I have a team of true collaborators among the English IV teachers at my school. They invited me to be part of their brainstorming for an upcoming unit a few weeks ago, looking for a way to “re-make” the annotated bibliography and research proposal into something that engages students, not only in research, but in true student-guided inquiry. Social justice was the topic on the table for this unit’s exploration, but the teachers were tired of the same old topics and surface-level digests of mediocre source information they received from student’s in the past.
I started my teacher inquiry interviews with the same three questions I ask all of my instructional partners:
- What are your goals for students? What do you want them to be able to do, independently, in a new and unfamiliar situation?
- We want our students to demonstrate they can understand and empathize with someone not like them; we want them to evaluate information they find in different types of source (web, academic, personal, etc) and synthesize the information to create something new that demonstrates how their own thinking has changed.
- What evidence do you need to see from students to know if they met these goal?
- A list of their sources with critical annotations demonstrating their evaluation and analysis of information
- A reflection of their own journey including insights and critical moments where they came to understand something new about the world and themselves.
- A product or demonstration that shows how they can empathize with another viewpoint or perspective
- What types of learning experiences can you imagine that would support students in reaching these goals?
- analytical, focusing on evaluating and analyzing information
With the team’s answers from these three big, little questions I was able to pull together resources I’d been gathering from Media Literacy Week and Brittanica Digial Learning’s Blog series “Fight the Fake” written by librarian Tiffany Whitehead. These resources included videos to engage students in the topics, resources, lessons, and activities to teach students to be critical consumers of information and to be armed with the skills needed to combat the effects of fake news and misinformation in the media. Armed with new resources, I created a rough learning plan designed around Guided Inquiry Design (GID) (Kulthau and Maniotes)
The team indicated they wanted students to gather a wide, diverse collection of information from both popular and scholarly resources. So we began with gallery walk of videos that introduced students to the topics surrounding misinformation to prepare them to evaluate sources later on in their inquiry. To support their critical and analytical thinking skills, we taught students how to use Depth of Knowledge (DOK) Question stems to scaffold their thinking about complex topics.
Media Literacy Gallery Walk
Our exploration began with a video that posed many relevant questions surrounding the impact misinformation is having on democracy.
“In a world where it feels like our opinions are so different from one another, leaning into that chaos might actually be what leads us to a better understanding of the landscape we live in.”
In this video by Mozilla, we engaged students in the questions:
- What is media literacy?
- How does media shape what and how I think?
- What opportunities does media provide us to understand one another better?
- What barriers does media present that perpetuate divisiveness and intolerance?
As they traveled around stations students, watched a brief video from this media literacy playlist and created DOK leveled questions in response to the ideas.
Students used the questions they generated from the video gallery walk in an inner-outer circle discussion.
Students were uncomfortable in this type of discussion where their questions, not their reasoning, were the most important contribution they had to offer. They had become well-adapted at arguing their points to one another to “win” discussions. In their discomfort, we saw opportunity. Throughout the upcoming inquiry, students will be forming groups based on broad topics relating to social justice. Their success will depend upon their ability to “lean in” to the social chaos and to one another as they form questions and seek diverse perspectives.
Continuing the Exploration
Next in the social literacy inquiry– developing empathy and forming a Circle of Viewpoints with Time’s Guns in America.
Tech Tuesday: Students as Information Consumers and Creators
Our students are bombarded with information 24/7/365. They forget (never learned) how to be curious and critical consumers. An inquiry stance to learning taps into our natural curiosities, building upon content area knowledge in relevant and authentic ways. A simple infographic (informational graphic) might make more of a lasting impression upon a student and his learning experience than a five page research paper or report.
|Created at http://www.piktochart.com to publish the library’s statistics for January|
American Association of School Librarians (AASL) NETS-S
The Adventure Begins…
|10 Biggest Questions about iPads in the Classroom|
[Enter site #1 that helped me wrap my brain about iPad deployment in schools]
A collection of deployment guides and resources for schools including a presentation on the role of iPads in schools, Apple’s VPP program, and integrating technology into instruction.
