Archive for November, 2011

Open-ended questions for higher level answers in Web 2.0

Often times teachers  ask many  closed-ended questions (lower level questions) about a learning goal and then they are surprised when they get lower level answers back.  Close-ended question usually begin with question words like “Who…?” as in “Who invented the ….?”,  “When ….?” as in “When did she invent …?,   “Where….?” as in “Where is Spain? ” and “What …?” as in “What  is the capital of New York?”.  In order to get higher level answers, one needs to ask big powerful questions.  These questions can be essential or critical questions; they can be open-ended questions which have many possible correct answers.   Open-ended questions often start with “Why….?” as in “Why do you think solar energy is better than water energy?”, “What..?” such as “What are the differences between ….?” and “How….?” such as “How are these two wars similar?”  When students think there is only one right answer, they limit their thinking.  Most real life problems do not have one right answer.

Here are some examples:

Texting in Social Studies:

Closed-ended question:  What does “occupy” mean?  There are a fixed number of answers. Once the students answer the question, they are done. They realize that the teacher has a specific  definition in mind and they try to guess it.

Open-ended question: How are the “occupy” movements in the USA similar or different to the “occupy” movements in Europe? Students can answer this question in many different correct  ways and, then, discuss their various answers. They widen their learning as they hear  the different responses. They consider aspects they had not thought about.

Wiffiti in English:

Close-ended questions:  Who did Don Quixote persuade to join him?   The  answer to this question is a factual answer. Once a student says the name of the person, he/she is done with learning.

Open-ended question?  What would Don Quixote have to offer you for you to join him?  Again, students will have a wide variety of correct answers. They see that the answer to this question goes far beyond the book.  What do other  people in your life offer you to join them? Do you join them?  Open-ended questions lead to powerful answers about the learning goal and about life.

Let’s ask open-ended higher level questions instead of closed-ended lower level thinking questions with our Web 2.0 tools.

Why Cell Phones and Smart Phones Differ from Previous School Technology

Cell phones and Smart phones differ drastically from previous school technology.

1.  The students know how to use these technologies. They use them daily. They text, they take pictures and send the pictures, they take videos/movies and send them, and they access the web. Teachers do not have to spend class time in teaching students the new technologies. Even when teachers “teach” a new program such as Yodio, the students already know how to take pictures, upload them to a program, know how to record their voice and how to send their voice files. Teachers save all the time they used to spend in teaching how to use a new technology which often was many days.

2.  The students always have these mobile learning devices with them. They may forget their notebook. They may leave their textbook home. They may be without a pen. Their dog may have eaten some critical papers. They may have lost their password onto the class website. However, they will have their cell phone or Smart phone with them.

3. The students can use their own mobile learning devices. The school does not have to provide it except possibly for a few disadvantaged students. Teachers can do lessons regardless of the various types of mobile learning devices (the various companies that produce the phones) and of the various carriers. The school does need to provide access to the school’s wireless.
4. With QR codes, students can be a click away from learning resources. Students do not have to turn on a computer, log in, and then type in a web address. Many students have trouble typing in a web address even when the web address has been shortened. The student instantly go from scanning in the QR code to clicking on the link(s). Class learning time is saved.
5. Students can easily be producers of information. They can take pictures to document environmental concerns in their community and make those into a multimedia story such as with Yodio. They can audio record the interview of various people as they talk about the importance of math in their careers. The students can make a movie about the various healthy habits of their family and friends for their physical education course. They have these tools on their phones and they know how to use the tools.

6.  Due to the richness of  web resources, teachers can move students to higher level thinking. Students can easily contrast two images of the same incident for an English class. They can evaluate the bias in reporting the same story as they read newspapers from around the globe in a Social Studies class.

7.   Students can be global in their learning.  Texting can be done  internationally. Students can text a science survey about using paper in school  to their friends in other states and other countries.  Elementary students can text math word problems  which students in other countries have written in terms of things in their country. For example, a school in Costa Rica migh offer this problem, “If you are really hungry and you buy a “casado” (rice and meat dish) for 2,500 colones and a fruit drink for 400 colones, how much do you spend? What is that in USA money?

Students’ Web 2 school projects: Redoing to be Web 2.0

Much of  students’ Web 2.0 use is for   “drop and run” projects.  Where is read-write? Building on Others?  Collaboration?  Global?  Higher Level Thinking?

