Join Kevin Kelly for an in-depth discussion in this video Engaging students in the classroom, part of Teaching with Technology.
- There are movies in this course about small group activities and active learning exercises for groups of different sizes. But what if you want to engage all the students in the classroom? In this movie we'll look at a few different activities to engage your class. Google jockey, student questions, back channel, and polling. If most students won't have access to technology, you can still use technology to engage them as a class. Try assigning one student to be a Google jockey. His or her job is to find images, websites, or articles related to lecture concepts, individual questions, or class discussions.
You can have multiple jockeys if you want to add an element of competition for fastest results or best results. You can either check out a laptop for the Google jockey or ask for volunteers among students who bring a laptop to class. Establish guidelines for the Google jockey ranging from waiting for your cue to start searching to having latitude to search independently. Determine how the Google jockey will share results, such as a Google doc that you can display as the instructor, a list of hashtag tweets with links to answers or information, or verbal reports.
A separate class activity with technology involves asking students to generate questions during class. These might be questions about a reading or homework assignment. Allow students to submit questions in an environment your class uses already, such as via Twitter with specific hashtags, in a Facebook group, or using Google Moderator. Google Moderator has additional features such as allowing students to rate each question by importance so you can see the most common issues. Students may need to join Google Plus to submit moderator questions.
Another engagement strategy is called backchanneling. Backchanneling is self-directed virtual communication between students during a lecture. Using tools like Twitter, students can ask each other questions and answer them or share ideas related to the presentation. Derek Bruff, an author and thought leader from Vanderbilt University shares some good backchannel ideas in his blog at DerekBruff.org. Again, provide students with guidelines for the activity, including what's acceptable and what's not. You can tell students that you won't monitor the backchannel during class, but will review the archive for questions that no one could or did answer during class.
If everyone has clickers or their own devices, then use polling activities to engage everyone. I've talked about clickers in other movies. But apps like Poll Everywhere are just as effective, as long as you have an alternative solution for students who don't own any technology. Alternative solutions might include pairing students with devices and students without devices to submit answers as a duo. The mobile app Nearpod is even more versatile. It allows you to share your presentation with all students' devices, no matter what flavors of laptops, tablets, or smartphones they own.
You can insert questions that students answer via their devices and even allow students to scroll back and forth through your slides without affecting anyone else. As the teacher, you get reports on student answers and activity. Before reviewing the next movie, take a minute to answer the following questions for yourself. How would you use a Google jockey during your lectures and class discussions? What types of questions could you ask students to submit online before class or during class? And if everyone brings their own device, what apps could you use to enhance the in-class experience?
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