Teaching is easy…Learning is Hard.
At Google Teacher Academy, I had the honor of presenting an inspiring idea about how I use technology in the classroom. I really wanted to talk about how I try to get my kids thinking about technology. And I wanted to show how I tried to help my students to really understand how all the free services the use work. How many times have I taught something by saying “you click this and then you click that” and then I’m surprised that the kids forget it two seconds later. This lesson was one way I hoped to avoid that. So here is my presentation with a little summary of my speaking notes.
— Wendy Gorton (@WendyGorton) May 7, 2013
I wanted my students to think about how GoogleNews works, instead of using the service without being critical consumers.
With my Grade 8 students I used the Visible Thinking Routine: See, Think, Wonder
Normally, Visible Thinking Routines are done on paper and post-it notes. I love that my classroom is covered with visual evidence of my students thinking. It’s messy and crazy and fun.
But for looking at GoogleNews, we used Padlet/Wallwisher. If you use the Chrome extension, you get to save all your walls. Which is messy and fun in its own way.
I started by having my students look at a zoomed in image and notice everything they could. (Did you notice I was using Chrome? Or I have two google accounts? My kids did)
Here are my Grade 8 See, Think, Wonder Walls. Click on the wall to see the big wall. What I love most about the routine in this context is that by taking the time really look at GoogleNews they could see how it was organized and then they had room to jump into inquiry about how it worked.
I think there are dozens of uses for this routine (and the many other Visible Thinking Routine) and digital literacy and digital citizenship.
You could use it to teach Google Advanced Search….
Or have kids think about Facebook privacy settings?
Or how about having kids think about how to use Creative Commons? Or why it’s fair to use Creative Commons?
This is simple way to teach something that is complex and I hope others are able to use it. And huge thanks to everyone for your support for my presentation. It’s a little intimidating talking to such great group of educators and I appreciated all of your good vibes!
Update: I presented as session at California Google Apps for Education Summit entitled Thinking about Google: Using Visible Thinking Routines. Check it out for other ideas of how to use technology (including Google Cultural Institute and others) to practice Visible Thinking Routines.
Other related links:
- Summative Assessment on Global Issues and Perspectives – For MYP Humanities Teachers, this assessment address Criteria C where students are asked to evaluate sources. Evaluating sources is so much of of what it means to be digitally literate and it felt like a very natural fit.
- See, Think, Wonder Walls from my class
- Visible Thinking Routines Booklet
- Artful Thinking Routines Booklet