This Week’s Twitter Teachings

This first tweet is about using Chromebooks in the classroom, but I think that the tips given can apply to any technology used in the classroom.

https://twitter.com/n_pinn/status/452897334058553345

I especially like the first suggestion of allowing students to play a little with the technology.  It’s important to still make it constructive but by allowing them to complete low-risk assignments and allowing flexibility if something doesn’t work right it will help in the long run.  From personal experience I’m much less nervous to do a large video project if a teacher has allowed us to make a small practice version.  They also suggest using Google Drive with students. No matter what computer you are using as long as the students have a gmail account they can access Drive.  Drive is something I knew nothing about before college and now I see there are so many benefits!  It really helps with group project and student collaboration.  You can see who is doing the work and help each other out as you go.  It also automatically saves so it cuts down on the opportunities for disaster to strike when the file is stuck on a school computer and saved no where else, or if the computer being used breaks then it’s always accessible online.  The last suggestion is to surrender trust to students which relates directly to the next article I found helpful on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/n_pinn/status/452900891943632896

This article gives tips about how to include students more in your teaching.  I really love the idea of asking students for feedback on what they want to learn about and also what they don’t understand and letting that drive what you teach about.  Allowing anonymity helps students feel more comfortable at the beginning and especially when discussing embarrassing topics such as how much they know (or don’t know) about something.  (You can do this by collecting data using Google Forms which are part of the Google Drive offerings mentioned above, or you could use good old pen and paper.  Using a computer though allows you to track the data easier and it is already complied and saved.)  By listening to what students say and what students what to learn about hopefully that will create a better learning environment and they will feel more comfortable asking questions.  The article mentions that saying “I don’t know.” is one of the hardest things to get used to if you are a teacher but, if the teacher shows they don’t always know then it becomes easier for students to say ask questions and admit when they don’t understand either.  Teaching can be a collaborative process and it’s important because everyone can bring something different to the classroom.

By giving students more of a voice in the classroom you might ask them for more feedback on your teaching. This tweet contained a link talking about feedback in the classroom.

https://twitter.com/n_pinn/status/452897921596268546

When working in a collaborative learning environment as mentioned above students can give feedback to each other which has both negative and positive effects.  As mentioned in this tweet, “most of the feedback that students receive about their classroom work is from other students – and most of that feedback is wrong.”  Being a good teacher you can set the grounds for what appropriate forms of feedback look like.  In addition the “feedback” could be more of a social consequence so it’s important to be aware of the dynamics between students.  In addition, teachers can use student feedback to help them improve their teaching practice and to understand what they need to re-teach.  Feedback is something that is very important and happens all the time whether we realize it or not.  It’s very important teachers are careful giving students feedback because that can make a big difference in their perception of school.  I’ve had teachers who have drawn smily faces next to grades, or underlined specific points they found interesting in articles.  I’ve also had teachers record themselves talking about my papers because they felt it was more authentic and gave a better understanding than writing it down.  The feedback, no matter what age I was, always made a difference and the more in depth it was the more I tended to want to do better on the next assignment.

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