible school environments is increasing. IVC prepares students for a future where essential human skills are prioritized and technological advances create unprecedented opportunity for widespread collaboration. Therefore, more than ever, a model for delivering high-quality educational experiences over IVC is essential.

This model is based on 10+ years experience teaching over IVC trans-nationally to whole groups of students in Asia. The benefits of this type of IVC education also include 1) the steep reduction of cost and carbon footprints 2) the ability to drastically expand the audience for any given educational content and 3) the real-life human impact of communicating directly with people from different backgrounds. The added challenges of IVC include logistical complications and the need to develop cultural understanding.

As more providers use IVC to teach, this paper provides a guide map for factors to consider. It is a supplement to established resources such as Ben Newsome’s account of successful STEM experiences over IVC and Cole, Ray and Zanetis’s trailblazing book Videoconferencing for K12 Classrooms. Critically important aspects of the IVC experience – including curricular goals, classroom setup and definition of stakeholders – are described in those resources.

Happy Chinese New Year!

This video was created by local admin and BGL teachers at Tsai Hsing Elementary School in Taipei to wish local staff a happy Chinese New Year. As a sign of cultural respect our teachers show off their Mandarin language skills in delivering a goodwill message to their colleagues.

Check out more Chinese New Year content here!

Want more videos for teachers? Check out our PD Live YouTube Channel.

Want to teach abroad? Check out our job listings here for Taipei and Kunshan (near Shanghai).

 

Shark Tank! Project-Based Learning over Video Conferencing

Shark sightings were reported in BGL’s 7th-grade Learning Live classes this past December! Our students participated in an entrepreneurship competition modeled after Shark Tank, the popular television series where aspiring entrepreneurs pitch business ideas to savvy investors. Inspired by the show we launched our students head first (pun intended!) into an ocean (again!) of product development and high-pressure pitching. They absolutely loved it.

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Here’s how we did it: the students first developed a product idea in a short timeframe with a specific framework: the product had to be original (to the best of their knowledge), marketable and realistic. We worked through business terminology and concepts focusing on marketability, pricing, and profitability. We watched and analyzed product pitches to analyze what works and what doesn’t. Using their newly acquired business terminology and knowledge, students then created a presentation or demonstration for their product idea. They pitched their idea to their classmates via a presentation/demonstration and the classmates voted on whether the product was worth funding. Five finalist groups from each of the 7th-grade classes moved to the final to face the sharks!

Our sharks consisted of a former CFO, COO and executive vice president of IBM Global Services, a computer vision research engineer, and a product manager. They considered our students’ pitches carefully and asked pointed questions within each of their respective expertise (finance, computer engineering, marketing). The students were definitely in “unfamiliar waters” as they sunk or swam. Abner, Gene, and Ian were ready when they were asked about the product liability for their small-space-living-problem-solving “Double Sofa Emergency Alarm System Toaster Clock”. Their fire retardant material was water-resistant/stain-resistant and even had a built-in alarm system that called the authorities for help (whether or not you used the automated wifi connected communication). Oh, it also detected earthquakes and sounded the alarm but still made you breakfast. 

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All of our Tsai Hsing future business leaders discussed financials of their products on the fly (and in American currency no less!) and demonstrated their ability to negotiate. They thoroughly impressed our sharks, who said they would fund at least half of the products pitched. Their leader, who was a real-life former Shark Tank type of guy, refused to tell us who was the best saying he could not discount the exceptional work of the others by only choosing one as a standout. 

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The final round of innovative products also included Ann’s OPhone that not only solar-charged and downloaded any app with ease but also improved your eye health. Ann even had medical endorsements! Meanwhile, Eve and our other Ann offered up non-melting ice cream to a panel of hungry sharks. Their ice cream was a scientific breakthrough using a low calorie, all-natural and completely safe proprietary ingredient that lowered the melting point. While the girls created ice cream, Ian and Jordan prepared a savvy new shopping app that was cleverly promoted with an exceptional presentation that even included their new company website and social media accounts – all with usable barcodes. 

Not to be outdone, HC proposed a new currency just for students. The currency would work just like Taiwanese dollars but would be given to students from their teachers for things like good behavior and high grades. HC furthered that the money would expire two years after graduation. This would allow students who worked hard to gain a positive start in life. Our former CFO was intrigued but wanted to know how HC made money on the product. HC replied, “You have a credit card, right?” and explained that he would assume the credit card company role and keep a small percentage from all transactions. Since the projects had to be realistic but not real, HC was able to explain that he already had funding approved from the Taiwanese government in an effort to promote domestic spending and to retain the best local talent in Taiwan for the first two years after their graduation. This would help to solve a major problem facing Taiwan right now: a brain drain to neighboring China where economic opportunity can oftentimes be greater than in Taiwan. This was perhaps the greatest example of achieving one of the project’s goals: to create innovative solutions to some of our most pressing real-world problems.

Read more the successes of our Learning Lives distance learning program on these blog posts!

When Being a Hot-Blooded Teacher Is Actually a Good Thing

Teacher Nate has taught with BGL at Tsai Hsing School for the past 7 years. He describes one of the secrets to his longevity below:

I should start with the caveat that “hot-blooded” in Chinese, rèxuè (熱血) is actually a very positive trait. In Taiwan, being a hot-blooded person means you are enthusiastic and full of passion. So when somebody refers to you as being hot-blooded here in Taiwan, they aren’t calling you a “hot-head” like in my native U.S. Rather, it’s a compliment!

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This linguistic difference is just one of the myriad cultural nuances to navigate when teaching abroad. This, in turn, is just one of the many challenges you face while daring to pack up your life to live and work in another country. Two more challenges are finding a community outside of work and staying engaged in your professional life. It was these two birds that I killed with one stone: Spartan Races.

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Having always been into fitness I was excited when in 2016 these events made their way to Taiwan. Spartan Races are essentially an obstacle course race completed either competitively or as a team-building event. I enjoy both aspects and soon they became a real passion of mine. Through Spartan Races, I have made good friends and recruited others into the sport. This has helped to make Taiwan my home away from home. After enthusiastically helping with some Spartan promotional activities, Taiwan’s Spartan organizers now refer to me as “the hot-blooded teacher” within the Spartan community.

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Keeping my life exciting out of the classroom has made me more driven within my classroom as well. Students can be greatly moved by the things that matter to their teachers, and my students know I’m passionate about Spartan Races because I often use the races to make real-world connections and extend content across our curriculum. And so eventually some of Tsai Hsing’s students signed up for the kids’ version of the race. I made sure to run next to them through the course and encouraged them on each obstacle. They might have gotten involved on their own, but I think at least some were inspired to try the Spartan Races because of my “hot-blood.”

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This all reminds me that though a person can keep work life and private life separate, they are interconnected. The adage “work hard to play hard” goes both ways, so one could also say “play harder to work harder.” My advice: be sure to find what makes you “hot-blooded” and pursue it, especially if you teach abroad.IMG_7040.jpeg

Want to teach abroad? Go here to see BGL’s teach abroad opportunities in Taiwan and China!