Mike Roberts did what so few teachers have been able to do: He cracked the code on classroom management....
Mike Roberts did what so few teachers have been able to do: He cracked the code on classroom management....
When evaluating a new tech tool, I must be able to use it within five minutes, or I just bag it.
If I can’t figure it out by then, my students will be lost.
I was conducting a PD session in Ft. Worth this past summer. A young lady called me over and said, Have you heard of Flipgrid and if so, have you used it? My answer was, No and No.
I made a mental note to try it when the school year started, but I remember thinking, It has to pass my ease of use test. Eight weeks into the school year, I finally got around to it. I’m glad I did!
Flipgrid is a cool way to encourage student’s voice. You record a video question and then kids record a 1 to 90-second video on their smartphones or Chromebooks in response.
I mastered this cool new tech tool in about three minutes. My students figured it out in two.
This tool is great in terms of providing a creative vehicle for student expression. My friend Chrissy Romano warned that ostentatious presentation tools like Flipgrid might unravel introverted kids.
My response, which Chrissy liked, by the way, was to take anxiety away by permitting students who were uncomfortable to interview someone.
My first Flipgrid was pure practice. The students were prompted to ask Mr. Sturtevant a question.
This accomplished two objectives: It got them accustomed to the platform and they learned a lot about their teacher, which makes me more approachable.
My second Flipgrid was powerful. I challenged students to interview a friend, family member, coworker, or classmate. They asked their subject if they knew a Muslim and is Islam a religion of peace.
Aharon Rockwell is a freshman and in my Global Studies class. He knew I had a podcast and approached me about being a guest. I jumped at his offer and I’m glad I did. He’s a great guest, who explains the power of this tool, in the episode embedded above.
Student are limited in terms of expression.
Flipgrid will give your kids a new expressive canvas to paint upon…and it’s a lot of fun.
Flipgrid is a cool tool that’s easy for kids to master. It’s also a lot of fun!
Because mantras bring peace to the process
You throw out consequences willy-nilly. You’re tired of solutions that are all or nothing. You’re frustrated with the daily chaos. Enter Parent Mantras, invaluable parenting anchors wrapped in tidy packages.
These will become your go-to tools to calm your mind, focus your parenting, and concentrate on what you want for your kids.
Now, you can connect with your child like never before
Parenting author, educator, and presenter Kimberley Moran works tirelessly to find best practices for simplifying parenting and maximizing parent-child communication.
Using 10 Parent Mantras as cues to stop and reset, Moran shares concrete ways to parent with intention and purpose, without losing your cool, creating better parent-child connections.
With Parent Mantras, you’ll be able to:
Bonus: Parent Resource Notebook
The PRN includes sample pages that parents can use as models for implementing mantras. These models are accompanied by blank templates you can actually write on, creating your own notebook pages that serve as your go-to guide for those difficult situations that are unique to you and your children.
Keep Hacking Parenthood and the included Parent Resource Notebook with you at all times. It’s like having your own playbook for parenting teens and children of all ages.
Ready to find your mantra?
Grab Hacking Parenthood today; find your mantra, and hone in on what matters most, when raising kids feels out of control.
Love him or hate him, it’s hard to argue that the president sets a great example of social media use for kids.
In her breakout book, Hacking Digital Learning Strategies: 10 Ways to Launch EdTech Missions in Your Classroom, internationally-renowned presenter and education technology consultant Shelly Sanchez Terrell demonstrates precisely how to teach students to debate issues appropriately, rather than disrespect people on social media.
Here’s most of Shelly’s Teach Kids to Debate EdTech Mission from her new book, reprinted here with permission from Times 10 Publications.
Lately, the news has featured the long-standing Twitter feud between President Donald Trump and the media. The public has criticized both sides for their behavior. At one point, the argument escalated and the President tweeted a GIF of himself symbolically body-slamming CNN.
The news media took offense, claiming the GIF encouraged violence toward reporters; the Office of the President and Twitter disagreed. Tensions continue to rise.
This incident exemplifies the nature of many online arguments.
Children to adults share their opinions openly on social networks but are offended when others disagree with them. They react with aggression or resort to personal attacks. All involved seem to overlook the true issues, and all parties leave the conversation upset, learning nothing new about the topic and missing a powerful opportunity for debate to open our minds and elevate our thinking.
We need to transform the digital debating mindset and help students see debate as a vehicle to strengthen their intellect and character.
