Monday, October 31, 2016

Another PD Session: Student Discussions and BYOD

I have been pondering how to provide my colleagues who attend the sessions I am facilitating with the materials and prompts that will guide their work. For the Assessment and BYOD workshop that I discussed in my last post, I decided to organize all of the materials in a Google  Site so that participants can have easy access to all of the materials.

That same day, I will be facilitating a second session on a different topic. The focus of my second workshop will be on managing classroom discussions in a BYOD environment. This is our school's first year with BYOD so it is a focus of our professional learning. Furthermore, we are also committed to increasing personalization of learning for the students. I am working to keep those two goals as threads in my workshop. I hope that participants finish the sessions empowered to harness tech for more student-centered learning experiences.

The sessions are each 90 minutes long. For discussion, I have divided the time into two segments. In the first segment, we will examine whole-class discussion protocols; in the second segment, we will consider student-managed small group discussions. Participants will be immersed in the discussion protocols were are examining and use the technology that students can use to support and document their interactions and reflections.

Agenda for the Whole Class Discussion segment:

Round 1

  • Select volunteers to chat in the fishbowl
  • Review Fishbowl Norms: only those in the center can talk; all participants can contribute to the chat room.
  • Everyone will join TodaysMeet chat room and see this greeting: "Welcome to the chat! Enter your comments here. Remember you are limited to 140 chars. Talk to each other by using @ protocol. I am @JackieW"
  • Watch this Michael Jordan commercial

  • Discuss: “What is a growth mindset, and why do I need one? How can my students develop one?”

Round 2

  • New group goes into fishbowl
  • New question introduced into chat: What does it mean to describe an assessment or classroom experience as "authentic”?
  • Everyone post “big takeaway” in the chat; start post with BT
  • Archive chat transcript as a Google doc; share for reflection
  • Demonstrate Ctrl-F, search for user name to see where posted
Questions for Reflection:
  • I used to think... and now I think...
  • If I had been in the fishbowl I might have said...
  • One thing I wanted to say but didn't was...
  • The most important understanding I am taking away from this discussion is... and it is important because..
  • The most insightful comment I heard today was... and it was insightful because...

Agenda for the Small Group Discussion segment:

Discussion Protocols:
  • Each group member has a different role
  • For each role, there is a padlet or slide for collecting ideas
  • Readers populate the padlet or slide assigned to their role
  • Readers can draw upon the postings of classmates when discussing in small groups
Reading Roles: (text: In the Beginning... Was the Command Line, "MGBs, Tanks, and Batmobiles" by Neal Stephenson)
  • Questioner: what would you ask the people in the passage if you could? Why?
  • Connector: of what are you reminded when you read this passage? (book, movie, tv, current event…) Why?
  • Wonderer: what do you want to know about this situation? Why?
  • Predictor: what do you think the outcome of the conflict will be? Explain.
  • Passage Picker: select the passage you think is key to understanding the text. Explain its importance.
  • Assign everyone in the group the same role
  • Read and share ideas
  • Collect ideas on a padlet assigned to their role
  • Rearrange groups so that each new group has someone from each role
  • Discuss
Asynchronous Discussion Extensions:
  • Students can post to a blog with their understandings derived from their reading role
  • Students can Skype or Google Hangout with other students discussing the same issue or topic

Instead of another Google Site, for the Discussion session I created a series of Padlets. This way, there is a materials reference for participants to follow as the session unfolds, a collection of resources to which they can return after the session. And, if anyone attends both sessions I am facilitating, s/he also sees different technology being modeled for activity management and materials delivery.

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