Using Stats App GameChanger To Improve Performance

GameChanger_logo

Summary stats for the Beach Bash tournament

Summary stats for the Beach Bash tournament

I am currently with the St Andrew’s College Senior Boys Basketball team in the USA, playing in the Corona Del Mar High School annual Beach Bash tournament. It has been a big learning curve for the team coming up against some very high quality teams from around Orange County. Although we have not played them, the tournament includes the #12 ranked high school basketball team in the USA, Mater Dei (who interestingly also use GameChanger to record stats).

As part of my role with the team, I have been taking statistics during each game on an iPad, recording important information such as:

  • Shot attempts (both made and missed)
  • Rebounding (offensive and defensive)
  • Assists and turnovers
  • Blocks
  • Individual and team fouls.

I’ve used a number of different apps over the last two years to record this information but have settled on GameChanger has it provides a really good overview during the game revealing three critical stats:

  • Points off turnovers (very valuable in this tournament as the defensive pressure from the American teams has been significantly higher than what the boys are used to)
  • Second chance points (when the opposition scores after getting an offensive rebound)
  • Shooting zones for both teams – identifying where/how the opposition are getting their points (close shots “in the paint” or outside three pointers for example).

This is the overview for the last game we played against Sage Hill:

White is St Andrew's College and Green is Sage Hill

White is St Andrew’s College and Green is Sage Hill

Aside from the first quarter, this ended up being a very close game, with the difference really coming down to the very high percentage Sage Hill managed to shoot the three pointer.

Shot zone for Ben, our starting centre.

Shot zone for Ben, our starting centre. As you’d expect for a centre, most of the shots are close to the hoop.

One of the other great benefits of this app is that parents and supporters who are not at the game can follow along live online or via an iOS app with the GameStream feature, and also get game and season statistics for each player. From a coaching perspective, it is invaluable to be able to show each player where their shots were made/missed, allowing them to reflect on what were high percentage shots to keep taking, versus lower percentage shots to try and eliminate. Two other useful features are the shot chart for the game and the Game Flow (similar to the “worm” in a cricket run chase). Below are the Game Flow and Shot Chart for the last game against Sage Hill:

A unique feature of this app is the “Recap Story” automatically written after the game is completed based on the statistical data recorded. On Thursday the St Andrew’s team beat local team Westminister and this is the write up generated by GameChanger:

  • St Andrew’s College Beats Westminster
  • St Andrew’s College were victorious against Westminster 56-51 on Friday with the help of Tullen McGuinness, who scored 16 points. On a three-pointer from Will Hollings, St Andrew’s College locked down their lead in the third quarter. St Andrew’s College pulled ahead early with a 19-point second quarter on the strength of an 11-3 run, eventually claiming a 27-23 lead by halftime. McGuinness led the charge for St Andrew’s College’s offense, scoring 16 points, with nine points during the fourth period. He also contributed five rebounds and one steal. Jayden Chan (9 points) and Hollings (6) each sunk multiple three-pointers. Also contributing for St Andrew’s College were Ben Cushing (8 points, 8 rebounds, 1 block),Amosa Faitua-Nanai (6 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal), Theo Van Hout (6 points, 2 rebounds, 1 block), Jono Trail (2 points, 2 rebounds) and Sam Cockram (2 points, 1 rebound). St Andrew’s College finished the game with 35 rebounds (eight offensive/27 defensive), three blocks and seven steals.

These Recap Stories are written via technology by Narrative Science and present a succinct summary of the game. My only request would be that these recaps also reflected some of the performance of the opposition, rather than being so obviously focused on the team recording the stats.

Whilst the GameChanger app is not perfect (it is missing some useful stats such as +/- and EFF), it is very intuitive to use and provides the best “in game” reporting at a glance making it very valuable. The GameStream feature, streaming in realtime the scoring of the game, is a great feature as well.

This blog post is a little different from the usual eLearning stories that I write about, however I find it really interesting that technology like this is now available at a high school level, whereas it was previously only accessible at a College or Professional levels. It reinforces that technology is helping learning across all spectrums, both in the classroom, as well as the sports environment.

