Ed Tech Tips with E. Mosier

Make your classroom more E-fficient!

Giving Students a Voice by Adding More Reflection

Overview

Last Friday, I had the exciting opportunity to present at Matt Miller's "Ditch That Conference" in western Indiana. This conference aimed at challenging the traditional technology conference setup where tech tools are the focus and you leave with your head spinning! The goal here was to focus more on the teaching, and then have the technology play a supporting role. Part of my presentation focused on student reflection and different technologies to enhance that. Something as simple as "What did you learn today?" or "What was your favorite part of the lesson?" can have major benefits to both teachers and students. Below, I highlight a few options for you to incorporate in your classroom to increase reflection from the students to gauge what they've learned and what they understand.

Student Blogs

The most notable form of reflection is to have students create their own blogs. There are a few different hosts to this, such as Weebly for Education, Edublogs, and Blogger. The power that a simple, few sentences could have would allow students an opportunity to share their thoughts via keyboard. The customization aspect of their blog would be quite engaging for students as well.

Today's Meet

If you've never used Today's Meet, you're missing out on a valuable tool. This site is known as a "back channel" and is meant to be working in the "background" of the lesson. This is like a continuous chat window that allows students to post questions, comments, or even respond to a teacher question, all in real time. As the teacher is lecturing, this continuous scroll appears off the screen and, with a little moderation, could be a wonderful medium for students to express their reflections.

Google Sites

Similar to blogs, Sites offers a nice opportunity for students to reflect on their learning. Students could create a page specifically for their reflections and then drag and drop a text box in to compose their reflections. A major benefit to using Sites is that students could embed Google Docs, Slides, or Drawings as a method of adding to their reflection.

Google Classroom

Is there a better, or easier, Google tool to use for reflection other than Classroom? The ability to share an announcement or post a question to an entire class or even a single student offers a perfect reflection opportunity. With the Add a Question option, you're able to post those generic questions without any prior setup by the students, other than joining with a join code. This allows the teacher to frame the response in a way that pinpoints the exact type of reflection and feedback desired.

Flipgrid

You're probably bored of reading about Flipgrid, but this is a tool that was created specifically for student reflection! Teachers can ask a question, students record their response, and the thoughts are gathered in an easy to view format. Selecting three or four different questions for the students to respond to in one video could be not only highly engaging for the students, but informative for teachers.

Face to Face Conversation

Sometimes, ditching the technology and engaging in a face to face conversation can mean more to a student than any typing or recording could do. Never underestimate the value in this. Students still love to know that you care about what they do when they're not being a "student" and their thoughts about a lesson or assignment. Allow them that chance for reflection and the conversations could take on a life of their own!

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