Tech Tool of the Month: GoNoodle – Part 1

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GoNoodle is a free online resource that offers various interactive classroom “brain break” videos (and more) for educators to use in the classroom. The videos, designed for grades K–6, range from two-ten minutes and include exercises, dances, coordination, songs, and other activities. Use these videos to promote your students’ health, fitness, and mindfulness, or to reinforce curricular connections with topics such as the water cycle, pronoun practice, and the 50 states. These activities are instrumental during transition periods and include yoga, logic, Wii Sports-style running games, and academic subjects (for example, students use their whole bodies to form letters). These free and engaging games, activities, and videos provide short bursts of movement that help students improve their focus and energy levels during lessons (perfect for students who may need to burn up some energy to help them concentrate!). 

While most activities are physical tasks, a few are mental or logic challenges. The curricular resources include ideas for incorporating GoNoodle into your lessons, customized quiz questions, printables, and an estimate of the time required to complete the activity. Teachers can browse activities by categories like movement type or by academic area. There are also featured videos available on the main page of GoNoodle and a channel available entirely in Spanish (ideal for world language and ENL students). You can create multiple classes when creating an account (email required) and track the progression of activities completed on the site. The video library and all of the additional resources are free. GoNoodle is device-agnostic and available as a web version and an App for iOS and Android. 

Applying the Triple E Framework 

The Triple E Framework, created by Dr. Liz Kolb, believes that “effective technology integration begins with good instructional strategies and not fancy tools” ( Dr. Kolb wrote a book on the topic, Learning First, Technology Second (ISTE, 2017), that lays out the three main uses for technology in education: to EngageEnhance, or Extend learning goalsWe can use this framework to decipher why we are using specific tools in the classroom. Here is a rubric based on the Triple E Framework you can use to evaluate whether GoNoodle (or any other technology) is a good fit with your learning goals and whether you should use it in your lesson.

  • Engage in learning goals: Students using GoNoodle are more focused on the task because they are up and moving and participating in the activities. There is some gamification, as the site keeps track of your class’s completed activities, and you move up to new levels based on how many videos you view. However, GoNoodle videos do not distract students from the learning process, as they’re only shared between activities. Students are active social learners as they learn while they move. The students are motivated to begin the learning process since the movement makes the learning more fun and engaging.
  • Enhance learning goals: GoNoodle allows students to use technology to get up and learn. Students can do movement and activities to learn about geography, government, world languages, math, and other subjects. Students demonstrate a more sophisticated understanding of the material by using their bodies and movement to learn— perfect for more kinesthetic learners. 
  • Extend learning goals: Dr. Kolb describes extended learning as an opportunity for students to learn, connect, and collaborate outside of the regular school day and bridge the school day and real-life experiences. GoNoodle can be shared with families and completed as a remote, flipped, or blended learning activity. These activities would make an ideal asynchronous learning experience. Independent work and movement exercises can help students build skills (like problem solving, understanding the voting process, or counting to 100) used in everyday life outside of the classroom environment and live a healthier lifestyle with more movement. 

SAMR Connection

The SAMR Model, by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, suggests that technology implementation has four levels. We can use this model as a guideline to analyze how we’re using technology tools in the classroom. For example, the activities found at GoNoodle can be at the level of Substitution and Augmentation, depending on what students are doing. 

  • Substitution: The substitution level is the most basic level of SAMR and refers to when technology acts as a direct substitute without any functional improvements. An easy example of this would be students using GoNoodle as a movement exercise video with no instructional goals. Many videos could be used strictly to get students moving and having fun during a brain break. GoNoodle does make this easier, but a teacher could also lead this activity with no technology needed.  
  • Augmentation: At the level of augmentation, the technology acts as a direct substitute and includes some functional improvements. Many of the videos on GoNoodle offer curricular connections, SEL opportunities, and more. For example, students can move and groove using the video “Greater/Less Than” as they learn to compare numbers. It’s powerful for students to see the information, hear the information, and move to learn the new skills and improve understanding. This could be helpful for students who may benefit from the many learning strategies used in the videos. This combination would not be possible without technology. 

Don’t miss Part 2 of the Tech Tool of the Month: GoNoodle, where we’ll discuss how to use the tool and share classroom use ideas. In the meantime, let us know how you have used GoNoodle in your education setting in the comment section below.

About the author: Melissa Henning

Melissa Henning is the Educational Content Manager for Source for Learning, the non-profit parent company of TeachersFirst. She has over 16 years of experience in education. Melissa is a frequent presenter at national and regional conferences.

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