What were they thinking?
An important benefit that technology can bring to learning is the ability to not only see if a student has the correct answer, but the way in which that answer was derived. Technology allows students to show the process of learning and not just the product. This is available for all subject areas at any age or grade. It not only helps the learner see the path towards the correct answer, but it helps the teacher better see what their students truly know and don’t know. It gives your students the opportunity to view their growth as more than only grades, but instead take a step back and think about their own learning. Are your students reading a novel? Allow them time to reflect with writing or video? How about an exit ticket after a challenging topic?
We do not learn from experience... We learn from reflecting on experience -John Dewey
If your students are creating art, allow them the chance to talk about their ideas that went into their creation. Give them time at the end of each week to reflect on their learning and explain what they have learned as well as what questions they still have. Bottom line - turn the learning over to the kids and ask them, “What in the world were you thinking?!”
Student are able to create their own learning portfolio that can be managed by their classroom teacher. A piece that works very well is the ability to video record themselves explaining their thoughts, ideas, and questions related to any topic. Teachers can also treat them like exit tickets where they summarize what they have learned which can then be viewed by parents.
A very simple tool that students use like an interactive whiteboard to walk through any concept or skill. While often used to show math or science, this can also be used in other areas with images such as maps.
Using technology to know what students know...
For a number of years, 6th grade math has implemented a Flipped Learning approach where students are able to review lessons that explain the content. Students can view and review as often as they need and whenever they need it. Students can be self-directed learners. Recently, a student in Mrs. Forster's class took that same approach to create her own video about various ways to do division. When asked why she created this demonstration (it wasn't an assignment), she said she didn't fully understand division and thought if she talked it through, it would help. She also admitted she was bored at home and wanted to make something.
What a great way for students to show their teachers that they fully understand a topic. Not only does she understand division well enough for her own learning, but she understands it well enough to help others learn it. You can view Emily's lesson about division below.
Student Creativity at Becker Primary School
Students at BPS have continued to explore how having access to technology at anytime can help students learn and grow. One example includes 2nd grader sharing with Kindergarten students how they use Kahoot! to show what they know in a fun, game-like atmosphere. Additionally, Kindergarten students making use of Shadow Puppet to creatively retell a story. Finally, 1st grade students have begun to create their own interactive vocabulary books using Book Creator.
Preparing self-directed learners to thrive in a changing global community