This is the first round of several newsletters that will provide you with tips and ideas on how to appropriate use any device in your classroom to help remove you as the teacher and make you the manager of information.
Teacher v Manager?
We have typically taught by talking at students instead of managing knowledge. We were taught that way, so we continue that "tradition." The instructor had the knowledge and we accepted it. Granted, a lot of that has to do with how knowledge was gained. Today, the knowledge is in the hands of the students’ devices. The role of the teacher has changed to ask questions of the students, to guide the students, to manage content, not to try to control it. For students, finding information is not enough, they also need to explain why it is important to know. You may not always feel that piece of information is important, but the student does and their explanation is your proof. A good way to do this is to have the students conclude with, "This is important because...."
Tool: Today’s Meet (todaysmeet.com)
Activity: Ask the students to find information about the topic and have them post to Todaysmeet.com what they feel is important to know.
Because there is so much information out there, providing students with a website to use is a good starting point. You can post the link for students to use on your TodaysMeet.
This is a simple and very effective lesson. What you will also discover is that students will post the same information you want them to know, but they are the ones doing it. Once posted, let the discussion begin. “Hey Jennifer, why did you say xxxxx is important to know…” Reiterate what she says, have the students write up their notes in a document, or, look out, a PowerPoint/Presentation. By doing the latter they can then also embed videos and images and make their notes more meaningful. (Yes, you can embed images in a document too).
This lesson completely removes you from driving the content and makes you the manager of it. Students are engaged and active. You will see more students participating, more explanation and improved literacy and reading skills.
Please note: With any blogging exercise, please remember to lay down the rules for appropriate online posting. If an inappropriate post appears, shut down the activity and try it again another day.