Thousands of people poured into Philadelphia recently for ISTE 2019. They attended informative sessions, networked over coffee, and explored the packed exhibit hall. But most importantly, they walked away with new knowledge they can implement at their schools to help their students stay engaged and develop crucial skills.
Here are SnapStream Edu’s biggest takeaways from the conference.
Memes Can Have Many Uses in Education
Teacher Sharon Serano believes memes in education can give students an outlet to be creative and funny, and can be a great tool for teachers to use in their lessons.
“Memes are made primarily by students for students,” Serano said. “It gives them the opportunity to summarize the content and make their point very quickly.”
Teachers, Serano noted, can use memes to promote what it means to be a good digital citizen.
“As we know, once you put something out there, it’s out there forever,” Serano said. “So if it’s going to be out there forever, it better be good. It better not get you in trouble.”
At her workshop, Serano shared that she started using memes with her math students in 2016. Dubbing it “The Math Meme Project,” she had her students create and submit memes about algebra topics or her class in general for extra credit. She then took some of the memes and used them in a YouTube video which now has over 9,500 views. And she didn’t stop there—she also created videos for the memes her students came up with in 2017 and 2019.
Serano doesn’t think memes have to be restricted to math topics. Here are some of the other ways Serano thinks they can be used in education:
- Students can use memes to summarize a chapter or a novel they’ve read. They can also use memes to advertise a D.E.A.R. (“Drop Everything and Read”) book to their peers.
- Teachers can create memes about their classroom rules and put them up on the board for all students to see.
- Students can make memes to explain scientific topics.
Students can produce memes to dig into historical events.
Teachers Can Get Creative with Green Screens
Green screens in schools are typically used for video morning announcements. But educator Jessica Redcay thinks there is a lot more teachers can do with them, in particular for English Language Arts instruction.
“When we think about Language Arts, a lot of times we think about reading and writing,” Redcay said. “But you also have to think about listening and speaking. If you’re not able to express yourself and say what you mean, you’re not going to be able to write.”
To get students to practice their listening and speaking skills, Redcay had several suggestions. One was that teachers can have students put on a puppet show against a green screen to retell a book. Students can also create things and sell them with “infomercials” they make in front of a green screen.
Redcay thinks teachers can get creative with how they make green screens too. One idea? Don’t dump those old pizza boxes. Instead, paint them dark green, and voila, you can use them as a green screen.
Let Students Take Charge when Making Video Announcements
At the duo’s poster presentation, Lucero told SnapStream Edu the weekly video announcements not only keep the school community informed, but give students the opportunity to create original content.
Lucero added that she’s not teaching her students how to produce the pre-recorded announcements—her students have “way more advanced” skills than her.
“Instead, I’m teaching them communication, collaboration, organization, all of those other skills,” Lucero said.
Lucero gave advice to teachers who want to start a similar program at their own schools. Teachers should not try to control and handle everything the students do—that will stifle them. Instead, they should let students use their own skills and be as creative as they can be.
Additionally, teachers need to remember, and emphasize to students, who the audience is for the show they’re producing. They should also support students as they learn how to work together as a team.
Ultimately, Lucero said that advising a video announcements program does not necessarily come down to how tech savvy a teacher is.
“It’s all about working with people and using students’ skills to produce their own content.”
About SnapStream Edu: SnapStream Edu provides schools with technology so they can easily stream live morning announcements to the classroom. Once SnapStream Edu is installed on a school’s network, teachers can use any camera or iPad to start a live stream. SnapStream Edu can also be used to distribute broadcast TV (like PBS and CNN) over the network to the classroom. Teachers can use SnapStream Edu’s built-in search engine to find clips they want to use in their lessons. To learn more, visit our website.