Guest Post: Year 6 Mystery Skype With Alabama School

This post was written by a student in Year 6SD after a Mystery Skype session in Term 4.

On November 21st 6SD was involved in a mystery skype with another Year 6 class.

As soon as they spoke we knew that they were in America, so we had to guess what State they were in. To make it more interesting and more challenging, we were only to ask yes, no questions. We were allowed to use our devices to check information and it didn’t take long for us to ask if their State had a starting letter between A and L.  We asked if their capital city was Montgomery and they replied yes. We found out on our devices that they were in Alabama.  Ben played on his electric guitar, Sweet home Alabama and they told us we were right!

They found out we were in New Zealand. After we both knew what Country/City each other was in, we asked them questions about Alabama, like what their favourite sports teams were. We found out some very cool facts about Alabama like that they get to wear mufti every day while we had to wear uniforms all the time and also that at 9.10am on Friday morning it was only 2.10pm on Thursday for them.

Overall it was a great experience and we would love to do it again.

By Henry

This post was also displayed for students to see on the College Moodle site

Creative Writing With OneNote & MineCraft

Harry reading his story and showing the world he created in Minecraft

Creative writing can be a topic that even the most competent students find challenging. For the children of Mr Dekkers’ Year 6 class, added motivation was provided by the introduction of “Pick a Path” stories as the format for their creative writing. For those unfamiliar with this genre, the reader is regularly presented with a choice at the bottom of a page – depending on which option they select, the outcome or ending of the story can be quite different.

I was pretty excited by the idea of using Microsoft OneNote to create these stories ever since I had stumbled across the idea in October on the Partners in Learning Network which outlined the learning objectives of this activity as:

  • to produce interactive choose your own adventure stories
  • to work collaboratively online to produce an end product
  • to create stories to share online with a wider audience

I shared the link with a few teachers who I knew would be interested and the timing was perfect for Mr Dekkers’ Year 6 students who were embarking on creative writing as part of an English unit. Already competent OneNote users, the student did have to figure out how they were going to hyperlink between pages in their notebooks, and with this problem solved, the writing began.

Hamish made this cover image using Paint.Net and merged three different images.

Hamish made this cover image using Paint.Net and merged three different images.  CLICK IMAGE TO READ THE STORY

To encourage his students to reflect on their writing and be as creative as possible, Mr Dekkers asked them to draw a picture of a scene or the world they were describing, or alternatively to recreate it in Minecraft. In doing so, the students could literally visualise what they were writing about. Their editing from this process was reflected in their OneNote Notebooks by highlighting changes made as a result of their picture or Minecraft world.

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Due to the ease of sharing NoteBooks in OneNote, students were able to read and comment on the progression of the stories and provide feedback to one another or suggest ideas for the direction of the stories.

Desert of Terror

Harry’s story Desert of Terror. CLICK IMAGE TO READ THE STORY

With the writing complete, the class had the opportunity to read them all and then voted for the three stories they enjoyed the most. Izzy, Hamish and Harry’s stories were chosen and I had the pleasure of hosting them in the Board Room in Strowan House for a reading of their Pick a Path stories.

 

Izzy's Pick a Path Story called The Black Death Maze. CLICK IMAGE TO READ THE STORY

Izzy’s Pick a Path Story called The Black Death Maze. CLICK IMAGE TO READ THE STORY

It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, albeit very challenging to complete the stories successfully without coming to a gruesome end by choosing the wrong path! I do encourage you to click on the cover images on the left and read the stories yourself. This is possible because the three students shared their stories in read only mode in OneNote.

When I queried Harry about the reason for using Minecraft he said:

The goal was not to just make something pretty in Minecraft, it was actually to improve the quality of your writing … after writing the story, the idea was to look back in Minecraft and see how you could improve the writing you had already completed.

Their ease and confidence in using OneNote was evident and so I took the opportunity to ask them about how they found using this tool in their learning in general.  Hamish commented:

OneNote is really good because we can all go on it at the same time – we have even done debates on it!