1) iPads are designed to be unique and personalized for their users–the functionality of the iPad (synchronized email, contacts, calendars, apps, iTunes, etc.) does not transfer to school models where iPads are used by multiple students.
They are here!
Ummm…everything is plugged in, why aren’t the dang things charging?
The solution? Easy-peasy. Remove the bottom dividers, reach back, and jiggle the power cord to the cart, plug in the wall, flip the switch…and voila! We had power. This took about another hour of our time.
Two hours into our deployment day and we hadn’t even started the iTunes process.
It’s helpful when you have a working iTunes account.
How the heck do we get all of these tools to play nice?
While waiting to hear back about iTunes, we read and re-read, and read again the directions on using Apple Configurator and the Bretford PowerSync cart. [Enter website #1 that saved my sanity].
Our iTunes delay did allow us to think about the profile we wanted to create for the devices. Apple Configurator not only allows you to upload and manage the content on the iPads, but it also allows you to enable and disable its features to create profiles. For example, the student profile we pushed out to all 30 iPads allows for use of Safari, the built in camera, and it is automatically connected to the Student wifi. Students cannot, however, change the wifi settings, delete or purchase apps, or access iCloud or photo stream. Nice!
While we are waiting…what ARE we going to put on these things?
Thank goodness for Mme. Morgan’s type A personality. The two of us split up and scoured blogs, Pinterest board, websites, and Twitter for lists of recommended apps for education.
[Enter in several more sites that helped us further explore iTunes and the world of apps]
apps organized by content area
apps organized by Bloom’s taxonomy
Pinterest board for iPads in the classroom maintained by GCISD
Finally, let’s load these babies!
And the final product:
|Read and Explore|
Stay tuned for more adventures in iPads!
Tech Tuesday: The Flipped Classroom
(heads-up to the new buzz word coming down the pipe)
Are you flippin’ kidding me?! Yet another buzz-word, topic of discussion for faculty meetings, initiatives, seeds, pilots…they just never end do they 🙂 Nor should they!
I, too, tired of the endless onslaught of programs, anachronisms, and pilots, but let’s keep some perspective and remember that the business of education cannot become static. It is in our best interest to continue reflecting, examining, and being critical of the practices and tools we bring to our students. Do they truly represent the demands and learning styles of a digitally-savvy generation?
Today I present you with a little nugget of an idea that a few of you have already started to nibble at: the flipped classroom.
Here’s some food for thought:
Don’t you just love infographics?! They make blogging so easy 🙂
Is this idea entirely revolutionary and unique? No, there are many other names and variations out there (front-loading, anticipation guides, schema theory, VESTED). What might be novel to some folks is the idea of employing technology as a tool to do these things. The infographic touts some impressive (and hard-to-believe) statistics for one flipped school. I’d be very curious to see this tried in one class for one week. My Big Campus is a terrific fit for this approach with the extensive Library resources, ability to upload YouTube videos, and learning tools such as discussions, chats, and assignment.
Heck, I’ll even pitch in and help gather resources and organize the content into MBC! Take me up on it, seriously, let’s see what happens just for one week…
For dessert, visit Khan Academy, and take a little test drive for some possible videos you could use as part of a flip:
I even grabbed one for the electoral college to re-post just to tickle your taste buds…
Tech Tuesday: GoAnimate and Sock Puppets
What obstacles, limitations, or surprises did you encounter?
What are the benefits to using applications and web 2.0 tools for animation?
- engages students in the learning process as they synthesize content into a digital story
- supports collaboration between students through the writing process: brainstorming, story-boarding, drafting, revising, publishing
- a task with an identified audience of their peers, other students, YouTube, etc. provides relevance along with rigor
We’d love to hear your thoughts regarding possible extensions and adaptations of this project in your content area! Feel free to leave any questions or thoughts for Mme. Morgan as well.