As a Science teacher, I’m always looking for interesting ways to keep my students engaged and excited in class. I’m now in my sixth year as a Biology and Chemistry teacher, but this year is the first year I have blended my classroom and I’m the first in my school to do so.
Though I was off to a rocky start, after a couple months my students and I had gotten comfortable and are now thoroughly enjoying the model. Not only have students become more engaged in my class, but I also find myself enjoying teaching more. Lesson planning is more fun too, I get a chance to try out the latest ed-tech products. And students enjoy giving feedback on each of the products they’ve used. It keeps things in the classroom fresh. Also, I find I can lean on students if I ever need help working through an ed-tech product, it really comes second nature to all of them. The digital era!
That’s why I’m excited about Glean, the newest ed-tech product I’ve started using in my class. Glean is best described as a personalized learning platform for instructional videos. They take and organize videos from talented teachers on the Internet, including Khan Academy, Bozeman Biology, and others like them
From the website, you can get a better sense of how the Glean technology works:
Hundreds of amazing teachers post educational videos online every day. At Glean, we’ve structured and organized these videos, tagged them by educational standard, and wrapped them in interactive tools (like Q&A and practice exercises). We’ve even built technology to pick the ideal teacher for the student based on his/her learning style and ability.
For each class or for homework, I try to assign one video from Glean to students based on the topic we learned in class that day (for example, The Reproductive System). If the student doesn’t understand the concept by the end of the video, Glean offers a handful of other teachers teaching the same concept – taught with a different teaching style and at a different pace. This fits in nicely with claims of Cognitive Flexibility Theory – the idea of presenting information from multiple perspectives and in different ways so that students will form multiple mental representations. In the end, I believe it helps them learn better.
So far I’ve really enjoyed using Glean and will continue to look for more use cases of the product in my class.