FROM KNOWLEDGABLE TOKNOWLEDGE-ABLEMAKING CONNECTIONS IN THE CLASSROOMAFACCT Jan 2012Professors Melissa Lizmi & Deborah SolomonMontgomery College, Rockville
Michael ssorWesch 2 U.S. Yea 008 the e Prof rAssociate Professor of CulturalAnthropology, Kansas State Univ ofThis new media environment can beenormously disruptive to our currentteaching methods and philosophies.As we increasingly move toward anenvironment of instant and infiniteinformation, it becomes lessimportant for students to know,memorize, or recall information, andmore important for them to be able tofind, sort, analyze, share, discuss,critique, and create information. Theyneed to move from being simplyknowledgeable to being knowledge-able.Wesch, Academic Commons
Building a Class Community than ! Ea sier ght thou y ouCommunicationSharingCollaboration
CommunicationIf nothing else, have an active class discussionboard!• 24/7 online community just for you and your students• reduces emails and number of times you need to repeat info.• Blackboard, WebCT, MyMC...or QuickTopics.
CommunicationKeeping the discussion board active• post all important info - main means of communication• be present 2-3 times a week, post interesting links and articles• praise students & make clariﬁcations
Students Sharing WorkStudentsanswerweekly essayquestionsonline! ng es igni lo ve d log ents own b ud eir quic k St so th d it’s e . . . an easy spac and
Students Sharing Work• Easy online journaling using Blogger and Google Docs• Students see each others’ work, raising the bar immediately and continually
Students Sharing WorkOnline Journaling Success Tips • Tag the best student answers - “EXCELLENT”, so students can model • Encourage and redirect students in comments area • Keep grades private
A Place to BeA virtual meeting place ~ part repository, part coffee shop, partﬁeld guide for the class • School speciﬁc: Faculty website, Blackboard, WebCT, MyMC... • Other options: PBWorks, Wikispaces, Ning, Moodle, Google Groups/Sites
• Communication >> Discussion board• Sharing >> Online assignments• Collaboration >> Online shared class “space” now what?
Group Projects!ugh...what a hassle • free-rider/interpersonal issues • eats up too much class time • students can’t get together outside class
Group Projects Technology = easier than ever!• Needs (tools) • Collaborative workspace - enabled document creation, collaboration and multimedia storage • NING, Moodle, PBWorks, Wikispaces
Group Projects And a project with “soul”Ordinary People, Extraordinary Changes Waterlife and NOAA
Making Group Projects Work! Golden Rules1. Allow students to self-select whenever possible! Group/individualproject, topic, etc.2. Create job descriptions and accountability for each group member andallow students to sign-up for their “position”. First-come ﬁrst-served.3. Allow students to “meet” in their own online space, but insist on access.Facebook can even work!4. Use peer review formsMore Good Advice• Read article on "Hitchikers" & "Couch Potatoes"• Have rules (i.e. can team members be ﬁred from the group?)• Advise students on credibility of online sources(http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/research/credibility1.html)
GamesAnother way to engage students is with games. 97% of kids between the ages of 12 and 17 play digital games (Pew Internet & American Life Project) "You can learn more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation." -- Attributed to Plato
Games Do games “work” in the classroom? “That games in education ‘work’ is without question. When usedproperly, games can uniquely motivate, teach, and encourage ourstudents. If you really use games effectively, you can motivatepoor-performing or under-performing students; you can help brightstudents ask important questions and relevant questions aboutthemselves and their world; you can help gifted kids simulate highlycomplex systems.”(Bill MacKenty, instructional designer at Hunter College CampusSchool in New York, N.Y. inhttp://i.ciconline.org/CiCWebResources/Articles/game-to-learn.pdf )• UCF study showed that "over an 18-week period, students playingthe educational video games demonstrated higher gains on districtbenchmark exams than students not playing the games."http://thejournal.com/articles/2008/06/16/ucf-study-ﬁnds-video-games-increase-student-achievement.aspx
Games Some classes, even entire schools, use games as the primary learning methodology!Quest to Learn is a public school in NY with a curriculum based on games:"It’s important to note that Quest is not a school whose curriculum is made up of the play of commercialvideogames, but rather a school that uses the underlying design principles of games to create highlyimmersive, game-like learning experiences. Games and other forms of digital media serve another usefulpurpose at Quest: they serve to model the complexity and promise of “systems.” Understanding and accountingfor this complexity is a fundamental literacy of the 21st century."www.q2l.orgTurning class into a game:Indiana University Professor Lee Sheldonwrote a book on how to designyour class as a multiplayer game!
Games You dont have to design your entire class around games, but you can easily incorporate games as one of your teaching tools.• Playing existing games - ﬁnd games and simulations online for homework or groupprojects. (http://www.explorelearning.com, http://seriousgames.msu.edu/games.php)• Have students design games or game-related projects for class - thiscan work in any discipline area, for example: • English class: creative writing project (i.e. “write the backstoryand plot of a new game”), technical writing (i.e. “write 2 pages of a game instruction manual”) • Health class: discuss the concept of “addiction” and whether it can be applied to compulsive game-playing • Business class: create a business plan for a new educational game marketed to public schools • Marketing class: write a press release or ad campaign for a new game release • Political science class: can social change be stimulated by a “games for change” type of game? (see gamesforchange.org for examples) • Biology class: How would you design a game that shows how the immune system defeats infections? •Foreign language class: Design a game (or animation) to explain some common idioms
Some Cool Tools Timeline tools:• http://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/19160/Causes-of-the-American-Revolution/•http://www.simile-widgets.org/timeline/ (free)• Role Playing and Storytelling: Xtranormal - create two charactermini movies, ToonDoo - easy cartoon strip creation• Collaboration and Sharing: Wordpress, Blogger, Wikispaces, NING• Simple Game Creation: Gamestar Mechanic• Storytelling: MovieMaker, iMovie, VoiceThread• Google Products: Google Earth, Docs (online & collaborative),Gmail, Calendar, Sites and Groups
Some Cool Tools how about a virtual ﬁeld trip? Google Earth a treasure trove of ideas and projects for virtually every discipline
Thank you for your time and attention! Deborah Solomondeborah.firstname.lastname@example.org and Melissa Lizmi email@example.com