Monday, September 24, 2012

Flexible Communication and Collaboration

Speaking and Listening: Flexible communication and collaboration 
CCSS (p. 8)

Back in the day…we were taught how to give a poster presentation. Know your content. Face your audience. Do not put everything you know on the poster. Express your ideas effectively and succinctly. Be prepared for questions.

Sigh. Now we tell kids to create a slide show (PowerPoint, Keynote, SlideShare…) rather than a presentation. We point them to the tool and the handy layouts, and tell them exactly what we want to see and hear.

In my Strategic and Capable Use of Technology blog post, I talked about how the Common Core Standards tell us that students should “use technology and digital media strategically and capably.”  If we are telling students exactly what to include in a presentation, what type of critical thinking is occurring? They need to be able to select the right tool for the job.

So, rather than assigning a slide show, why not ask them to tell us what they learned about the topic? Rather than a rubric with points for including 3 facts, maybe they should earn points for solving an authentic problem with the content they learned. Their assessment could be a presentation on the problem and how they solved it – using a movie making tool, an iPad app that acts as a recordable whiteboard, or an online (or paper) notebook that walks us through the problem and solution.

The key is to collaborate on the content and the assessment, so that they can effectively communicate their points with “oral, visual, quantitative and media sources.” What is effective for us may not be effective for them. The good news is: they have lots of tools to choose from.

Some tools to consider:
Making Movies


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