By Teach Thought Staff
Over the past decade, the technology image in the classroom has moved from a row of desktops in a dedicated computer lab (all facing the same direction) to one where a variety of devices coexist, often in discomfort, inside and outside the lab.
On the other hand, the role of the teacher is as dynamic as ever: between the lecturer, the instructor, the guide, the mentor, the referee, and the on-call problem solver, even if not hour to minute. Has the unveiling of technology outside the lab away from the huge desktop provided the classroom with better tools to help teachers and students in all their roles in all their activities?
Terry Heck’s article on ‘Second Screen Learning’ (What is sync teaching method?) This question addresses over the head. He provides a framework for understanding how a 1: 1 (or 1: a few) environment can be best used. How can today’s potentially ubiquitous technology support a variety of interactions between students and content in a classroom? What should we think about when we think about the interaction between the teacher’s device and the students that can best support and extend the functionality of a classroom?
The difference between learning 1: 1 and the second screen is ‘syncing.’ Learning to sync requires two potentially conflicting technologies: one, the ability to assign the same core element, and two, the ability to assign the element independently. “In a second screen learning classroom, teachers and students are ‘synced’ with each other in terms of content, although they have the tools, techniques, freedom and space to learn, expand, create or connect.”
This notion of a class that fluctuates and returns to individual or small group activity from a focus on a single theme is not new. The teacher instructs the class as a ‘conductor’ and allows each student to explore the subject in depth, using each person’s curiosity and ability. And it happens regularly with or without digital media.
This post is a brief introduction to the technologies that can support a synced classroom using a second screen – focusing on the use of web-based resources. As web-based resources play an ever-larger role in K-12 learning, their ability to better grasp and adapt to the normal rhythm of classroom instruction increases significantly.
It is hoped that this discussion will be useful for academics who are thinking about what technologies to adopt to broaden the ‘syncing’ they are already practicing.
5 steps in a synchronized classroom
Step 1: Synced resource: General access to the default set of E.Educational resources
An anchor for synchronized learning is the ability of students to engage with a general set of educational resources curated by the teacher. From email and browser bookmarks to more comprehensive social bookmarking and curating services, the options are many.
To enable deeper engagement, bookmarking can be complemented by two additional features: the ability to add commentary, and the ability to add freely to one’s own resource collection.
The ability to comment on resources enables teachers to place resources in their proper context and order. Students can take turns engaging with resources, including questions, feedback, answers, and thinking.
The initial set of resources provided by ‘Conductor’ becomes a hub around which students can begin to build their personal collections, be it videos, scientific articles, or URLs of applications that provide a ‘gamified’ role in programming.
Even with just these elements, a classroom can be ‘sink’. Whether loosely around a collection of resources and comments or more rigorously on a page where the teacher is discussing live, the teacher can change the interaction to create a synced experience. However, the following steps will significantly reduce the burden on both teacher and student এবং and support interaction that was not possible before.
Step 2: On Sync –Same thing at the same time
While ‘on synchronous’ may recall a speech equipped with a second screen, it could be more. Since most digital resources are at least partially interactive, not everyone needs to be involved in the same content in order to land on the same page or use the same app.
However, screen sharing apps usually only work in one direction – much like a projector’s ‘first screen’ (teacher’s). Instead, teachers should be able to take all students to a page and, perhaps after a context-setting role, free themselves to explore. Unlike screen sharing on synchronous because it provides a common path around which exploration is encouraged.
To use both definitions of the word, the teacher is a ‘conductor’, where the guide, if necessary, leads everyone in the same direction when called and tells everyone to get off and leave on their own if appropriate. Combined with the teacher’s ability to view comments and contribute to his own thinking, it supports a mix of guidelines and freedom, focus and creativity on synchronous.
Students should also be allowed to lead these sessions করতে to present their completed work, to engage their colleagues and their teachers in the research phase of a project, and to lead each other in small groups as part of daily learning.
Step 3: Different things at different times – switch between sync and unsync
A mix of synchronous and independent activity can be determined on the fly. This mix is often the magic of live learning, where the instructions are fermented by time for questions, breaks, change of direction, as well as independent work. So the ability to transfer fluid between the two is important. Even if planned, the simpler the conversion mechanism, the greater the change.
Necessary elements include the ability to pause on the teacher or student to allow discussion. This includes allowing students to ‘catch up’ and re-engaging after their own tangents are turned off.
It should support the full use of resources shared in step 1: the ability to conduct a session, add new resources during a session, and comment on everything. Figure 1 shows a simple example of the type of possible progress through switching ‘on the fly’.
Step 4: Sharing ideas — Communication and collaboration
Although teachers can incorporate existing messaging and note-taking applications to support steps 1-3, the norm is to integrate commenting, messaging and chatting into one common platform.
For example, would include a messaging function on synchronous. Even when all participants are in the same physical location, an integrated messaging function will provide a more focused channel for engagement by writing comments, questions and answers, as well as enhancing verbal exchanges.
Discoveries and comments will trigger notifications like a ‘new message’ to encourage conversation and collaboration. And once indicated, participants should be able to discuss both synchronous and asynchronous. Much like synchronized on-the-fly conversions, syncing comments and messages, real-time conversations (similar to chatting or instant messaging) and non-stop conversions between adapted conversations at each student’s own pace (like more emails).
Step 5: Glue from person to group
This brings us to the structure of the synced classroom. Whether the whole class is synchronized on the same page at the same time or small groups are loosely synced, the teacher must determine both the degree of syncing and its scale for different events. And the two decisions may be strongly related. Technology can make it easier to create different groupings for different purposes থেকে from a single student to a combination of multiple classes.
Different groupings should be simultaneous for collaboration, messaging and synchronous navigation. These need to act as glues that create learning contexts synced to different scales. One can imagine the cross-cutting groupings in Figure 2 that go through their own view of synchronous and independent activities on their screens during the day, with the teacher performing as much as needed or desired orchestration.
A successfully synced classroom
As Terry Hayek reminds us, “Interaction with teachers and textbooks is possible, as well as with apps and tablets, but not on the same scale, with the same level of personalization or with the same attractive form factors.” Sync teaching using technology is valuable because similar methods of sync teaching without technology are effective. Appropriate technology, especially when combined with the “abundance of attractive and flexible learning resources on the Internet”, becomes a way to try and expand the true approach.
Even to be remotely useful, the technology described above must be convenient. In order for teachers to rely on it to support an adaptive and responsive learning environment, it must also provide an adaptive and responsive service. So the challenge is to combine the above functions in a way that is intuitive and easy to use, if not a little fun.