Posts Tagged 'choice'

Giving Students a Voice in App Selection

Traditionally, teachers research apps for their class. They assign apps to students.  The teachers assign a specific app or give students a choice of several pre-selected apps.  As a Modern Language teacher, I suggested apps to my students in the early part of the year.

However, in January, I let my students select which apps they wanted to use based on their own app searching and a minimal checklist.  I just gave them a topic to search as “food”. I asked them to look at  two or more apps that had the same topic.  My minimal checklist includes: has a comprehensive list  of words, phrases, or sentences for the topic;  gives the written Spanish word and its definition (or included a picture); pronounces the word; is  free; and is available on both Android and Ipad. The app gets extra points if it uses the words or phrases in sentences or questions.  The app also receives extra points if  the app provides practice on the words.

I found that when I let my students select which apps they wanted to use based on their own app searching and a minimal checklist, they actually used the app. In fact, they often commented to other students about their great app for the topic. They willingly showed me the app. They shared stories about where they were when they were using the app (supposedly helping Mom in the grocery store!).

More importantly, they learned the critical vocabulary for the topic from the app so they were ready to use the vocabulary in their communicating about the topic.

Who selects apps for your students?

My ebook, 90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities, is available at http://bit.ly/90mlact.

My three formative assessment books, Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students and Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, are available at   http://is.gd/tbook

My modern language blogs are  now at  http://bit.ly/imprml.  I have developed 27  Spanish activities and 5 Modern Language Visual activities in which students  express themselves in the modern language and move toward spontaneous speaking Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

21st Century Learning and Student Choices

As educators we say that we are preparing students for the 21st century.  Yet we may be severely limiting that preparation by not giving students real choices.

Do our students have a choice about

1) How they will present their learning?  There are many Web 2.0  tools available today. The students’ presentation tool should not matter as long as they fully demonstrate their learning at a high level.

2) What topics they can use to demonstrate their learning?  Do we give students a single topic?  A choice from a list of topics? Or are students free to pursue their own topic?

3) What resources they use?  Are they limited to printed material?  Can they use Internet based resources such as  contacting an “expert” via Skype?  Can they use visual material such as photos from Flickr?

Our students will never be life-long learners for the 21st century century if we  make the choices for them.

What choices do you give your students?

 

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Fixed or Flexible Learning

I recently talked to someone who teaches an online course.  She says that the college has supplied the lectures for each class.  I questioned how a college could think that the fixed lectures would fit the needs of the class. Then the person reminded me that high school textbooks,  textbook websites, textbook DVDs,  textbook PowerPointsand content websites present the material  in a fixed manner.  I think it is good for a teacher to see an exemplary lesson and then to modify the lesson for the class or  for the teacher to use the fixed  lesson as a jumping off point  but I do feel that teachers should not follow a book lesson blindly. Based on our students’  intellectual, physical and emotional needs, we, as instructional leaders, need to decide how to teach the selected goal.  We need to modify the lesson to meet various learning styles and learning levels in our class. We need to know when to abandon a lesson to teach a missing skill or a complimentary skill. We are the ones to show the students the connections between what they are learning and the big picture, to bring in our life experiences in that learning.

How do you teach your course?  Do you strictly follow the textbook (fixed) or do you modify the learning in a flexible manner based on your students’ needs?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students, is available through Eye-on-Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Providing Classroom Variation

My wife and I like to go to productions of  the musical Godspell to see how the director will vary the setting, costumes, and dialogue and yet keep the central message of the play. Godspell is a musical that encourages variation.

I wonder how much most classroom teacher encourage variations on the central learning. One English teacher has all of his students write on the same topic for a contrast essay. Another English teacher lets her students select their own topic from a very long list or come up with their own topic for a contrast essay. One   social studies teacher has his students answer the questions from the text book chapter. Another teacher has her students find news articles about the topic and react to the news articles. One science teacher hands out a description of “the” project.  Another teacher provides a tic-tac-toe board with various projects  arranged by learning style.

When we allow students choice, they are more invested in their learning. They have more opportunity to engage themselves through their own interests in their  central learning. They think more and they learn more.

How do you encourage variation?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students, is available through Eye-on-Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Students Create Own Class Final Based on Portfolio

In my speech class, I have given my students a choice of which of the nine speeches that they have already done that they wanted  on their final. I told them that the final had to consist of  three of the speeches that they had given;during the final they would drastically improve on the already given speeches.

I listened as they talked about which speeches they thought would most benefit them. They talked about the portfolio that they have to create as a requirement of the college.  They thought of which speeches would most impress a future employer. They all agreed that the “Tell Me About Yourself” interview question speech was absolutely critical.  They next agreed on the Persuasion speech since it shows how they can convince others of their ideas. Finally, they decided that they would do an Information speech since often in work, they give information to others.  Most of them had already done these speeches on areas in their future career.

Their discussion revealed much about their understanding of their future careers,  their showcasing themselves during an interview, and their analyzing the various speeches we had done.

