Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Research Based Teaching with Cell Phones-Cues & Questions

Text Talk:  Classroom Stories (Sandy Vickrey, Math/Science Teacher)

I had learned the benefits of cues and questions to activate prior knowledge in my college education classes.  In my school, however, class time was very short and I always had to start the lecture, play the video, present the lesson immediately in order to finish by the end of class.  I rarely took the time to cue students, ask questions, or discuss prior knowledge.  Wait time did not seem to exist.  When I learned about free group texting services, I began using a group text for a cue or a question before school to all of my morning classes and at lunch to all of my afternoon classes.  This really helped students come to class aware of the lesson content and ready to learn more.  However, when using it for the cell movie, right out of the research my friend shared with me, I looked at the Wiffiti screen and one of my students had responded to the question, "What do you know about cells?" with "Well, my dad lives in one."  You never know for sure what response you will get, but now that student can make the distinction with his new knowledge about cells in science.

Getting Ready for Class!
Based on the original work of Marzano, Pickering, and Pollock (2001) and supported by the latest research by Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, & Stone (2012) we demonstrate in Teaching Generation Text how cell phone tools can be used to support and enhance research based instructional strategies.  Once you have a couple tools under your belt, such as group texting with Celly and audience response with Wiffiti, you will easily see how they can be used to save valuable class time, make the most of class time, and motivate students by using them for research-based strategies.  Helping students develop understanding using cues, questions, and advance organizers is good teaching.  Now it is good teaching by way of cell phone technology.  Get students on board before they come to class by connecting with them via their communication method of choice just like Sandy did with her students in Colorado!

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