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What if Glogster and Smore had a child?

June 13th, 2013 · 1 Comment · Classroom, Content- Cross Discipline, iPad

I bet is would resemble the new Discovery Education product Board Builder. (This is not an add-on product but a component of DE service).  It allows students to create a board using any of the DE resources.  This is huge for our district since with both smore and edu.glogster, our students are unable to pull in video!

Here is how it works:

Students

  1. Log into DE  ( I already create accounts for all students grades 4-12)
  2. Search and save DE content- they can also add their own files.
  3. Create a board (you can drag the content from your Quick List- one of my students replied – “This is so easy!”).  And the board is not a fixed size- you can add more elements!
  4. Submit the board with their teacher

Once you review the board, you can elect to share it (with the school, district, or the entire DE world) as well as provide written feedback to the student.  If the student edits the work, it is “unshared”- so the teacher will always have the last view before the board is shared.

While I am planning to really roll this out in the fall, I have trialed board builder with several classes.  Students have created animal boards (4th grade), math reviews (based on a scavenger hunt theme in 8th grade) and Romeo and Juliet ones (in high school). Every teacher who has seen it has had numerous ideas for projects.

Currently this product is only available on a student login.  And as the teacher, you need to make sure you set up your classes (or else your students will not be able to submit it to you).

Like all new products, there are a few things I would like to modify (and I have shared these with the DE team).  The teacher’s page (while you can sort by title and student) tends to get very busy and a challenge to manage.  While the board can be shared several ways in the community, there is no embed code and if you use the URL, you need to sign into DE to see the board (and you have to be a member of the “share to” group).  I learned after a few classes to have the students use a targeted key word when they saved.  For example, if you only want your period 7 class to see their classmates boards on slope, I would make the key work bsd7slope (teachers initials +class+ topic).

But there is a great bonus.  Because students can pull in their own files, we were able to create on the iPad (either a movie, paper slide, or anything that can be saved to the camera roll) and add it to the board!  This allows the students to add themselves to the board!  My high school students added themselves speaking about their favorite character.

The students have choices and can customize their work- but the choices are not overwhelming. Here are some screen shots several boards.

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