Friday, November 22, 2013

An Introduction To Net Texts Online/Flipped Lassroom Learning Platfrom

The uniqueness of Net Texts is the ease of applying outside content to the organization of units or lessons online. Net Texts enables students and teachers to work from one portal and simplifies the process for teachers who want to work from one device or are part of a district 1:1 implementation. Net Texts has integrated a variety of different tools from the web such as Khan Academy,CK-12 and made these resources easily searchable for teachers. The interface allows for adding content in an organized efficient ways and streamlines the process of adding videos,lectures and course documents and assessments in purposeful and meaning full ways online. Teachers have access to existing web based course collections as well as the opportunity to design the course from the bottom up using resources collated from the web.

The Net Texts students view on devices(Android,Ipad application) is organized and clearly outlines the course content,videos and documents. Teachers can receive emailed spreadsheets of student results in their portal as well. Like many current note taking applications Net Texts interfaces are consistent between devices and enables students to quickly add notes and find course materials efficiently.

Net Texts is ideal for districts looking for a singular interface for students to interact with course content and also streamlines how teachers organize online content. This tool is ideal for balancing the learning curve for teachers in creating a flipped classroom mode and enables sharing,content management and specific subject area materials. This tool is even more beneficial for teachers who truly know how they want to organize their flipped model and can draw their course materials from previous materials(speadsheets,docs,pdf) and have a strong plan for the organization of lessons and what resources will be necessary to teach a lesson and keep it aligned as they move forward. Newer teachers would want to plant specifically around the content they may want for their course before they fully committed to designing the course. 

The application has a main dashboard which allows teachers to mange what content and what web based materials support the flipped classroom instruction. Different flipped models could be used with this tool as well and instruction could be based on singular components of media being assigned for homework and then viewed in class or a teacher could develop a hybrid based on the accessibility of tablets or computers for student access and use Net texts as tool to assit in connecting to specific material.

Ultimately it is still up to the teacher to create the collaboration this tool would bring to the classroom. Teachers need to find resources which support their instruction or have additional professional development which supports them in creating screencast videos or managing a variety of web based documents such as pdf's,images and docs. 

Net texts supports the integration of OER resources(open education resources) in order to help organize teachers in developing content and choose sources. Some of these source which can benefit a Net Texts users are CK-12 for the sciences,,Khan Academy and the OER Commons located at . Net texts is looking to assist in applying these resources to their platform as quickly as possible to assist in integration of their platform.

One of the largest  benefits for this platform is the ever evolving development of trusted web based materials which teachers can search and utilize quickly to develop a new course or assist a teacher created lesson.  After attending a training with the Net Texts Marketing staff I could recognize their commitment to embracing the use of the Creative Commons and building in this important component into their tool. Their staff highlighted in their presentation several videos and engaged in rich discussion about this feature. I have included links to this information as well as Net Texts youtube video.
Mowhawk Video video on Creative Commons
Net Texts 

This blog post post was based on a training provided by Net Texts at the Marshall Simonds Middle School in Burlington,Massachusetts on November 21 2013.

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