The last session that I’m attending is “Getting Meta: Augmented Media for Creativity & Critical Thinking” with Amy Burvall. You can explore the topic and join in the conversation by joining her G+ community. Her community includes the slides as well as a list of activities.
One of the most prominent terms that we hear today is “meta” – metadata, metacognition, etc. Meta means “above, beyond, or about.” Amy wants to explore different ways to get students to “get meta” with their projects. Meta is very powerful and gives us a broader idea of what is happening in the world an dour lives. For example, go to Wolfram Alpha and type in “Facebook Report.” You can learn more than you ever wanted to know about your Facebook page.
The nice think about the social media and digital world that we live in, is that it is a living medium. We can update and change it, hyperlink it and look to other sources, and continuously build and make more rich. Unlike text, nothing is static anymore. We can make our text come to life with our own hyper textual elements. This also allows students to have layers to work and ultimately, more meaty.
A way that we can effectively share and organize is to tag (or hashtag) information. Hashtags have evolved from basic information, e.g. #ettipad, and can be more nuanced, like #sorrynotsorry. We have a lot of information out in the world that we need to keep it from being “messy.” We want it meta, but not messy.
We also are a visual group, and so image based communication is becoming more and more relevent. Check out OVER by Potluck. It allows you to overlay text on your images.
Another great tool is Thinglink. I’ve used Thinglink to have my students create interactive images. You can see that lesson here. Amy is showing us a wonderful example of student making sketch notes with Thinglink. By using a single account, it can help produce a product from Groupthink (what have we as a group concluded?).
Another tool that Amy uses is Listicles (see Wired’s Article: “5 Reasons why Listicles Are Here to Stay“). Listicles are list format articles that can help us to reflect and process broader content. By analoguing content and then digitally manipulating it can provide a broader tactile and meta experience! Meta experiences with students should be about process, product, and reflection. It should not be about a firm, end product but a meaty, living document. It’s about being conceptual and non-linear.
A great tool for creating a non-linear presentation is Projeqt. It allows you to embed live content: blogs, tweets, maps, etc. Here’s an example.
Another great tool of mixing up “Pop Up Videos” and Mystery Science Theatre 3000 is Mozilla Popcorn Maker. This allows student content to more engaging and draw on multiple elements. Here’s a great example, by the way – you can manipulate the Google Maps in Real Time! Embedded, real time data. Wow!!
So students can take existing content, modify it, remix, and make it even better. Wow, talk about some cool tools.
Another great project that Amy employs uses Ted Ed. However, instead of the teacher flipping the lesson she has the students do it. TouchCast is an app available solely for the iPad. It allows users to create interactive videos. This is a real game changer for the iPad, it’s really amazing. You can put it on YouTube but it won’t have all of the interactive features. It’s a new tool but I can’t wait to play with it even more.
Another great tool that she highlights is SoundCloud. It’s a collaborative voice recording tool and you can tag sound elements. For example, if you’re teaching a language class you can touch and comment on a portion that a student is mispronouncing.
So how do we get our students from a “Lean Back” culture into “Lean Forward.” Amy does this by using social media and socratic circles. You can do this with Back Channeling (via Twitter or Today’s Meet). If you are doing this publicly, you should include a class hashtag. She uses #tokkailua. It’s about shifting it from comments to conversation.
There are a number of tools that we can use for students to make meta data. It’s about finding effective tools and employing them. Amy has a tons of resources and examples in her G+ Community.