Last week we shared a few different ideas for some activities to keep your classroom of digital natives engaged – like encouraging them to take control with their own lesson plan or challenging them to work together to build a game. Here are a few more ideas to inspire your lesson plans with material to keep learning active.
- Crowdsource Your Quiz. Quizzes are considered a great way to get a quick measurement of what your students are getting from your lessons – but an even better way may be to get them to write the quiz themselves! Have your students get linked into Collaborate and ask them to work together to ask what questions they think they should be quizzed on. This kind of activity is an excellent way to build critical thinking skills while also moving them towards seeing the importance of self-assessment and analytics.
It’s hard to believe – but summer is winding down! Still planning how you’ll go active in your classroom? Laying the groundwork for a great new year is important for any age group – but keeping active learners engaged after a summer outside the classroom can be a challenge. Activities that emphasize social learning and other engaging tactics can help keep things moving. Just in case you need some help- here are some lesson plan ideas for digital natives to get you started this fall:
- Make Your Own Lesson Plan. Easing students back into the classroom groove is always a challenge – why not start the year off by showing them that their education is in their hands? Ask them to make a lesson plan that would help show their peers what they learned over the summer. Showing the active learner that you know that their education doesn’t end in the classroom is a great way to encourage them to continue learning from life.
- Focused Small Group Discussion. Since active learners have the world at their fingertips they often have a lot to say about a lot of topics. Break your students into small groups when discussing a topic that is content rich and ask them to brain storm together to identify key points. Encourage them to work together while using mobile devices to provide some supporting material – a perfect way to integrate mobility into the learning framework.
The use of Blackboard Collaborate’s web conferencing opens many opportunities for learners to come together online to expand their knowledge and expertise. Unfortunately, mischief can happen in the virtual classroom just as in the physical classroom. Advantage Collaborate! Collaborate makes it easier and quicker to put a stop to unwanted, inappropriate behavior. You can send a disciplinary warning via private chat or private announcement to the bully. If that does not stop the disruptions then the moderator can easily remove that bully and lock him/her out of the room.
Private chat is a direct channel to the instructor that is ALWAYS there for students. Even when the chat permission is off, participants can still use chat but only moderators will see the message. This will keep bullies from sending hurtful messages to other students in Collaborate web conferencing. Additionally, teachers can rest assured that students in need will always be able to inform them immediately via chat if bullying is taking place.
Virtual Time Out can be easily made by creating a breakout room and loading it with sensitivity training materials. It’s easy to preload a variety of engaging content in your Virtual Time Out breakout room. For instance, you could load this PPT I found on the North Carolina Juvenile Justice website
Everywhere you look – in after school specials, public service announcements, magazine covers, radio, and television – awareness to prevent bullying can be found. We can help teachers reduce this sad and growing trend in the virtual classroom.
I have to admit, when I was in school, I experienced both sides of bullying. Some classmates targeted me for riding the bus to school. Then, at times, I regrettably found myself poking fun at less fortunate others. Using Blackboard Collaborate features and functions we have empowered instructors to monitor the learning environments in many ways that can guard against bullying. In fact, there are more ways than I can fit into just one blog entry. Therefore, I would like to share with you Part 1 of a series of blog entries on the topic. We will start with Blackboard Collaborate’s web conferencing and in future posts, I will share information about instant messaging and voice authoring features that help manage and prevent bullying. Let’s get started with web conferencing. Here are a few bright ideas of my own:
On October 4, 2011 the following tweet from Mariette DiChristina (@mdichristina
), Editor in Chief of Scientific American
, appeared on my Twitter timeline. The message was simple:
After reading the short article Calling All Scientists
, I was inspired. Scientific American
magazine is calling all scientists who are willing to volunteer to advise on curricula, answer a classroom’s questions, or visit a school in their geographic area. Also, Nobel laureates at the Lindau, Germany meetings are extending a special invitation to its scientist attendees to be a part of 1,000 Scientists in 1,000 Days
initiative to get scientists involved with schools. This comes at a wonderfully appropriate time.