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Teaching The Teachers: St Andrew’s College Staff Delivering Professional Development

StAC Logo WhiteThe end of the academic year is a busy time in most schools, but also a time that many teachers engage in professional development. It is no different at St Andrew’s College where three hour, small group sessions were organised for all secondary teaching staff as a refresher on eLearning. This professional development was run by Arnika Brown, an eLearning Integrator from Cyclone Computers who has previously worked with teachers in our Preparatory School.

This year has also seen increasing requests by other schools and organisations for our teachers to deliver professional development in the area of eLearning and technology use in the classroom. An example of this is earlier this week our Assistant Head of English Ms Tam Yuill Proctor was invited to deliver a keynote at the Dunedin English Big Day Out conference. The title of her message was “Putting the “E” of E-Learning into Teaching and Learning” and as a summary reflection of presentation she recorded a terrific Office Mix overview (click the slide below to view):

Tam Office Mix

The topics covered in the keynote included:

  • Teaching and Learning: knowledge building, learning communities, practice
  • Office365: Office Mix, OneNote and OneDrive
  • Inquiry Learning: putting it into action with Year 10
  • Blogs and Twitter: effective use of these in professional development.

Other examples of our staff delivering or facilitating professional development in eLearning recently include:

It is excellent to see teachers from St Andrew’s College being invited to share their expertise and experience with the wider teaching community, as it highlights the value our own students are receiving in their tuition. As well as requests to speak at events, the College has hosted numerous staff from other schools on visits to see eLearning in action in our classrooms.

To build on this momentum, St Andrew’s has created a new position starting in 2015 called eLearning Integrator. This role will focus on supporting innovative and best practice in eLearning amongst our teachers and I am confident this will lead to even more teachers being asked to speak at future events.

Moodle Versus OneNote Part 2 of 2

Moodle v OneNoteIn part one of this two part post, I highlighted the various strengths of both Moodle and OneNote and in part two I aim to highlight the relative weaknesses of them as standalone Learning Management Systems (LMS). By doing this, it should become apparent that the two successfully complement each other and provide a compelling feature set when used in tandem.

moodleRELATIVE WEAKNESSES OF MOODLE:

  • Because it is essentially a browser based website, there are some things that are much harder to do compared to a desktop application. The recording and sharing of video and audio content would be an example of this.
  • There is a considerable learning curve in understanding how the numerous menu items work – this has definitely been a turn off for some less confident staff.
  • The potential for “the scroll of death.” Where teachers do not “hide” content, front pages of courses can often need excessive scrolling to find content.
  • Aside from Forums (and some third party Wiki plugins) there is no easy way for students to collaboratively share ideas on a page, or to handwrite directly into any content section.
  • The defined themes / templates within Moodle can make it challenging to customise the look and feel of a course

OneNoteRELATIVE WEAKNESSES OF ONENOTE:

  • There is no ability to easily run assessment with cut off dates. The teacher would be required to manually lock or hide content sections at the end of an assessment to prevent students changing their answers.
  • Similarly, there is no way to prevent students from modifying others’ contributions. Whilst author tracking provides some level of visibility on this, it is time consuming to work through.
    • UPDATE: A few readers have pointed out to me that if you are using the Class NoteBook Creator Tool then each student can have their own private space that only the teacher and the individual student can edit. This is correct and very useful. My original intention was to point out that in a collaborative space, where all students can contribute and see each other’s comments and work, there is no way currently to prevent them from modifying the work of another student.
  • There is no reporting at all – no way for a teacher to tell how many times a student has clicked on a particular link or viewed a particular page.
  • Students need to be manually invited / deleted from a OneNote Notebook (not a massive task, but automatic enrolment into Moodle is a strength of the platform).
  • The disparate feature set across platforms. The Windows client application is by far the best, with functionality reducing on a Mac and iOS devices, and then even more so in the browser based OneNote Online.
  • The inability to embed content. Third party content must be linked to only, requiring students to leave OneNote to view this content.

SO WHAT IS THE SOLUTION THEN?

