Meaningful Learning

Happy Friday!

I was going to write today about this new feature in Google Forms called Locked Mode for Google Forms. It locks students out of all other tabs except for the Form when they take a test. It works in Google Classroom . Here is a video about it. It's great students can't cheat stay focused etc. . . Great tool and glad it is available but how does this impact student learning?

      I was going to go into detail about it UNTIL Pam Harris invited me to the  ECMS Media Center today to witness a Breakout EDU lesson with Ms. Tilley's class that she, Ms Faust, and Ms. Tilley collaborated on to make. 
 As I am writing this I see a class of about 25 students in the back of the Media Center actively engaged in  their learning for a full 45 minutes. It is very evident that Ms. Tilley, Ms. Faust, and Ms. Harris have created a top notch inquiry based game for these students. These students are inquiring, students are working collaboratively, students are using research methods, students are solving problems  and helping each other out. I witnessed absolute zero disruptions during the 45 minutes. These students are actively learning.  One of the scary things about activities like this is that we (as teachers) are not the giver of knowledge. We're not the ones giving out the information. The students are inquiring and figuring things out on their own and working together. It is quite the mind shift it's also a shift in our pedological practices. It's not the way it was when many of us went through school.
We broke down and bought an Amazon Echo Dot at my house.  For real, "Alexa" gets the award for being the most patient being on the planet. In about 1  minutes time my  son said the following things
1. Alexa play Uptown funk -
2. Alexa make a burp sound
3. Alexa how many countries are there? (195 if you are wondering)
4. Alexa where do cars come from?
5. Alexa, tell me a joke

Let's skips 1,2 (especially 2), and 5.  Ty has the tools  to find facts in no time. But can he use the tools effectively? Could he dig deeper on those questions? Does he posses the skills to analyze and form his own opinions? Can he interpret if those facts are the truth?  Does Alexa Care? ( I hate it Ty but she doesn't) his teacher does though.  Can he collaborate with others or find an expert to talk about those things? Nope as Educators thats our job. What is scary to think about is that we are preparing our kids to be ready for jobs that do not exist yet. In 20 years they will be saying things like "Remember those old Chromebooks?" My point is  When we are using Breakout EDU, or technology, or other instructional resources the question is are we using them effectively? Are we using them for our students to become better thinkers, better problem solvers, and to ask better questions. I was blown away watching the students in the ECMS Media Center this morning doing this. 
     Of utmost importance, are we using them to create meaningful lessons that support the standards that we are charged to tech. Do we design these tasks with the end game always in focus? 

If you are curious about Breakout EDU check out and see the many classes that are trying it out

Take Care and have a great weekend,


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