Student Participation

October 4, 2012

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?

Twitter in class everyday

July 21, 2010

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.
What are some ways you have or intend to use twitter (or other social messaging services) in your classes?


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