Posted in Innovation, Learning Environment, Student Voice

Let’s Find Out Together: Incorporating Student Voice

Student Voice is a powerful tool to increase student engagement. We see the benefits when students are engaged: they “demonstrate internal motivation, self efficacy, and a desire for mastery” (Guthrie qtd in Davis). This is key to personalized learning and the Future Ready framework.

Allowing for Student Voice is scary for both student and teacher. We begin constructing a “journey of us.” This co-constructing of knowledge isn’t easy or comfortable. It might mean sometimes saying “I don’t know” (Alber). Better yet, it could lead to us saying, “let’s find out together.”

How do we frame this co-construction of knowledge? Here are some ideas adapted and modified from AlberMcCarthy and myself:

  • Develop norms together.
  • Brainstorm or pre-assess student knowledge and interest: pose questions, use surveys.
  • Create inquiry teams to explore the class’s interests and needs: jigsaw topics and share results.
  • Listen: students will be more invested if they know you care.
  • Model thinking: read, discuss, pause, question, make connections in front of your students and with your students.
  • Provide project options: when student choose, they are more engaged in the outcome.
  • Practice reflection and feedback: coach questioning strategies, establish class protocols, provide opportunities for reflection and feedback.

What tools are available to facilitate this?

  • Padlet: pose questions with real-time answers, vote on responses, brainstorm together, KWL
  • Today’s Meet: create a question and see the live responses, a backchannel during presentations, videos, discussions, lectures
  • Flipgrid: video responses to questions or scenarios, formal or informal feedback, respond to each other
  • Sketchnotes: visual note-taking and journaling
  • Blogs: journaling, reflection, evaluation; Weebly and EduBlogs do provide private classroom options
  • Surveys: Google Forms, Microsoft Forms
  • Socratic SeminarsSpiderweb DiscussionsFishbowl

This isn’t an easy part of the journey. It’s messy and can be unpredictable, but the results are worth it!

Resources:

Posted in Collaboration, Creation, Demonstration, Differentiation, Digital Pedagogy, Technology

The 4 Essential Questions and Their Digital Resources

What are the 4 essential questions in the collaborative team process?

  • What do you want your students to know and be able to do?
  • How will you know if they’ve learned it?
  • What will you do if they don’t?
  • What will you do if they do?

These are the questions essential for collaborative teams. Where does digital learning fit within these questions?

Digital learning is embedded within each of the questions. It supports the learning process, provides the data, and gives means to the learning.

As we look at the standards and plan what we want our students to know and be able to do, digital resources like Nearpod provide means of engagement and interest in the lessons. Resources like Flipgrid and Padlet provide student voice. Resources like Explain Everything and Book Creator allow students demonstrate their learning. Resources like Showbie allow students to differentiate the format of their answers on everyday work. Resources like those that GSuite provides allow students to work collaboratively on a variety of products, share their products in teams and with the teacher. There are so many resources available for students to demonstrate what they know and are able to do!

How will you know if they’ve learned it? Nearpod provides on the spot feedback on how students are understanding the material during instruction. KahootSocrative and Zipgrade provide immediate formative feedback. For performance assessments, Google SlidesKeynotePowerPointExplain EverythingiMovieBook Creator and Padlet are student-friendly tools that allow for students to demonstrate their understanding in more creative, individualized ways.

What will you do if they didn’t learn the material? In the secondary world, there are deadlines: learning outcomes by specific times. How is this addressed without falling behind? Digital resources provide a different means to address this. iMovieEdPuzzleBlendspace, are a few means to provide supplementary instruction. ZipGrade and Socrative provide easy means to re-assess students. The LMS of your choice provides a place to house those supportive resources.

What will I do if they do know the material? This is the time for students to lend their voice and choice to demonstrate that learning! Have your students create the learning experiences by choosing a tool or combination of tools to explain what they know.

It’s all about the right tool for the learning experience. Sometimes it’s print, sometimes it’s digital, sometimes it might even be the student’s choice.

Posted in iPads, Note Taking, Research-Based

Sketchnotes

Have you seen those illustrations depicting various concepts in journals, magazines or online? Those are Sketchnotes! While some might call these doodles, they are really so much more. A sketchnote is a visual representation of a topic that requires listening and synthesis of information.

What is the process? One description calls the process “circular breathing”: listening, synthesizing and visualizing (Berman). It’s about transforming what you hear into a visual piece of communication, structuring that understanding, giving a hierarchy to the concepts and synthesizing the information. It’s an individual, personal experience that isn’t about being an artist.

