Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Student Reflection on a Lesson with Blogs

As part of our teacher training programs and evaluation protocols we have a focus on lesson reflection. We encourage and sometimes mandate that teachers reflect on a lesson after its completion. What worked? What didn't work? Did you have a clearly aligned objective and did you meet that objective? Did the students understand? How do you know ? What would you do differently next time? etc....

What we typically do not formalize is the collection of feedback from students regarding a lesson. We do evaluate and assess understanding through formative and summative assessment, but do we know how they truly felt about the delivery of a lesson? Do our students have insights that could improve the instructional delivery, method of assessment or expected outcomes? I am sure they do!

Blogging in the classroom and the development of student blogs provides students with a voice. It is an opportunity to publish their thoughts and ideas for an audience. We encourage students to take part in online discussions or possibly comment on a publication. How about asking student to provide feedback regarding a lesson? While they may require a framework regarding effective feedback, I would believe that what they provide a teacher may be as valuable as the results of the formative/summative assessment used to measure a lessons effectiveness.

Blogger, Kidblog, Edublogs or Moodle are all great classroom blogging options.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Improve Student Writing Through Electronic Conferencing

A new app available within Google Drive allows for the insertion of Voice Comments into Google Docs. The app is free and easy to use.  The tutorial below will demonstrate how to install it and begin using it.

This tool allows teachers to provide specific feedback to students regarding their writing using verbal expression. It can also be used for students to provide peer review. In the past I have connected my students with other students around the world to conduct peer review of writing using the comments features. This allows the students to gain the benefits of expressive verbal language. It's also really cool!