Slaughter's Tech Moment

"Am I learning? ... how can I use it?"- Building School 2.0

Let's Prepare 21st Century Citizens

I have been reading a book called Building School 2.0: How to Create the Schools We Need. In the book, he discusses a familiar idea " We are preparing students for 21st Century Workforce". He challenges the idea and teachers to instead of developing workers, let's prepare citizens. Quality workers will be a by-product of preparing students to be good citizens.

Changing perspective gives an entirely new mindset to how we look at the student. We have to teach them more than skills; we have to teach them how to learn and think on their own. We need to create life-long learners that actively question and think about the world around them.

A Google a Day

What better way to teach research skills than to make it a game! Google has lesson plans for teachers to help guide students' in critical thinking and search techniques. You can, also, look at specific topics to have students research (History, Culture, Geography, and Science).
  • Engage Students- Have students go to A Google a Day and let students see how fast they can find answers (it times them as they search). Use this activity as an opportunity to ask students how they searched and have them brainstorm some ideas of how they can improve their speed.
  • Take searching to the next level with the Lesson Plans page and begin teaching your students the techniques of searching. Have them complete A Google a Day Challenge or pick a topic if you wish form the site. Have a class discussion of their theories on what topics are easier and why they believe that may be the case after lessons. You could spend some time talking about improvements they are seeing as they complete more searches. What works? What doesn't work? Did they find a way to get to more educationally sound sites? How do they know which sites are sound sites? Have them keep track of their speeds. Consider using a spreadsheet and you could incorporate statistics and math.

Think about the possibilities and how it could improve other aspects of the classroom. Happy Googling!


Webinars for improving searching skills.

The new A Google a Day on Google+ is here

Googeable and Non-Googleable

Googleable are those questions that can be quickly searched and answered. Non-Googleable questions involve going a little deeper. Wait a moment; this Tech Moment is hypocritical! Why teach students to search, if we are supposed to ask questions that cannot be searched?

Don't throw the hypothetical book at me, yet! We want students to be able to find information quickly and be able to search out answers when researching. The bigger question, Why do we have students research? It should not be to regurgitate what they have read but to find a meaning deeper than the surface of the Googleable questions. If students are only answering questions that are Googleable, are we making the content relevant to them?

Consider making a list of questions at the beginning of the unit with your students. (Examples of technology that can be used for the list: Padlet, Google Docs, One Note, Word.) Have them help you come up with Googleable and Non-googleable questions? Share the list with your students and have them answer the questions as they go through the unit. Encourage them to search actively for the information to share on the lessons you are teaching. By the end of the unit, they have a review ready to discuss as a class. Consider the 4C's (creativity, collaboration, communication, critical thinking). What else could you incorporate to take this to the next level?


Image created by Anthony Speranza

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