Good Morning All,
I sure do get excited at the beginning of each school year. Incredibly, I still get butterflies at the start of each semester (and this is my 15th year teaching). I love school and I’ve made it my mission to help my students share their voice, their passions, and their talents with the world around them. I believe that technology can help them do that.
All things in moderation, right? Technology is no different. I like to use digital tools when they serve a purpose. For example, if a student works on a service learning project, it’s more powerful if the student creates an infographic and shares his learning with the school, with his family, with his community, and with his friends INSTEAD OF just turning in a report to the teacher. Having an authentic audience provides a sense of purpose to a project.
As our world gets increasingly “flat,” it’s important that we learn (and teach our students) how to collaborate in digital spaces. Google Drive provides several tools that can enable students to work together across great distances, or across the room, to create documents, presentations, etc. Not only can students collaborate in this manner, educators can work together as well. For example, after the recent events in Charlottesville, VA- educators took to Twitter with #CharlottesvilleCurriculum and shared ideas for helping students. One educator started this document: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1afj_R5ZjDcChmLQnQ-6PigVdPHu_VKFOCOThLDn7xyU/edit to encourage collaboration and the sharing of resources.
Another way to use digital tools in the classroom is to increase communication. For example, teachers can use Flipgrid to encourage their students to communicate within and beyond the four walls of the classroom. And, guess what? You’re going to try this tool today. It’s free. It’s an app (for phone or tablet) and it has a web-based platform as well. Instead of typing or hand-writing a response, students can record up to a minute and a half of their thoughts and post the video to a discussion board. Did I mention it was free? And easy! Let’s try it now (look at your instructions in Blackboard). After you post to our board, think about how you could use Flipgrid in your own classroom.
For more ideas on increasing authenticity, collaboration, and communication in your classroom, check out From Pencils to Podcasts and stay tuned to EDCO 305!