When students are asked to edit Wikipedia articles, they become contributors to a shared knowledge resource to which previously they’d only been consumers. This very public writing assignment can inspire critical and reflective analysis as well engage students in issues of digital citizenship.
Mind maps are a type of diagram used to visually display information about a central topic in a relational way. They are most effective when they incorporate the use of color and images, which stimulate the brain and aid in memory. They can be used to organize any type of information in any subject matter.
A way of structuring an instructional experience to maximize the amount of learning taking place. Most instructors say, “Students need to learn about x” or “I need to cover x amount of information with my students.” But the mind is not a vessel to be filled, the way you can fill a pitcher with water. The great educational theorist Robert M. Gagné (1916-2002) discovered that learning happens most effectively and efficiently when the mind is activated and attention is sustained in certain ways. He created a structure that he called “the nine events of learning” to describe how this process takes place for most learners.
A screencast is a recording of the actions occurring on a computer screen and generally includes audio narration of the on-screen actions. Screencasts can be used to create sophisticated multimedia presentations and instructional videos and are used in many online, flipped, and hybrid classrooms.
Google Maps is an interactive web service that provides detailed geographical information. It is a familiar tool used to view maps and as a route planner for drivers, bikers, walkers, and public transportation. Google Maps also includes street and satellite views of many places. With a Google account, you can create your own maps and add additional data, such as traffic information, photos, and annotations. Use Google Maps for simple mapping projects or to introduce students to using mapping before scaling up to more advanced options such as Google Earth, Google Maps Engine, or full-blown GIS tools such as ArcGIS.
Group projects are an active learning strategy that help students move beyond passive receipt of information. Group projects tend to fall into two categories: (1) Cooperative projects typically use a “divide and conquer” technique: each student completes a portion of the work on his or her own, and then the group comes together to assemble the final project; (2) Collaborative group work requires interaction throughout the duration of the project.
Classroom Response Systems, or “clickers,” come in the form of personal handheld remote response devices or applications for existing devices (phones, tablets, laptops, etc.). Answers are collected and displayed for instant review in class or stored for later review.