The way schools teach debate doesn’t align with how our learners conduct arguments in real life. Traditionally, we teach students to debate by writing argumentative or persuasive essays.
While this is important, our digital learners need to engage in online debates.
They need the opportunity to draft shorter arguments to share with the public, as well as practice in responding intelligently to those with opposing views. Our students may regularly debate or argue on social media, yet schools rarely afford them the opportunity to acquire respectful debate skills as part of the curriculum.
In Missions 2 and 3, your students gained confidence in defining their digital identities and became aware of how their posts and shares impacted their digital reputations.
Those first steps laid the groundwork for this mission to participate in a respectful and thought-provoking virtual debate. Rich debate keeps the conversation going, celebrates differences of opinions and perspectives, and values well-constructed arguments.
All involved realize how a strong opponent opens their minds, challenges their beliefs, and improves their critical thinking skills. Additionally, healthy debate fosters peace, promotes democracy, and builds community relationships.
First, our digital citizens will learn how to craft clear, persuasive, and compelling arguments for an online forum. Their argument will state their positions, help their peers understand the reasons and logic behind their positions, and back up their views with support and evidence.
Then, classmates post respectful and logical counter-arguments, which further the dialogue. Students read these counter-arguments with an open mind and revise their initial arguments with new insights.
They develop strategies for dealing with abusive and hurtful comments, and learn how to passionately argue while keeping their emotions in check so they don’t personally attack peers, but instead argue points of contention.
As we know, online debates escalate quickly and bring out the worst in people. Young people may question the value of spending their time listening to beliefs and opinions different from their own, and they may attack the individual instead of logically rebutting specific points.
The activities below prepare learners to approach varying opinions with an open mind and focus their arguments on the issues.
• Confront fears, myths, and intolerance: Anonymously poll students on their attitudes toward participating in respectful debates. Find a list of possible questions for the poll in the Mission Toolkit (Find the Toolkit in the Appendix section of Hacking Digital Learning Strategies). Present the poll results and host a discussion about tolerance, open-mindedness, and how differences help us grow and progress.
• Play the agree/disagree warm-up: Students must take a stand on issues to be skilled debaters. Use masking tape to create a line on your classroom floor. Line students up on the left side of the tape, facing you. State a claim, such as, “Dogs are better pets than cats.” Instruct students to remain standing on the left side of the line if they agree and to move to the right side if they disagree. Students then face their peers. Starting on the left, each student gives one reason to support the claim. Then students on the right give reasons that dispel the claim. Continue this activity with safe topics and coach students to handle increasingly intense topics.
• At various intervals, share rules and guidelines for building a safe environment to share opinions: Record these guidelines and tips to review later. For example, before students share their reasons why dogs are better pets than cats, state the rule that all must respect the listener. Elicit examples of how we show respect to foster understanding of the rule. After the first sharing of reasons, guide a group discussion to identify the components of strong reasoning.
• Improve online arguments: Show the class an example of an online argument that went awry. The initial opinion should be strong and exemplify good writing techniques, before the conversation descends into an argument within the string of comments. Reddit’s Change My View forum has great examples of strong arguments followed by good and bad counter-arguments. The arguments and comments must meet strict criteria, and the moderator pulls any comments that violate the rules. Have the class analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments and come up with guidelines for their own arguments. Then have the class analyze the counter-arguments and identify the most compelling ones. They should identify what makes the counter-arguments strong and come up with guidelines for their own.
Instruct students to jot down ten strong, evidence-supported belief statements or viewpoints. The warm-up may inspire ideas. Have them cross out any ideas that they are tied to emotionally, that they don’t care enough about, or that promote violence, hate, or discrimination.
Students choose one of the remaining statements as their topic for the online debate. Help them transform their statements into specific claims that focus their arguments.
Review the qualities of strong support delineated by the class in the warm-up. Students outline a minimum of six reasons to support their claims based on these qualities and conduct a quick search of each reason to ensure its validity. They show a few peers their reasons and ask them to choose the three most persuasive and interesting before deciding on the three reasons they will include in their arguments.
Students create a survey with at least five questions to gather insight and evidence to support their claims and reasons. Help students draft clear, short, specific, and simple questions that will elicit meaningful feedback. Ask them to opt for multiple choice, open-ended, or ranking questions – and to avoid only yes/no questions.
I recommend Google Forms as a tool for students to create surveys. You can learn more about teaching with Google Forms in Hacking Google for Education.