Example of just some of the many options available in Moodle

Example of just some of the many options available in Moodle

It seems to me that both Moodle and OneNote have their own strengths that naturally lend themselves to different aspects of teaching and learning. In my own classes that I teach, I have started to use the two tools in the following ways:

Best Uses of Moodle:

  • Documentary Repository – uploading all content that students may need access to both in class and at home. This would include any Powerpoint presentations, digital “handouts” in PDF or Word formats, as well as links to third party websites and embedded video content. With the built in Moodle reporting engine, I can tell exactly which students have viewed this content and how many times.
  • Assessment – this is Moodle’s real strength as there are numerous ways to securely collect assignments, manage quizzes and obtain original student work via forums. Results can be exported as an Excel document directly from the Moodle mark book for importing into the College Student Management System (SMS) if needed.
  • Revision activities – where students need to practice assessment, be it rote learning with real time marking of key word knowledge, student collaboration on model answers or simply a record of learning progression over the year.
  • Self directed learning – Moodle excels in allowing activities to be made available to students at their pace of learning, with criteria easily set meaning students progress when they have completed the necessary work to a defined standard.
The incredible ease with which OneNote notebooks can be shared through a simple email invite.

The incredible ease with which OneNote notebooks can be shared through a simple email invite.

Best Uses of OneNote:

  • Student class notes – OneNote performs superbly as a digital substitute for the traditional exercise book or ring binder folder for students. They can easily type or write notes directly into pages, annotate with images or audio recordings, and drag their notes around into any layout that makes sense to them.
  • Collaborative work – in both formal and informal contexts, the idea of a “blank canvas” for students to work in is reality with OneNote. When configured with correct sharing it is simple for students to collaboratively build notes, ideas and frameworks together.
  • Shared ePortfolio with teachers or parents – again, because of the simple sharing permissions it is very easy to use OneNote as a personalised ePortfolio of work that a teacher or parent can view at any time.
  • Electronic whiteboard equivalent – if a teacher has configured a shared Class OneNote NoteBook, then they could do all traditional whiteboard notes directly into this, meaning students have a copy of everything that was “written on the board” by the teacher in the lesson (see this blog post as an example of this in action).

CONCLUSION:

As standalone products, both Moodle and Microsoft OneNote perform many of the functions of a traditional Learning Management System, albeit with some significant caveats. In the end, it is likely to come down to how schools see the role of technology in eLearning looking for both teachers and students.

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Student Use of OneNote with Teacher Feedback

If schools want students completing assessment online (as NZQA continues to work towards themselves) then having an assessment engine like the one in Moodle will be critical. Alternatively, if the vision is simply for students to be recording notes electronically and sharing them with teachers and parents, OneNote functions incredibly well in this area.

Ideally, as our teachers and students become more confident in both platforms, they will transition seamlessly between them, choosing the best functions of each to achieve the maximum opportunities for successful learning outcomes.

Moodle Versus OneNote Part 1 of 2

Moodle v OneNoteSt Andrew’s College is a school that is committed to delivering first class technology to students and staff to use in supporting their teaching and learning practices. In 2012 Moodle was introduced as the first real Learning Management System the College had used, replacing an ageing and feature-limited version of Microsoft Sharepoint. In 2013, thanks to the introduction of cloud based synchronisation via SkyDrive (now called OneDrive), Microsoft OneNote became increasingly popular amongst teachers as a tool for delivering class notes and collecting student feedback.

Since then, many teachers have variously tried both Moodle and OneNote interchangeably, sometimes abandoning one in favour of the other or struggling to identify when to use the most appropriate tool. Through various discussions, I have picked up a distinct pattern of thought that suggests most teachers believe they must use exclusively either Moodle or OneNote, but rarely did any teachers describe a workflow that included both.

This is a shame, because I believe both tools actually complement the other and when used in conjunction they provide a phenomenal feature set to easily deliver quality eLearning to our students. As this case study from Microsoft shows, both Moodle and OneNote can work together and over the course of the next two blog posts I aim to highlight:

  • The various strengths and weaknesses of each product
  • Some suggested workflows of using them alongside each other

THE STRENGTHS OF MOODLE:

moodleI have blogged about how St Andrew’s uses Moodle already, and below I am going to list off the key features that make Moodle an outstanding Learning Management System (in no particular order):

