The two indicators that I will be focusing on during this Quest will be: 3c Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others. 3d Students curate information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions. Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.
When I call on students to present their research, students often regurgitate what they found on the internet during a Google search. Sometimes they can’t articulate what they learned because they were worried about getting it down on a paper for a grade, rather than furthering their understanding on a topic. I want students to be more engaged and able to make lasting connections. So the question that I have researched this week is:
How do students use technology as a tool that enhances their learning process?
When I was younger and had a research project, I would look up the subject in one of our encyclopedias or go to the library and use the card catalog to find ‘real’ books to read in order to conduct research. I remember it being quite a process.
Today it seems that students can search up ANYTHING on the internet and instantly find an answer that may or may not be correct. Students seem to take a passive mindset when researching online. They find answers but don’t make lasting connections. For example, I asked my students to research a topic that took place during the Great Depression. Some of the topics that they could have researched were the presidential election of 1932, stock market crash, Dust Bowl, or the New Deal. I asked students to explain what these were as well as tell how they affected or were affected by the Great Depression. Students were pretty good at telling me about the topic, but not taking it a step further and relating it to the Great Depression.
If I am being honest, I had an AHA moment while researching the answer to my question this week. Researching is HARD. It was very difficult to put in just the right words to get the search that I was looking for. I had to be fairly savvy and a quick reader to determine if the article, blog, or tool would be helpful in answering my question. If it is difficult for me, how can I expect my students to be successful? I mean, I tell them when they Google- to add the words “for kids” to their search so that at least it is appropriate content. I haven’t given them the tools to find credible resources, nor have I set them up for success.
That is where Listenwise comes in. Listenwise is a digital tool that curates NPR public podcasts and categorizes them so that students can listen to stories that complement what you are learning about in class. The podcasts are short, under ten minutes, most being shorter than five minutes. They are engaging and wide-ranging. Topics fall under four categories, ELA, Social Studies, Science, and Current events.
I did a quick search for some podcasts that would complement the Great Depression Research I wrote about above. These podcasts I have highlighted below are just a few of the 1000’s of topics curated.
FDR’s New Deal Speech- (https://listenwise.com/teach/lessons/391-fdrs-new-deal-speech) This podcast has excerpts of FDR’s actual acceptance speech for the Democratic Nomination. Students actually get to hear him talk, which is pretty important because he changed the way presidents communicated with the public with his Fireside Chats.
Intro to the Great Depression- (https://listenwise.com/teach/lessons/41-introduction-to-the-great-depression) Actual accounts of people who lived through the Great Depression and how they lived through it.
Dust Bowl– (https://listenwise.com/teach/lessons/29-the-dust-bowl-during-the-great-depression) They bring life to this time in history through archival interviews conducted by the Library of Congress.
The Invention of Economy- (https://listenwise.com/teach/lessons/468-the-invention-of-the-economy) Describes how the term, ‘economy’ came to be during the Great Depression.
Listenwise is an excellent tool to bring topics to “life” be they historical or current. The product that I have described so far is free. They also offer a premium edition that gives each student their own account, access to written transcripts, comprehension questions, text features that support ELL students, such as vocabulary support and slowing down the speech by 20%. One pretty neat feature is that the questions can be imported to Socrative.com
Listenwise is a valuable tool that scored high on the Triple E Framework because the technology motivates and helps students gain a more complex understanding of the content that helps students make connections to real-life. This is just the tool that I think will support my students with their research, in that it will lead to deeper learning.
Johnson, D. (2012). The classroom teacher’s technology survival guide. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.ezproxy.spu.edu
(Chapter 5 Teaching 21st Century Learning Skills p.113-135)
Triple E Printable Rubric for App Evaluation. (n.d.). Retrieved February 2, 2019, from https://www.tripleeframework.com/triple-e-printable-rubric-for-app-evaluation.htm
ISTE Standards for STUDENTS. (n.d.). Retrieved February 2, 2019, from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-students0