Friday, November 9

Pedagogy and Tools

I am still wading through the rich material from the recent ‘K12 Online Conference’. I liked the work of Anne Davis from the USA. Her presentation ‘Putting the Pedagogy into the Tools’ went that one crucial step further in facilitating transfer to the classroom.
Anne looked in-depth at 13 web tools and provided teachers with an overview of each tool and most importantly information on how each tool could be used to enhance student outcomes on specific learning objectives. In effect this presentation provided mini-lessons that centred on the pedagogical use of web tools.
Each web tool is analysed using the following format. The example below is direct from her presentation material and focuses on a tool that generates newspaper clippings.

Objective: Summarizing
Web tool: Newspaper Clipping Generator
Use of tool: Students take an article or a blog post and make decisions as to what to include, what to delete, and what to substitute in order to summarize.
How it facilitates learning: The challenge of condensing the summary requires students to engage in a fun way to review and revise their own notes and the notes become more meaningful. The publishing of the summary on a blog makes it interactive as the students help each other to learn to synthesize information.
Blog posts:
• A Tribute to the Blogicians on Blogical Minds
Additional strategies to use with students to facilitate learning and thinking:
• Students could paraphrase short paragraphs.
• Students could use this to post celebrations of good thinking in class by other students or other students they connect with online.
How To: This one is so simple. The 'Newspaper Clipping Generator' link listed above takes you to the site. All you have to do is type in the name you want for your newspaper, the date, headline, and your news story.
To download your newspaper, click on the link at the bottom of the generated image. This will take you to a link that directs you to 'Click here to save your newspaper'. You can click on 'Save to disk' or 'open it in a photo software program.
Then students can include this on their blogs. Note that direct linking to the newspaper clippings doesn't work; the images are deleted after a short time span.

For more of Anne's work check out the following links :
Wiki with more of the above.
Full presentation.
Anne's Blog.

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