Saturday, January 7, 2017

How to Disrupt your Classroom in 2017


While technology in the classroom has greatly increased and improved over the past 20 years, the teaching methods that we use, haven't kept pace! It's time to disrupt traditional teaching methods! Here are four ideas to get you started.


1. Ditch boring lectures

Sit-n-get lectures don't encourage collaboration or critical thinking. Instead of firing up your favorite PowerPoint, use Pear Deck to engage your students with questions and activities. Pear Deck allows you to add multiple choice, short answer, free response, numerical, drawing, and interactive questions into any PowerPoint or Google Slide presentation. It's super easy and it integrates with Google Drive and Classroom! Here's a 30 second video to help you get started!

2. Make your Students Teach

Ask students to record a short (1-3 min). screencast that explains an important topic or idea you are studying. I recommend Screencastify, but there are lots of options out there!

Have them save their recording to Google Drive and add a link to the video into a Google Presentation or document that the entire class has access to.Now every student has a mini lesson on all of the essential topics you are studying! Here's an example of essential tech skills that a group of teachers put together over Christmas break.

3. Put the technology away!

Technology is great, but should serve a specific purpose. Sometimes, the best way to shake things up is to do the opposite of what students expect! Instead of using technology, put it away!

Have students "pass notes" in class on paper rather than commenting in a Google doc. Or have them conquer a Breakout Edu Challenge!

4. Give students choice!

Too much of my own instruction was sequential and "one-size fits all". Give your students choice by using hyperdocs! It's a simple idea - a hyperdoc is a "menu" of small activities and choices that helps students explore a topic. Your "menu" should include sufficient choice and flexibility to allow students to express their learning in their own unique way.

Check out this great example from middle school teacher Tonya Nugent.


Interested in exploring more ideas for disrupting the traditional classroom? I am working on a free 5-lesson email course that expands on the ideas above. Click here to subscribe!

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