Throughout the school year I published a handful of blog posts and videos about an exciting platform called Tract. Tract is a place where students can learn a wide array of things from other students through a sequence of videos and challenge activities. Some of the things that you’ll find on Tract include lessons on making video games, composing music, and taking better photographs. You’ll also find lots of lessons about things that are “on trend” in the middle school and high school world.
On Tract teachers can register their classes for free and create a place where their students can teach each other (use the code BYRNE at https://teach.tract.app/ to get free access). That can be a great place to start when looking for some Genius Hour activities or when seeking inspiration for fun activities your students can do to introduce themselves and get to know each other. But now that the summer is here (for my northern hemisphere friends) your students’ use of Tract doesn’t have to stop.
Level Up in Tract This Summer
If you have been using Tract during the school year, you know that the emphasis of the platform is on helping students learn by having them not only watch other students’ lessons but to also create video lessons about the things they are passionate about. To that end, Tract has a three tiered approach to student participation with the goal being that students will “level up” as they use the platform.
The levels that students progress through in Tract are Creator, Affiliate, and Partner. As the graphic below shows, you can think of these levels as beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
What’s important to note about each of these levels is that they all require students to make videos. The first level asks students to respond to challenge activities by recording a short video to demonstrate learning. The second level asks students to go a little deeper in their responses and start to create lessons of their own. The final level is where students not only create their own lessons for others to watch, they also provide feedback to others who are trying to level up.
This summer Tract is hosting a free summer program for students in third through eighth grade. The goal of Tract’s free summer program, called the Virtual Summer Creator Camp, is to help students level up their video creation, editing, and presentation skills. Through the guided Virtual Summer Creator Camp students will progress through a series of activities beginning with the basics of making videos to making stop motion videos to creating the ultimate cover image for their videos. Along the way they’ll also develop editing skills so that they can add special effects to their videos, overlay text and graphics, and create remixes of multiple videos.
Bookmark These Tract Ideas for the Fall
I get it, it’s summer and this announcement about Tract’s Virtual Summer Creator Camp might be a bit late for you to use it. In that case, keep the following ideas in mind for the fall.
- Letting students choose their own learning paths in Tract is a great way to get to know what your students are interested in outside of the classroom. There are learning paths about everything from nature photography to Minecraft to making music.
- Tract offers ready-to-use, grade-specific lesson plans for teachers to easily integrate in their classrooms.
- Tract can be a great platform for introducing your students to project-based learning. Read more about that idea right here.
Meet the Tract Team and More
The annual ISTE conference begins today in New Orleans! If you’re going to be there, you can meet Tract’s co-founder Ari Memar and other members of the Tract team for happy hour at Lula Restaurant and Distillery on Monday night between 6pm and 9pm.
If you’re not going to be at ISTE, follow the hashtags #ISTELive and #NotatISTE and #ISTELive22 to see news about your favorite edtech tools like Tract. Or just jump into using Tract by going to teach.tract.app and signing up with the code ISTE or BYRNE.
Finally, to learn more about how Tract was developed and how they work to protect student information, watch this video that I recorded with Ari Memar last fall.
Disclosure: Tract is an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com