Wednesday, November 23

Video-based Questions (VBQ’s)

In light of our upcoming PD day on assessment, I thought that this would be an appropriate time to share the article, These Google Forms Turn Video From Passive to Active Learning, recently published on eSchool News. The author of the article, Kelly Grotrian, discusses her use of video-based questions (VBQ’s) for assessment purposes. Inspired from the standard document-based question activity, or DBQ, she describes VBQ’s as a series of videos with critical thinking and higher-level questions. The novelty of this idea, according to Grotrian, is that students are in control of their learning.

Grotrian uses Google Forms to share the VBQ’s with her students and to gather their responses to the questions. She also has students creating their own VBQ’s as an extension of their learning experience.

If anyone is interested in pursuing this type of assessment activity and would like my assistance, please let me know.

Wednesday, November 16

Exploring Issues From Multiple Perspectives

When researching a problem/event that involves another country, teachers and students can make use of advanced Google searches to obtain information that has been published by a particular country by including “country codes” as part of the search criteria . Searches can be further refined to look for resources published by universities. To initiate this type of search,the addition of “ac” indicates an institution of higher education, much like “.edu” does for American universities.

The eSchool News article, The advanced Google searches every student should know, uses the Iranian Hostage Crisis as an example. Also known as the Conquest of the American Spy Den (in Iran), the advanced Google searches could look like this:

  • site:ir Iranian hostage crisis
  • Iranian hostage crisis
  • Conquest of the American Spy Den

There is a world of information available to us (and to our students) on the Internet. Knowing how to make meaningful searches can help us gain insight and perspective on international events and issues. Give it a try; it’s a big world out there!