  • It is free and easy to install for immediate use. Furthermore, it was designed from the ground up for educational use.
  • As an Open Source product, you are free to customise it in any way you choose to meet the needs of your school or students (admittedly, this does require some coding ability).
  • There is a huge amount of third party plugins written for Moodle, rounding out the feature set to meet the needs of most schools.
  • Assignments: it easily handles the setting of various different assignment types, automatic cut off at due dates, electronic marking using rubrics and other scales, and feedback to students.
  • Forums: multiple forum styles that allow for online discussion and sharing, with no chance of student interference of other’s comments.
  • Resources: since mid-2013, teachers have been able to drag’n’drop most file types for uploading into Moodle courses, streamlining the building of quality courses.
  • Quizzes a robust and flexible quiz engine allowing for individualised, self-paced learning and feedback.
  • Reporting: teachers can easily see which students have viewed a resource, contributed to a discussion or completed an assignment or quiz. This massively reduces the management of checking student work.
  • Embedding of third party content: You can easily embed third party video, audio, animation content directly into your courses meaning your students do not need to simply follow links to websites.
  • Automatic enrolment: students can be automatically enrolled into courses based off a third party database or directory groups.
  • End of course / year rollover: Teachers can easily “reset” a course at the end of a year or semester, removing assignment submissions, forum comments and other student data, readying it for the next class they teach.

There are many other features that could be listed here, but this is a number that relate to specific usage at St Andrew’s College.

THE STRENGTHS OF ONENOTE:

OneNoteIt is worth reading some of the previous blog posts on OneNote usage at St Andrew’s to see how our teachers are using it, for example as ePortfolios, class electronic whiteboards and to improve student writing. Again, in no particular order, here are some of the strengths of OneNote:

  • In New Zealand, the Ministry of Education agreement with Microsoft makes the Office Suite available to most students in New Zealand schools.
  • It is part of the Microsoft Office Suite, so is immediately reasonably familiar in the look and feel when compared with Word, Excel or PowerPoint for example, reducing the learning curve for teachers and students.
  • The default layout is very similar to a traditional tabbed ring binder folder – there is a visual connection as an electronic ring binder that is familiar with most people.
  • The ability to drag and drop images, documents and text into the NoteBooks is very intuitive.
  • It can now be shared easily via OneDrive with other OneNote users.
  • The desktop application is very feature rich: for example video and audio can be recorded directly into a NoteBook.
  • There is an online, browser based version called OneNote Online which can be shared as read-only to create an ePortfolio style document.
  • The recently added Class NoteBook Creator Tool makes it very easy for a classroom teacher to setup all students in a class to share a single NoteBook.
  • Inking: when run on tablet or supported touch devices, handwriting can be used directly into OneNote NoteBooks – good examples would be the Surface Pro 3 tablet.
  • A teacher can have “real time” access into a student folder at any time they choose, compared with having to physically collect in work books to see a student’s progress.
  • Microsoft seems to have a growing focus on education and they are becoming increasingly responsive to feedback and feature requests, resulting in the OneNote product becoming available on more platforms (iOS and Android for example).

THE FOLLOWUP:

Evidently then, both Moodle and OneNote offer incredible features for teachers and students alike, making it immediately obvious why schools and educational institutions all over the world are using them. In the next blog post I will discuss some of the drawbacks with each product when used in isolation and in doing so, highlight where they can complement each other when used together.

 

Narrating Teaching Moments with Office Mix

office mixEvery Thursday lunchtime throughout Term 4 I have been running lunchtime professional development for our teaching staff. I’ve been pleased with the uptake from the teachers, who can book a place in the lunchtime sessions via Moodle using the Booking module we have installed.

Each session focuses on one of the following topics:

  • The new OneNote Class Notebook Creator tool which many teachers have wanted to learn more about.
  • Using Office Mix to record lessons or explanations on critical concepts for students.
  • Using Moodle Forums to assist students with revision for examinations.

In this blog I am going to cover a neat feature of Office Mix – the ability to upload a Mix to Microsoft’s platform, and how permissions can be managed to control the visibility of the content. I have blogged about using Office Mix as a digital whiteboard already and how the ability to narrate ideas and concepts is helping some of our teachers flip the classroom, like Mr Kevin Barron.

