The Instructional Tech Connection

Weekly News, Tips, & Tricks from ITF Joanna Crawford

Choose Your Own Adventure! [Student Choice]

"Learning that incorporates student choice provides a pathway for students to fully, genuinely invest themselves in quality work that matters. Participating in learning design allows students to make meaning of content on their own terms."

- Joshua Block, Edutopia

Allowing students choice in learning and demonstrating learning can be a scary thing to try. However, doing so can be freeing for students allowing for amazing results! Check out this week's newsletter about options for giving students choice in the classroom.

**Find ITF Availability at the bottom of this Smore!**

Examples of Student Choice

Choose Your Tool!

When asking students to present their learning, allow them to choose what tool to use. (Our next newsletter will focus on digital presentation tools.) Give options for digital and non-digital tools. Rather than depend on the teacher to be the expert in the room on every tool, provide students with a rubric to check off what must be presented. Then they can choose the tool with which they are most comfortable to use to create their presentation. You'll be amazed at what your students will create when they are given more options!

Stations (Pick 3!)

Create five or six stations for a lesson. Give students a set rotation time, but allow them to choose to visit and complete tasks at only three or four of the stations. Make sure different stations focus on different learning styles and include different formats for information delivery. One or two stations might be mandatory, or students might be asked to pick one station from each cluster of two stations in order to gain a full understanding of the day's lesson. By allowing choice, students have the freedom to learn in a way best suited to them. The novelty of skipping some stations will enhance the classroom as well.

Let Your Interest Be Your Guide!

Our TEKS definitely guide us when deciding what must be taught; however, there is room for student interest to guide classroom learning. For instance, instead of giving students a list of numbers to organize for a stats class, a teacher could allow students to research numbers like baseball stats to use to learn a concept. Rather than assigning "The Hunger Games" to the entire class, a teacher might allow students to pick a book about a dystopian society to read. How might your students' interests guide their learning in your course?

Weekly Articles of Interest

Let's work together to meet your instructional tech goals for 2016! (January 18th-22nd)

  • Tuesday, 1/19: Hebron HS
  • Wednesday, 1/20: LHSH
  • Thursday, 1/21: HHS9 AM / DJCC PM
  • Friday, 1/22: HHS9 AM

For days I am on your specific campus, email me or tweet me @DigitalCrawford to set up a time we can work together. Include your campus, room number, and preferred time.

Are you signed up for a Spring Technology Workshop? Join us!