Join Kevin Kelly for an in-depth discussion in this video Asking students to create digital content, part of Teaching with Technology.
- As students navigate a post-Web 2.0 world, the expectations for them increase. Not only are they consumers of digital content, but producers as well. Information literacy and media literacy are not topics in most courses, but there is a middle ground. Asking students to generate content for the class increases their proficiency in these areas. It can also increase meaning, engagement levels, and awareness of concepts like plagiarism. First, set the scene. Who will be generating the content? Decide if students will do this individually, in small groups or as a class.
What content will the students generate? Pick a content area where it's okay for students to develop new content. Pick acceptable formats for students to create. Who will see the students' end products? Establish an audience ranging from public to private or from the whole world to just your class. When will they do it? During class time, as an assignment? How much time do they have? Where will they create their content? How will they do the work? Consider how to support students in the process.
Why are the students generating content? Set some goals for asking students to create content for your class. We'll look at just a couple of these in more detail. Once you've picked the content area, you also have to pick the format for the materials. The content ideas for assignments include asking students to deliver a TED-style talk, add to, or create, a Wikipedia article, contribute to a class blog, wiki, or collaborative document, create infographics or digital comics that connect course topics to real-world scenarios, or contribute to a class image gallery.
If you ask students to create something other than a document, you may want to provide additional support. This could be a template, free tools or some tutorial links to help them succeed. For example, to help students create infographics, there are free tools like Piktochart, as well as free PowerPoint templates from HubSpot. That way they can focus on the content instead of graphic design. Since students may have different levels of access to certain technologies, it's a good idea to build in some flexibility for completing an assignment.
For example, if they don't have a mobile device with a camera, see if your institution has any available to check out. If you have to check out the equipment yourself, then you may want students to use it during class time. Last, be sure to showcase the student-generated content in the classroom and beyond. This might mean using the students' content as part of a lecture, posting it on a course blog, or sharing it with an outside organization. In some cases, you might even create a collection of content created by each class.
Before reviewing the next movie, take a minute to answer the following questions for yourself. Have you established why students are creating content, what they'll create and for whom? How will you support students who are producing different media formats? How will you provide flexibility for students who don't have access to specific technologies? And how will you showcase the students' content throughout your class or integrate it into the course itself?
Author Kevin Kelly explains how learning outcomes can be adapted to support technology in the classroom, and guides educators through selecting the appropriate technology for their activity, module, or class. Then he shows how to apply technology in three key areas: finding, creating, and sharing content with students; facilitating classroom activities; and assessing learning inside the classroom or online.
- Including technology in your learning outcomes
- Applying Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles
- Finding and creating content and instructional materials
- Enhancing lectures and presentations with technology
- Getting students involved
- Facilitating in-class activities
- Assessing learning
- Teaching effectively online