I spent three hours today with Dan Meyer – renown High School Math Teacher and TED talk contributor. It was excellent. He led the 3 hour workshop with some provocative questions. Honestly, he’s one of those educators where three hours flies by.
Throughout the conference keynotes and speakers have been talking about various technologies that can aid instruction in the classroom. One of the buzz topics is the constant evolution of technology. The speakers have stated that we need to teach students to adapt and be flexible with new technologies. Therefore, we shouldn’t expect students to dig too deep into one tool, rather, students should be able to experience as many tools as they find useful. The result is that students aren’t experiencing depth. Just hours before, Dr. Larry Rosen discussed concerns regarding attention spans and breadth vs. depth in content. Would it not be appropriate, dare I say - beneficial for students and teachers to choose specific resources to engage with at a deeper level?
Here I run a blog called tech4teacher – where I describe the many free resources available to teachers and tell about how I use them in my room. I do sound somewhat hypocritical. I just wonder if we are looking at technology the wrong way…
Anyway – Dan Meyer introduced our class to a website: click here.
This website is so simple – but has so much teaching potential. Now I might lose some of you because to use this website in its true nature each student would need to be on an ipad or a laptop. Nonetheless, I suppose it is possible to use it as a teacher showing it to your students.
The website allows for you to upload an image. Then create a suggestion for an audience to put a red dot somewhere on the image. Every student who has that link can move their own red dot and they can’t see each others. There’s also a teacher link which allows for you to see where everyone has placed their red dots.
Dan showed us a number of examples of how this can strike up conversation:
Here are a few student-view perspectives. Hopefully you can see how this might strike up conversation:
You start to get the idea.
It can be powerful because it is anonymous – so students don’t get scared of showing where they think the red dot should go. It’s also powerful because if you place up questions that have undefined variables, or that have multiple answers – it can create incredible conversation.
Really – it’s all about encouraging an intellectual need in students, rather than social or economic needs.