Today’s guest post comes courtesy of Jennifer Williams. Her post addresses the changing tools available to educators and how Easel.ly empowered her work.
To learn more about Jennifer, check out her bio at the bottom of this post.
In today’s classrooms, digital technologies are transforming student work and allowing for increased emphasis on creativity and innovation. Multimodal literacies are redefining conventional definitions of communication through the use of alternate types of expression, including visual forms of literacy. Easel.ly is a useful digital tool that allows users to creativity convey thoughts and share ideas through graphic representations.
To demonstrate effective uses of digital tools in the classroom, I recently had the pleasure of guest lecturing to a class of pre-service teachers at the University of Augsburg in Germany. Through use of video conferences and advanced screen sharing applications, I was able to participate (from Florida) in a great discussion with the pre-service teachers in Germany on the importance of using multimodal literacy tools to allow for global collaboration and exchange of ideas. For the presentation “Building Bridges: Connect, Create, Inspire”, I set out to demonstrate and model the different tools over the course of the lecture.
I wanted to explore the changing educational needs of today’s learners. Instead of simply providing the needs in a basic list, Easel.ly allowed me to create a fun and engaging infographic that visually connected the pre-service teachers to concepts as we discussed during the lecture. This infographic was easy to create and there was a gallery of icons available from which I could select and match to the words.
Easel.ly made it easy to download, email, and share my infographics as I created my presentation. At the conclusion of the lecture, the pre-service teachers in Germany explored the Easel.ly website at http://www.easel.ly. With a better understanding of effective uses of technology for instruction and expression of ideas, the pre-service teachers hope to use Easel.ly and other forms of digital literacy tools in their future classrooms!
Many thanks to Professor Eoin Lenihan and the University of Augsburg for supporting innovative learning and teaching.
by Jennifer Williams, International Program Developer for Calliope Global
As the co-founder and lead program developer for Calliope Global, Jennifer Williams works with schools, universities, and organizations from around the world. Through her vision of providing authentic opportunities for international collaboration and relevant learning with use of advanced teaching practices and latest technology, she champions teachers and students to prepare for their futures in a world that will prioritize creativity, innovation, and exploration. Today, she speaks, writes, and consults on educational practices that develop global perspectives through creative uses of technology. Jennifer is also the co-founder of both EdCamp Tampa Bay and #Read4Fun Ignited Chat.
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