Sustainability Superheroes blog
Using Decision-making and Entrepreneurial Thinking
Tampa, Fla. – Over 60 K-12 educators from school districts across the state attended a Sustainability Superheroes webinar focused on incorporating responsible decision making and social emotional learning to help students use critical thinking and solve global sustainable issues.
The webinar was hosted by Deborah Kozdras and Angel Danger of the USF Stavros Center, who have both worked diligently to construct this online workshop and continue to plan much more for the future. The theme for this webinar was saving endangered species. Teachers learned how to use various educational books and videos to form lesson plans through some of the latest technology that makes distance learning a breeze for both teachers and students.
During the webinar, teachers participated in interactive activities and lesson plans using Nearpod. This innovative software is easy to use and offers many features like open-ended questions, voting polls, collaboration boards, and even digital drawing to effectively teach a multitude of topics. In the Nearpod lesson, Deborah and Angel used The Great Kapok Tree– a picture book by Lynne Cherry. It tells a story about rainforest conservation and provides insight into one of the world’s most abundant natural resources: the Amazon Rainforest. Teachers loved the book and the fun Nearpod activities that were created with it!
Another quirky, yet educational tool that Deborah and Angel shared with the teachers was ChatterPix. This app allows users to take a picture of anything and make it speak using their own voices! Students love the app, and it’s available on both Android and Apple stores. Teachers also learned how to use Canva to create their own infographics and other digital creations, which is perfect for providing students the exact information needed for a lesson. Students could also create their own! Canva is free to use and comes with themed templates, thousands of clip art images, a built-in stock image and video search, and much more. Teachers also learned about Wakelet. This platform allows students to share images, videos, and text to easily collaborate with their classmates.
Despite the current global pandemic, the USF Stavros Center continues to enrich teachers with resources, lesson ideas, and online educational tools to continue effective education through distance learning. The Sustainability Superheroes webinars have been replacing the usual workshops, which cannot be held during this time of quarantine and social distancing. The webinars have been a massive success in providing K-12 teachers with activities, ready-made lesson plans, and the latest technology to give their students the best education possible during these difficult times.