What do I need? Most avid sketchnoters agree that there are certain elements of a sketchnote: text, containers (shapes), connectors (lines and arrows), and icons (stick people, smileys, etc.). As you become more comfortable, try adding shading and color. Of course, you’ll need a medium. Blank paper and a comfortable writing utensil are the best places to start. Is there an app for that? Of course! Pair a stylus with an app like NotabilityPenultimatePaper by 53InkflowProcreateSketchbook Express, or Autodesk Sketchbook. Digital or paper, it’s really about what is most comfortable for the user.

Why sketchnote at all? Sketchnoting is personal and expressive experience which encourages the note-taker to interact with the material in new and different ways. The note-taker is engaged, making connections to the material and “adding some joy” to their notes (Irgens). Research has found that as a learning strategy, it can help learners “organize and integrate their knowledge and ultimately be transformative.” It can also provide “teachers with windows into students’ thinking” as well as being a means for peers to “share knowledge, discovery and understanding” (Davis).

What can I do now? Start with me! This is an area of growth for me, one that I’m diving into and cultivating. Take it easy and try some templates like these from “Complete The Doodle” Challenge or join me in 50 Days of Sketches promoting a growth mindset with educators. Follow the hashtag #Sketch50 on twitter to see what others are sharing.

What can I do next week? Want to try bringing this into your classroom? Start by allowing students to sketchnote as they take notes in class. Encourage them to share or present their notes. Students are often really proud of these notes! Check out this Social Studies example or include students in the 50 Days of Sketches challenge.

What can I do next month? Assign sketchnotes to your class. Have students share their notes in an LMS forum, using the Remind app, posting in Schoology, or uploading to a class Padlet. Did your students use pen and paper instead of an app? No problem! Have them take a picture and upload their sketchnote from the camera.

Some additional thoughts on sketchnoting. This is a brief introduction to sketchnoting. There are books, websites, podcasts and YouTube playlists devoted to this. This is about trying something different and engaging using digital tools or a combination of traditional and digital. There are sketchnoters that have turned this into a hobby and have preferences regarding type of paper, brand of pens, apps and stylus. Don’t let them keep you from trying! If you’re ready for more, explore some of the sites and videos linked here for more information.

A few of my favorite Sketchnote links:
http://www.coolcatteacher.com/sketchnoting-resources/
https://www.jetpens.com/blog/sketchnotes-a-guide-to-visual-note-taking/pt/892
http://nuggethead.net/2013/01/what-are-sketch-notes/

Resources

  • Berman, Craighton. “Sketchnotes 101: The Basics of Visual Note-Taking.” Core77, Core77,       21 June 2011, http://www.core77.com/posts/19678/sketchnotes-101-the-basics-of-visual-note-taking-19678. Accessed 2 Apr. 2017.
  • Davis, Vicki. “Epic Sketchnoting Resources: How To Get Started Teaching Sketchnoting.” CoolCatTeacher, Vicki Davis, http://www.coolcatteacher.com/sketchnoting-resources/. Accessed 2 Apr. 2017.
  • Duckworth, Sylvia. “Sketchnotes.” Sylvia Duckworth, Sylvia Duckworth, 25 Jan. 2017, sylviaduckworth.com/sketchnotes/. Accessed 3 Apr. 2017.
  • Elaine. “Blog.” JetPens.com, JetPens, 22 Aug. 2016,  www.jetpens.com/blog/sketchnotes-a-guide-to-visual-note-taking/pt/892. Accessed 2 Apr. 2017.
  • Irgens, Elisabeth. “How To Get Started With Sketchnotes-SmashingMagazine.”  Smashing Magazine, Smashing Magazine, 19 Jan. 2017, http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/11/how-to-get-started-with-sketchnotes/. Accessed 3 Apr. 2017.
  • Rhode, Mike, et al. “About Sketchnotes – A Showcase of Sketchnotes.” Sketchnote Army, Sketchnote Army, sketchnotearmy.com/about/. Accessed 3 Apr. 2017.
  • Schrock, Kathy. “Sketchnoting.” Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything, Kathy Schrock, http://www.schrockguide.net/sketchnoting.html. Accessed 2 Apr. 2017.
  • “Sketchnotes.” Social Studies Megastore, Social Studies Megastore, 15 Jan. 2017, socialstudiesmegastore.com/2016/04/sketch-notes-assignment/. Accessed 3 Apr. 2017.
  • Thorn, Kevin. “What Are Sketch Notes?” Nuggethead Studioz, Nuggethead Studioz, 15 Jan. 2013, nuggethead.net/2013/01/what-are-sketch-notes/. Accessed 2 Apr. 2017.