Today in my Ed Psych course I asked, “Why do we want students to participate in class?” The preservice teachers easily acknowledged that increased participation likely leads to increased mental engagement & having students hear ideas of other students has clear benefits concerning the language accessibility of the exchanges. I then asked, “What things can a teacher do to discourage/encourage participation?” While there are obvious answers, I think one of the more nuanced ideas related to valuing student ideas. When exploring this, we noted that teachers need to flexibly use student ideas, but doing so requires a very well developed pedagogical content knowledge. Leave a comment sharing how you encourage your students to participate in class discussion or other activities?
In some ways I have become a little too known for being negative about educational technology. However, I do use technology in my classes. Last year I had my students using twitter regularly. Rather than making twitter a “special” project, I tried to infuse twitter with class. Below is a quick description of one way I used twitter. This is from a comment I left for Mr. Gonzalez on his post about his goals for students:
I like your willingness to “trying anything new”. I am much the same way, but sometimes struggle with when to stop tinkering and just give something up. I’ll be interested in what you do with twitter. I had my students using it last year. We did some brainstorming, asking questions and test review.A lot of times I would have students discuss with a partner, then together post something to twitter and comment on what others were saying. After a few minutes we would come together as a class to discuss “inside” the classroom. I found that having kids first discuss their ideas with a partner helped them find clarity in their thinking. Then when they shared on twitter they could see what others were saying in different groups. The whole time I could walk around the room listening while watching my twitter stream on my phone to monitor student thinking. Once class discussion started I used twitter as a way to generate new directions in our discussion. Perhaps most beneficial is how twitter provided a voice to students who were unwilling to verbally participate in class discussion.