Monday, March 12, 2012

Using Web Tools to Promote Discussion In The Classroom

In my classroom, along with the other 8th grade science classroom, we have used Web Tools such as Google Docs and Today's Meet to promote the sharing of opinions between the students.  Earlier in the year, during the Astronomy Unit, we used Today's Meet to share and discuss a big question that everyone in the world probably has an opinion on and would love to share and discuss.  We put pairs of students on computers on both science classes and asked the students this question:  "What does life need to exist?".  The students really enjoyed sharing their opinions with each other.  It was very exciting to go around the computer lab and read the comments, opinions, and rebuttals from the students in the room and what was being said from upstairs.  The discussions were thought provoking, insightful, silly at times, but for the most part, the students stayed on task and focused and were very into the activity.
During physics, we plan on using Google Docs to share lab data for comparison and critique.  I believe that students can learn a lot from their peers and are not usually intimidated by the criticisms from fellow students.  The students are also very sympathetic at times to other students mistakes.  The sharing of lab data will allow them to better their data collecting and analysis techniques.  It will also allow them to double check their own data to look for bad data or incorrect calculations and observations.

No comments:

Post a Comment