Check out my screencast about the website Socrative! I have loved using it this year. Give it a go and let me know how it works out for you and your class :)
Student Engagement 8th grade students ‘Speak out on Student Engagement’. What are
you doing to engage your students? Which 3 can you commit to implementing and why?
I use visuals. Lots and lots of visuals. I think that trying to teach biology without visuals for everything is incredibly counterproductive. I also try to give students different choices at least once a week. I am working on increasing how often students can choose. I also have been trying new things in class like using online games for learning. After each of the “experiments” I always try to ask students for their thoughts or do a class vote on if we should do the same type of activity again. The first I am committed to implementing (that I do not do regularly right now) is having students work with peers. Students learn best together. However establishing a culture of learning together takes time (which is why most group work I do now has variable success since I only have 4 weeks to work with students). The second thing I commit to is connecting to the real-world/project based learning. I think this commitment will take longer to implement than many of the others. I would like to incorporate one real-world/project based learning activity into each unit to start with next year and add more as time goes on. Finally, I am committed to clearly loving what I do. I do love teaching. I have been working on being more exciting when I direct the class but I still need to get more comfortable in my own style of interaction while still maintaining enthusiasm for teaching.
Instagram ELE Challenge Two spanish teachers adapt photo taking challenges for their students and collaborate across continents. How does this challenge help prepare students to participate in a global society? How do these teachers empower collaboration and innovation?
Students are prepared for collaboration across continents because experience digital collaboration. Collaboration across continents follows the same principles as digital collaboration. Teachers empower collaboration and innovation connecting students from different countries studying the same subject and by inviting collaboration from other teachers.
Instagram Scavenger Hunt Caitlyn Tucker writes about using Instagram with her
students on a fieldtrip. Do you see yourself being able to apply this idea to your current
classroom? Could you use it as is or would you need to make modifications?
I think I could use Instagram the same way she did BUT I would have to make several modifications. The most important change I would probably need to make is to group students in pairs for this project to work since several students do not have smartphones. However I love the idea of using a photo scavenger hunt on Instagram during field trips!
Instagram ELE a New approach What is the power of Instagram for the writer and her
colleagues? How do you think the modification will affect the outcomes of their project?
The power of Instagram for Munday is connection. Instagram provides a platform for collaboration across countries, continents, and cultures. Ideas are accessible that Munday would not have come up with alone. Rodríguez’ idea of gamification of learning will really encourage student participation. Munday mentions that gamification may not be necessary at the college level, but I think she will be surprised by how much gamification of learning increases her students’ engagement and mastery in learning.
The Instagram Project was a lot of fun! I loved having visual representation of student learning to look back on. It helped me refocus on how each lesson went and how I can improve the next lessons. I have never made student questions and learning from gaming a big focus before so I am learning a lot!
Quote: “But thinking about play as a disposition, rather than as merely engaging with a game, reveals something more fundamental at work. Much of what makes play powerful as a tool for learning is our ability to engage in experimentation… They are ways of engaging in complicated negotiations of meaning, interaction, and competition, not only for entertainment, but also for creating meaning” (Thomas and Seely Brown).
I chose this quote because I liked the way it summed up the role of play - or experimentation - in learning.
Question: What are some ways I can have students experiment with altering the where instead of only focusing on the what?
Connection: I kept connecting this chapter to my 20% project. One of the requirements for the project was that it must have an element of play and the opportunity for failure. I found that, because of these boundaries, I really could connect my own personal experience during the 20% project to the chapter.
Epiphany/Aha: The section “Making” was really interesting to me. I have been experimenting with different strategies for students to make their own meaning out of material… However I have been missing the where aspect of student discovery. I would love to know how other teachers set up projects so students can play with the where!
Quote: “The richness of experience and social agency produced by hanging out and the sense of embodiment and personal agency created by messing around, combined with the sense of making, produces what we think is the ultimate goal of indwelling: learning” (Thomas and Seely Brown).
I picked this quote because I had a difficult time connecting all of the dots between
Question: Do the levels of “Hanging Out,” “Messing Around,” and “Geeking Out” apply to students in classroom culture?
Connection: Now I understand why the badges for this class have funny names!
Epiphany/Aha: I had never thought too much about my own personal journey into society online. This chapter really made me think back over my experiences and I actually can identify with the journey described in the chapter into joining a digital community. Probably most of my experiences have followed the same levels in the same order discussed!
Quote: “The result is a new form of culture in which knowledge is seen as fluid and evolving, the personal is both enhanced and refined in relation to the collective, and the ability to manage, negotiate, and participate in the world is governed by the play of imagination” (Thomas and Seely Brown).
I chose this quote because I believe it sums up the whole book. By asking questions to find better questions, by approaching problems as games or puzzles, and using imagination during and reflecting after, students can master the new culture of learning.
Question: If tacit learning works most efficiently when students design (or discover) their own learning outcomes, how can I as a teacher provide opportunities for this to happen on a regular basis?
Connection: “When people stop learning in a game, they lost interest and quit” (Thomas and Seely Brown). I think that teaching is the same way. I have met many teachers who “think” in the old way - learning outcomes are concrete and non fluid in nature. That philosophy of teaching also plays into how the teacher sees his or her role. Teachers who seem happy 30 years down the road seem to be so because they are constantly growing and changing too. I am very happy to know I have the resources of the other teachers in the program. I think the learning collective that has begun being built this semester will continue on into the future as we learn from each other and share our experiences.
Epiphany/Aha: Gamify learning! I have been experimenting with using games in my classroom this past month. I have found that almost all of my students enjoy figuring out the game - and thereby figuring out the biological concept ruling the game- and all of them told me I should do the same thing next year. However, I realize this gaming is still a sort of forced learning with specific outcomes. I would like to build in opportunities for students to design their own learning experiences. I think I will do this next year by assigning open ended projects where students must use the scientific method to… they can decide.