SketchNoting

I am participating in a PAECT Book Study, the book is Thrive Through the Five, by Dr. Jill M. Siler. At the end of each chapter, she includes a Sketchnote of ideas to summarize the chapter content. I attended a series of webinars through PAECT on Sketchnoting with Sylvia Duckworth, and have shown the concept to my classes. I need to revisit this skill over the summer and utilize it in my classes for my more visual learners. I am not adept enough of an artist to Sketchnote while taking notes, I would focus too much on the art and lose the content. I am better at revisiting the content after I take notes in a traditional format and converting them into images.

I will add this to my Summer To-Do List.

Chaos of Choice

This past week in class I had my students begin preparing for a Discussion Board assignment: straightforward, direct, rather basic discussion board assignment: they were going to respond to a classmates’ initial discussion board post.

There was one catch…they had to get approval from me as to whose post they would be responding to. As I suspected, they all wanted to respond to their best friend’s initial post. I shot that idea down and made them choose another student’s post to respond to. That is when CHAOS reared it’s mischievous head. Students asked for the same friend a couple of times, others asked for their “other BFF” from class, several tried to argue/debate the reasons why they should be allowed to respond to their friend, others inquired repeatedly as to why they could not respond to their friend, and other students went back to their seats and sulked.

The purpose for my not letting them respond to their “BFF’s” initial discussion board post was to get them out of their comfort zone and to have the interact with other students. Being able to comfortably, confidently, and appropriately interact and respond to others is a necessary skill. And in my not so humble opinion, it is becoming a lost art. I attempted to explain this to the classes, unfortunately my message was not making much headway.

A number of students then wanted me to pick the post they were to respond to. That was also something I did not want to do. The students were encouraged to read over the initial posts again and choose a post that they connected with. Just not a connection based upon being friends with the student. They were to focus on the message, not the author. It took some coaxing, but eventually they came around and chose another post to respond to, even if it was only grudgingly.

In the end the students overcame their angst and the CHAOS settled down. Students used this GUIDELINE to form their responses and overall did a great job for their first attempt at responding to others in a discussion board format.

Digital Breakout.edu: My first attempt

At this past February’s PETE and C  in Hershey, PA, I learned more about a concept called Breakout.edu.  The premise is that students or adults solves a series of puzzles and/or problems to achieve a predetermined learning goal.  Breakout.edu allows for critical thinking,  collaboration, and creativity.

These lessons can be either digital in nature or actual physical lock and puzzle boxes.  There is a growing and strong support network for teachers online, with numerous resources, but that is a topic for another blog post.

I chose to work with a digital breakout to start, it is free and I have access to all of the necessary online resources.

This post is currently under construction.