The Office Mix add-in for PowerPoint is a new way to tell your story with voice, video, inking, screen recording and interactive magic.

It’s important to distinguish the two types of recording available in Office Mix:

  1. Record: This feature will load up whatever Powerpoint presentation you have open, and allow you to narrate and annotate via “inking” each slide as you progress through the deck.
  2. Screen Recording: when this is selected Mix will return the user to whatever application they were last in before going to PowerPoint and allow you to start recording everything on your screen even if you change between applications.

MixThere are some excellent screen recording software options on the Apple platform and I have used Screenflow for recording many tutorials for staff ever since I saw a Year 13 student record a narration of his musical composition using Screenflow:

However, there have been limited options in the Windows environment, and certainly no great ones for free. Office Mix does change this by allowing staff and students to easily record and share screencasts. The icing on the cake is the built in ability to upload directly to the web for sharing of the recorded Mix, without the need to publish to a third party video platform such as YouTube or Vimeo.

Whilst both Mr Matt Nicoll and Mr Kevin Barron are both comfortable creating playlists in their YouTube channels, for other teachers the ability to publish directly from Office Mix holds big appeal. The following video provides a great overview of how to upload and share a Mix:

As the video points out, Mix offers four levels of sharing to help teachers and students decide what the best level of visibility is:

  1. Organisation: Essentially, only teachers or students at the school would be able to view the Mix
  2. Limited: Users might be outside of the school, but would still need to sign in using a Microsoft account to be able to view the Mix
  3. Unlisted: Anyone with the direct link could view the Mix, but it was not searchable on the internet
  4. Public: Anyone can search and view the Mix.

The only downside with the above is that if you want to embed your Mix into your Moodle class site then the sharing settings must be set to either Unlisted or Public.

After the most recent Thursday training session, our Assistant Head of English Ms Tam Yuill Proctor was keen to give it a go and created her very first Mix to help her Year 11 English class with the basics of writing an essay. She blogged about the experience here and you can watch the mix below:

Tam Mix

In this Mix, she recorded it on a Surface Pro 3 as part of the trial group we have going at St Andrew’s College and used the inking features to highlight different points as she went through them. The initial feedback from her students is that it was really helpful to have this visual and aural guidance especially from their own teacher and not just a random clip off YouTube.

SUMMARY:

It is really pleasing to see our teachers attending professional development sessions and then giving it a go and implementing new technologies that will benefit the learning outcomes for our students. As most teachers will confirm, it’s not always easy to record and publish your teaching moments for others to replay again and again and yet it is precisely this type of resource that can help cement student understanding of complex ideas.

I am encouraging our teachers to embed their Mix recordings into their Moodle class sites as well, since this will allow them to use the reporting tools within Moodle to see precisely which students have actually watched the clip, and how many times.

Whilst having the ability to write on the screen during the Mix recording through using a Surface Pro 3 is a nice feature, there is plenty of applications for this in other areas with a traditional laptop as well, such as:

  • Recording how to create a spreadsheet or graph in Commerce classes
  • Recording tips and tricks in subject specific applications such as Photoshop or Sibellius
  • Recording how to write up a bibliography in History
  • Recording how to change certain network settings in Windows 7 or 8 to improve wireless performance.
  • And the list goes on!
  • UPDATE: Darrell Webster, an Office365 & Microsoft MVP, suggested some other useful ideas for recorded Office Mix by teachers: to record an overview of the course or promote an upcoming assessment or project. Excellent idea! Darrell has also recorded a good introductory overview to Office Mix that you can see here. 

I am excited to see which directions our teachers will take this functionality in 2015 and I know that many of them will also encourage their students to use it as well. With changes to English standards, students no longer need to stand in front of their peers to deliver a speech – they could record a presentation like this using Office Mix for assessment instead.

Finally, as useful a tool as Office Mix is, it is clearly no substitute for the teacher. If anything, it reaffirms the central role the teacher plays in guiding students and assisting with the clear explanation of complex ideas. Many eLearning tools allow students to listen and watch again a key learning moment from the teacher and in the end, this must help with knowledge building.