Capturing student voice and engaging students in robust discussion and questioning is an important element of the Common Core Standards. It also increases teacher effectiveness and student achievement.
With traditional teaching methods, reaching students who are either, too shy or not motivated to participate, can be difficult. Darlynn Alfalla, the Tech Coordinator at Wagner Middle School provided advice to the “Questioning and Discussion Study Group” at her school. She helped an interested teacher, Robin Danky, incorporate a back channel called “Today’s Meet” into her lesson.
It worked like a charm. Here is the video which outlines the results.
Click this link to view video.
Here is an overview of the challenge they were trying to meet.
Challenge: How Do I Motivate and Engage All Students?
What are some new ways to engage all students in class discussion? How do we reach students who either are too shy or not motivated to participate?
What did you try?
We used Today's Meet which is a backchannel for classroom discussion. The idea being that students are engaged by the use of technology and they love platforms that let them chat. With Today’s Meetl students can participate anonymously or with a username provided by the teacher.
What did you learn?
When technology is properly integrated into a classroom lesson it can provide a much needed catalyst for motivation especially when it comes to asking questions. This allowed me to provide immediate and authentic feedback both during the discussion and after. It also provided the class with an archive of the discussion which could be used as a form of assessment. We found that 100 percent of the class participated in the online discussion while only 50 percent would engage in class discussions by raising their hand.
Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning, The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.
Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.