Teachers that connect meaningfully to students can make the biggest difference in their lives. It ends up being what they’re known and remembered for. The positive impact you make can last long after your students have created lives outside of school.
Nowadays, many educators use the same methods over and over again in their lessons for students to express themselves and demonstrate their new knowledge. Today’s students want to express themselves in a variety of different ways. They want their academic work to be relevant, engaging and fun.
Below is a diverse list adapted from resources found at fortheteachers.org of potential student products or activities learners can use to demonstrate their mastery of lesson content. The list also offers several digital tools for students to consider using in a technology-enriched learning environment.
For today’s students to effectively compete in the global workforce, they must develop the skills, understandings, and mindsets necessary to prepare them for the careers and challenges of tomorrow. This means more than learning to read and write – it means being able to master academic content and apply that knowledge across contexts in a meaningful way.
Audio books have become increasingly popular in recent years (see Google Tends), but some people believe that listening to a good book is not as legitimate as reading one. In fact many authors, such as Dickens, wrote their books to be read out aloud. You can make the case that listening to Dickens’ books is more authentic than reading them.
Many of you are already playing Kahoot, a wildly popular assessment game using any device plus a projector in your classroom. I wrote this post two (!) years ago about how all students would love Kahoot. There are now over 13.9 MILLION public Kahoots created! Very recently, the makers of Kahoot have recently come up with another game within Kahoot called Jumble.
PlayPosit is an online learning environment to create and share interactive video lessons. Teachers begin with any online video and transform what is traditionally passive content into an active experience for students, with time-embedded activities.
All Aboard is rising to the challenge identified in the national Digital Roadmap of building our ‘digital capacity,’ not just in terms of infrastructure, but also in terms of people, their skills, their levels of confidence and their ability to critique and challenge pre-conceptions.
Maha Bali writes: "We often hear people talk about the importance of digital knowledge for 21st-century learners. Unfortunately, many focus on skills rather than literacies. Digital skills focus on what and how. Digital literacy focuses on why, when, who, and for whom."
Maha Bali's article is worth sharing widely with anyone who needs to be nudged ever so gently into the 21st century of education. (We're 16% through it, folks!) Bali addresses the need to teach about digital skills and literacy in an authentic context, not a vacuum, and gives many concrete examples for doing that.
I recently did a lesson on blogging with a 6th grade class. We looked at several tween and teen blogs, then reviewed good digital citizenship practices emphasizing student safety and copyright. Finally, each student created a blog on Blogger. Will they make mistakes? Probably. (When I specifically told them to keep it school appropriate, with nothing in the blog they wouldn't be allowed to do at school, and one student immediately started searching for "Call of Duty 3" images!) Will we all learn something from this? Absolutely.
HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) is an interdisciplinary community of humanists, artists, social scientists, scientists, and technologists that are changing the way we teach and learn
I was asked by the Chang School of Continuing Studies at Ryerson University to do a master class on this topic at their ChangSchoolTalks on February 17, based on Appendix 1 in my open, online textbook, Teaching in a Digital Age.
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