Less Talk, More Action

Across my facebook feed yet again came the discussion about taking notes by hand versus on a laptop. Like clockwork, every couple of months, one of my facebook friends shares an article that champions note-taking on paper over note-taking on an electronic device. This time, it was from the Washington Post: Why Smart Kids Shouldn’t Use Laptops in Class

This is not news. We’ve known this for a while and the research is really clear: If you are going to sit passively for 50 minutes and listen to a lecture, your best bet for retaining information is writing out notes on paper by hand.

But that’s a lot like saying, “If you have to hand-crank your car before your trip, it’s best to wear gloves, set the emergency brake and hold the choke out.”

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Giving Every Student a Voice in Your Socratic Circle by Leveraging Digital Tools

Socratic Circles are a great way to engage students in a provocative question – students are engaged with the topic, encouraged to think about complex topics with a critical eye, and inspired to explore big ideas.

However, it can be a challenge to give all students a voice in a Socratic Circle that is 30+ students big…there are time, space, and personality constraints that sometimes mean the conversation is dominated by just a few voices.

By leveraging digital tools, you can mitigate these constraints and give all of your students a voice – thus giving all students the opportunity to explore their own thinking as well as their classmate’s.

I recently had the good fortune to be able to spend some time at Wheeling Elementary in 4th and 5th-grade classrooms using Chromebooks in this manner.

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