Many 2.0 tools

Some example of how to transform some to be more 2.0 and less 1.0.

Podcast/Voki/Audacity:   George Washington Example

Glogster / QR poster:  English writing

Images (Flickr, …):  Whale example

Videoconferencing/Skype:   Books

Video:   Shakespeare

Facebook/Twitter:  Paper Use

Others?

Tuttle’s formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

Cell and SmartPhones: Best Practices and Lessons Learned

3 hour workshop

Classroom examples/lesson learned for each

Find Reference Info

Google 466453

Chacha 242-242
Apps – Dictionary, Thesaurus, …

Internet

Capture Information
Photo

Voice

Video

Communicate through texting

Celly

Twitter

Wiffiti

Communicate through media

Flickr slideshow

Yodio

Geo-tours with QR codes and GPS

Learn Globally

BBC
Collaboration

Do Higher Level Thinking

Contrast and Compare
Synthesize from various sources

Learn content

Interactive

Varied/differentiated media sources

Assess learning

Google Forms / Polleverywhere / Spreadsheet

Use QR Codes

Hints: 1 Name 2 Multiple 3 Link 4 See

QR code generator: http://createqrcode.appspot.com/

Tuttle’s formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

Healing Learning injuries: The Immediacy of Formative Feedback

If a student has hurt herself and is bleeding, we do not say, “Wait a few days and we will take care of your bleeding.” We help stop the bleeding immediately.  However, when a student bleeds academically by showing a serious learning gap, we often delay the necessary treatment.

When a student displays a learning gap such as  not being able to write a topic sentence in a composition, we  immediately apply the treatment of providing the student with different new strategies.  We do not simply re-give the student the  original strategy that was unsuccessful for the student.  We have a list of different strategies on the class website, blog, wiki, a handout, or a QR code.  We write these strategies in student-talk and provide examples.  For example, a topic sentence has a topic, like “the school baseball team”, and a strong position or viewpoint  about the team such as “will win this Friday”.  The complete topic sentence becomes “The school baseball team will win this Friday.”
We provide a  variety of differentiated ways for the students to learn the missing concept of a topic sentence such as  a written explanation.   We can ask students to put a box around the topic and put an arrow ( → ) over the position. Also, we can offer the student  a variety of other ways of learning this concept such as    Youtubemovie, a podcast, and  a visual.  The student selects which formative feedback she feels will help her the most. Then, she practices that new strategy so that she improves.

Through the  immediacy of formative assessment, we heal the student  in their learning.  The student does not become injured for the rest of her learning.

Tuttle’s formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

Pollinate Great Learning Ideas Through Social Media

As administrators walk around and see examples of higher level learning,
they can capture the learning through pictures or videos. They will make sure that the pictures or videos clearly show the specific learning goal and the higher level learning as opposed to some “cute”
picture of students.  For example, an administrator takes a picture of a student made Social Studies concept map that contrasts the causes of the American Revolution and the American Civil War.  The administrator  posts it to the school website,  the school facebook page, or a flickr school page. Likewise,  the administrators can tweet  “English 8 students works in groups of three to help each other have more evidence and details in  their essay paragraphs.”  In addition, the building leader can record students talking about what they learned during a certain unit and then post this as part of the school podcasts. Through using technology, the administrators shares these great learning ideas with their buildings teachers so that these classroom  teachers can learn about  and implement new strategies for improving student learning.  Furthermore, the administrators will find that teachers will soon be contacting them about the higher level learning taking place in their classrooms so that their students can be featured in the next social media blast.

Tuttle’s Formative Assessment books

Healing the Wounded Student Through Formative Assessment

If a student has hurt herself and is bleeding, we do not say, “Wait a few days and we will take care of your bleeding.” We help stop the bleeding immediately.  However, when a student bleeds academically by showing a serious learning gap, we often delay the necessary treatment. When a student displays a learning gap such as  not being able to write a topic sentence in a composition, we  will want to immediately apply the treatment of providing the student with different new strategies.  We  have a list of different strategies on the class website, blog, wiki, a handout, or a QR code.  We write these strategies in student-talk and provide examples.  We provide a  variety of differentiated ways of learning the missing concept of a topic sentence such as  a written explanation, a  Youtubemovie, a podcast, and  a visual.  Through our using the immediacy of formative assessment, the student quickly heals.

Tuttle’s Formative Assessment books

Harry Grover Tuttle’s Three Formative Assessment Books

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