Do you have your students have input into their final? What criteria is used to select material for the final?  Does it serve a “greater purpose”?

Giving Students’ learning Choices Through Technology

I like to rent Redbox movies, those red kiosco in grocery stores and McDonalds. I can preview the available titles from the comfort of my home; I can take my time to decide which movie I want. I can even rent the movie online so that it is ready for me when I get to the store. I can return it to any Redbox.

I wonder what school would be like if we could have more options and choices available to students. Sure all students have to learn the same basic standards. How much choice do we give the students in how they go about doing it? Do we provide lectures, demonstrations, guided instructions, interactive activities, group activities, and self-tests in various digital formats for them? By using technology we can have many different forms of learning the standard available to the students. What, if instead of lock stepping the class in terms of the students’ learning, we freed up the class to make their own choices? They can select in what order or format to see/hear/experience the learning.

We can start small with podcasts, emovies, and interactive Power Points as we build up our library. Imagine if a department (all English teachers in 9th grade) worked together to create these resources. Then we as teachers could really be guides on the side instead of the sage on the stage. We can spend time in providing formative feedback to students in one-on-one and small groups instead of being infront of the room “teaching”. When students experience a learning gap, we can refer them to a specific technology application that focuses on that learning gap. We can give more help to those who need one-on-one feedback.

Let’s use technology to help us better guide students in their learning.


RSS Education with Technology

  • Tech Integration Teacher, What time is it? August 23, 2016
    When someone asks what time it is, that person wants to know the time, not the history of the clock, not how a clock works, and not what other types of clocks there are. Classroom teachers want to help their students improve their academic learning through technology. Sometimes they need help with technology so they go […]
    hgtuttle
  • Curriculum Focus, Not Technology Focus July 28, 2016
    In my public school career I have been a classroom teacher, a technology integration specialist and a technology administrator. In my technology role, I served under the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. She had a simple mission: Improve students’ academic learning. My mission was equally simple: Improve students’ academic learning through technology […]
    hgtuttle
  • Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting June 22, 2016
      ISTE 2016 By Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D. College World Language Students’ Preferences Digital Badges – 52%        Paper Certificates – 48% World Language: Can-Do Digital Badges Digital Badges Pro- – Breaks down proficiency more – Shows all badges at once – Is more attractive – Is more appropriate since we use […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Naming the Badge October 29, 2015
    Once teachers have selected what learning and what digital badges (individual or category badges; see previous blog), the teachers encounter another decision. What will they name each badge? Will they use the full name of the Common Core Standard or the national proficiency? For English, under “Speaking and Listening,”will they write out SL.2 “Integrate and […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Better Than Grades? October 19, 2015
    Teachers understand that the grade in a course consists of many different factors such as homework, participation , projects, tests, etc. Blodget observes that sometimes grades reflect attitude, effort, ability and behavior (http://www.academia.edu/9074119/Grading_and_Whether_or_not_Grades_Accurately_Reflect_Student_Achievement). Equally important, a letter […]
    hgtuttle
  • World Language Students Use of Mobile Devices in the Classroom October 5, 2015
    Do world language students use technology n the classroom? Do their  teachers go beyond having their students use technology simply for the drill and practice in vocabulary and grammar? Students can use laptops and mobile devices to hear authentic language, read authentic texts, read tweets about famous performers, see up-to-the-moment culture,  watch video […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Individual or Categorized Learning Badges? September 12, 2015
    The idea of digital badges sounds appealing for the digital children in classes. As teachers start thinking about digital badges, they have to figure out what badges will be awarded. The teachers can award social or academic badges. If teachers decide to use academic badges, then the teachers may base their badges on the Common […]
    hgtuttle
  • English +Common Core +Mobile = Success (ISTE2014 Poster -details) June 30, 2014
    Here are the ten examples I showed at my English + Common Core  + Mobile ISTE 2014 Poster Session: Based on CCSS Anchor Statements: L.2 Take a Conventions Mobile Online Quiz  to pick the  incorrect sentence from four choices (capitalization) SL.2  Evaluate audio recording of a  book chapter on mobile and predict for next chapter. […]
    hgtuttle
  • Global Cultural Learning Using Mobile Devices (ISTE Mobile MegaShare Presentation) June 28, 2014
    Based on my presentation at ISTE 2014 Mobile Megashare Why teach about other countries? Location: Large view to small on maps. Culture or culture. Find six similarities in a  mobile picture from another culture (“Wars are caused by differences, not similarities.”-Tuttle.) Tell one piece of information from each different Internet visual from a place in that […]
    hgtuttle
  • English + Common Core + Mobile = Success in Learning Poster Session at ISTE 2014 June 25, 2014
    In my ISTE Sunday 8-10 am poster session, I demonstrate many diverse mobile activities to help students achieve the English Language Arts Common Core Anchor Statements through mobile devices. The mobile activities focus on free common tool apps that are available on both the Android and the iPad. The students use the apps as a seamless […]
    hgtuttle

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