Last week Jason G. wrote about a practical low tech way to use response cards in the classroom. This week I wanted to expand on Jason’s post by listing a few digital supports that can also provide a method for students to quickly demonstrate their content knowledge.
We have spent that past few weeks diving into guided notes. A strategy that can be a solid support in your classroom. In addition to guided notes, another top tier strategy to implement immediately is response cards. I wrote a post previously about using response cards (here). It is one of my favorite strategies with a substantive research base that can make an immediate impact in any classroom across all content areas. Here is a practical idea how to move this idea from concept to the classroom. Read more →
This post is meant to piggyback on our last two posts, so if you have read my post on finding copyright free images, or Jason G’s post last week on using guided notes, you may want to start there. You will find that we recommend replacing text heavy PowerPoint slides with visually engaging slides and using guided notes. Guided notes help to ensure students capture the most important information accurately and that they are paying attention during lectures (by having them fill in the blanks).
If you have a 32 slide presentation that you use during your lecture it may be a little overwhelming to think about replacing all the content with images and then creating guided notes to accompany it. The purpose of this post is to make the process as efficient as possible.
Last week, Jason C. shared some great resources for finding images along with design principles worth considering (find the post here). One item he discussed was the amount of text to include on a slide. His suggestion was “as little as possible”. When we think about this in the classroom, it may cause a little discomfort. After all, if we don’t have all the information on the slide how will they get it? I’m glad you asked! I recommend a strategy that has some evidence in the educational literature and allows you to use good slide design principles. Read more →
In a session last week I talked about the importance of using effective slides when teaching content to students using applications such as PowerPoint. Unfortunately, templates in these applications have led us to believe that it is okay to fill a slide with a title followed by 7 lines of text. While this may be okay if the goal is to print the presentation and use as a handout, it can have the opposite effect when using during lecture. The reason being is that we tend to show a slide and then discuss it. When this occurs, students are either listening to you speak or reading the slide, not both.
Just wrapping up two days at an incredible conference in Indianapolis put on by the PATINS project. One of our sessions centered on student engagement and we taught how to actively engaging all learners using creativity, evidence-based strategy (example), and technology (example) through the UDL framework. In sharing strategies in how to engage all learners from the start, we spent a few moments on key prerequisites to hooking learners into the lesson. I wanted to expand on one here that is critical for all classrooms. Read more →
Next week we will be doing a couple of sessions at the PATINS State Conference in Indianapolis, IN. One of those sessions is on Helping Digital Natives Become Digitally Literate. By digitally literate, we mean being able to effectively use technology to find, organize, evaluate and create information. Thankfully, having access to technology is not nearly as much of a problem as it used to be. In fact, I would argue that in many situations we have the opposite problem… Many students wake up next to a phone where they check their social media account first thing. At school, questions are answered with a Google search instead of critical thinking, and in the evenings conversations take place via text messaging.
While these Digital Natives may understand how to operate technology quite well, they many times lack skills on how to use it appropriately in the classroom. The session we are doing next week will focus on the following four components that educators should focus on when helping students become more digitally literate.
Finding Information – Most information students use comes from the first page of Google results. While Google is great, there are more ways to use it than just conducting a simple search. There are also alternatives to Google that are great for students.
Organizing Information – Type “the origins of bluegrass music” in Google and you will receive 114,000 results in half a second. Type in “black bear” and you will have 404 million. Having access to information is just the beginning. Making sense out of it is the tough part.
Evaluating Information – All educators talk about the importance of credible information. But how many conduct a lesson on how to tell if a website is credible? How many actually know how to tell if a website is credible? This is not a knock on educators. There was never a pre-service class on this because it was a non-issue only a few years ago. But now it is one of the most important skills students should possess.
Creating Information – Gone are the days when all knowledge must be demonstrated by a quiz or written report. While these methods still have their place in a classroom, now an almost unlimited number of free and low cost resources exist for students to use to create meaningful work. We’ve listed a few ideas in posts such as 3 Presentation Apps for the iPad and Word Clouds in Education, but these posts only scratch the surface of what’s available. Understanding how to combine the pieces above to create presentations, slideshows, eBooks and more to demonstrate knowledge is what being digitally literate is all about.
This post will hopefully give readers a model to use when teaching digital literacy. Just as important however is learning about technology that fits within each component, and strategies to make implementing it successful. We will be rolling out more posts on these topics in the coming weeks.
A few weeks ago I was sitting down with a family who brought their learner to my office for a specific content area skill that needed to be mastered. With ipods and ipads and tablets and apps and websites and chrome books and…(getting overwhelmed yet?) it was difficult for them to know where to start. It is this perfect storm of technology overload and practical educational needs completely missing one another. Here is how it played out. Read more →
During my last post on student friendly search engines I discussed five alternative search engines that students may find beneficial. This week I wanted to include a few browser search extensions that can also assist students. If you are not familiar with browser extensions, take a minute to check out my post from a few weeks ago explaining what browser extensions are.
One of the foundational skills for behavior and educational intervention is the ability to do task analysis. Task analysis is breaking down the targeted skill/behavior into the step by step components so that anyone who follows the steps would do the same exact response (behavior) every time. In one of my prior posts I shared PuppetPals HD and iMovie, two of my favorite apps to use in video self-modeling. The apps are great, but without being able to task analyze, you would not be able to ensure the necessary components are in the video. Here are two resources that I use in my work: