Saturday, March 24, 2012

Technology and Education: An Example
I was able to witness a great lesson a little over a week ago (a little late in posting).  300+ freshmen were in an auditorium on a warm, sunny afternoon and they were raptly engaged with learning.  I wish I had video to share.  It was amazing!

A little background . . . our students were testing that week, but the freshmen were not on this particular day, which provided us with time to engage them in learning.  During this time, Mr. Adam Haynes led a lesson on bias.  He introduced the lesson with a variety of slides that included time for students to think/pair/share, formative assessment, humor, and discussion which included a twitter back channel (facilitated by another teacher Mr. Scott Morrison) for students to discuss, ask questions, and respond to Mr. Haynes during the lesson.  In the middle of the lesson, Mr. Haynes used the viral Kony 2012 video (check YouTube if you haven't seen it) to give the students a current issue to think about.  Bringing the bias lesson full circle, Mr. Haynes engaged the students in discussion on the finances of Invisible Children Inc (Kony 2012), an NPR report, and a perspective from a Ugandan reporter.  Back in the classroom with smaller groups, students had some "exit ticket" questions to work upon.  Ultimately, I hope that students learned about bias and how to critically analyze whether or not to support and/or lend their voice to an issue.  In other words, can they think with a filter or mine for gold, instead of just being a sponge?

This example demonstrates that a well planned lesson can engage students in any situation.  In this case, it was a fast paced, interactive lesson that incorporated technology use and a current issue that struck a chord with students.  Additionally, their was an expectation for students to think.  It will be interesting to see their responses to the "exit ticket" questions.

Once again, thank you Mr. Haynes and Mr. Morrison for your time and planning of this lesson.