Students post their arguments in a designated online platform. Note that the idea isn’t to post a five-page argumentative essay with scholarly resources. Think of this as a precursor to these types of essays.
These online arguments should consist of three paragraphs or less in simple language, with logic, reasoning, and evidence. The idea is to spark debate, which means the arguments must appeal to their peers and be easy to digest. Your young debaters should begin to prepare their counter-arguments.
Once students post their arguments, other students post counterarguments. The counter-arguments should challenge one or two ideas made by the author and provide reasoning and support for their contentions.
Writers should check the forum and refute all counter-arguments. These counter-arguments must be respectful and address the contentions with well-thought-out reasoning.
Encourage students to concede on certain areas of agreement. The idea isn’t to win the argument, but to refine belief systems and values. Additionally, conceding on specific areas moves the conversation forward to debate other areas of the issue, which leads to a broader understanding of the topic.
After a few days of healthy debate, announce to the class that a troll has snuck into their forum in an effort to thwart their missions. Trolls are individuals who target an online group and post inflammatory or off-topic messages to provoke a reaction or start quarrels. The troll doesn’t want your students to gain the skills to promote healthy debate, because he wants them to join him in spreading chaos on the internet.
The troll joins the group for a day or two, and only after your students have engaged in healthy debate. Set up an account with the username Troll, and wreak havoc in all threads so no one feels singled out. Your class troll will not name call, use inappropriate language, bully, or do anything that would hurt your relationship with your students.
Instead, the troll might make outrageous claims about the argument, post the same message multiple times, ask silly questions, or spam the thread with nonsense.
Students must come up with strategies to effectively handle the troll and limit his destruction. Allow students to search the web for tips using the query, “deal with trolls” and test these strategies.
Often, trolls suffer from mental illness and the best way to deal with them is to limit engagement. Other tips include reporting them, blocking, and muting. Eventually, the troll gets bored and moves on to the next victim.
Students use the Final Post Template–available in Kit 11 of the Mission Toolkit–to complete their final posts, and highlight three or more peer statements that made them think deeply about their topics. (Find the Mission Toolkit in the Appendix section of Hacking Digital Learning Strategies.)
They should identify statements that incited them, challenged their thinking, pointed out ideas they didn’t address, directed them to interesting research, or introduced them to a new experience. The students quote each peer’s statement and describe what they learned from it. Finally, they conclude their post by revisiting their initial stance and describing what has changed….
Don’t miss the Mission Obstacles and how to overcome them and the Mission in Action for this chapter, along with Shelly Terrell’s powerful Mission Toolkit.
Click here, order Hacking Digital Learning Strategies at our bookstore and get 25% off with promo code: podcast
Remember, buy Hacking Digital Learning Strategies today in the Times 10 Bookstore here and get 25% off the retail price, when you check out with Promo Code: podcast
Shelly Sanchez Terrell, author of Hacking Digital Learning Strategies, is taking education technology integration to new heights with her EdTech Missions and mission-minded learning.
In Episode 102 of the Hack Learning Podcast, Shelly explains how Mission Learning makes kids and their world better, and how teachers can launch EdTech Missions immediately with 27 ready-to-use resources in her Mission Toolkit.
While writing about Mission Learning–an amazing way to integrate lifelong technology skills into any classroom–I wanted more than just a how-to book. I wanted to give teachers a blueprint and resources that they can use immediately to launch EdTech Missions in any class.
Teaching is hard, and you don’t need to spend additional hours creating assets for students, if it’s not absolutely necessary.
I’m so proud of this 38-page Mission Toolkit because it can be used immediately. It comes with:
Best of all, you can copy or download and distribute these ready-made lesson supplements immediately.
Here’s some of what’s inside the Mission Toolkit that comes as a free, additional resource inside Hacking Digital Learning Strategies.
People are raving about Hacking Digital Learning Strategies, and I couldn’t be happier–especially considering that what they love most is the FREE Mission Toolkit, inside the book. — Shelly Sanchez Terrell
You can start using the entire 38-page Mission Toolkit today. Just grab your copy of Hacking Digital Learning Strategies, available now in three formats.
Want to discuss the EdTech Missions and the Toolkit? Join Shelly Sanchez Terrell Sunday mornings at 10AM ET on Twitter for a live chat about digital learning strategies at #EdTechMissions. Also, join the video chat on Shelly’s Flipgrid here.