What Are You Giving Your Students That They Can't Get For Themselves on YouTube?

What are you giving your students that they can 't get for themselves on YouTube? This question was posed in a Twitter edchat recently, and it stopped me dead in my tracks. I had to really think about the structure of my lessons, the shape of my pedagogy. The result of my thoughts was unnerving. I'm not sure I have a lot to give my students that they can't get for themselves on YouTube.
Topics from how to find a square root to what the heck is a thesis statement (this came right out of the mouth of one of my students today) to how can we determine the mood and tone of a story to what is good feedback have all been in my lessons this week. All of these topics can be addressed on YouTube!! So what do I have to offer that YouTube doesn't? Opportunities for reflection and collaboration.
Rather than working against the wealth of knowledge available and making students think using these resources in their own learning is cheating, I've decided to work WITH it. I've begun to help my students shift their thinking from using the internet is cheating to the internet helps me solve a problem and rather than trying to give them what YouTube or Google or Tumblr or fill in the blank with any internet resource can already give them, I am going to provide opportunities for them to use that knowledge to create, collaborate, communicate and think critically about topics.
Today, I gave my students a lesson on feedback. Feedback is something I want my students to give each other and give me. Google classroom has been an amazing platform for my students to practice giving immediate feedback, but the quality of their feedback leaves much to be desired. Rather than spend 10 minutes enlightening my students on what feedback is from the front of the classroom, I turned to YouTube. The one thing I have to offer that YouTube doesn't: opportunities to reflect and collaborate. So after they watched their videos, they went to our SHARED google doc and reflected on what is feedback, what is feedback NOT, and why is feedback necessary?
As they started jumping onto our shared doc, I was blown away by their insight. YouTube had a lot to give them! The use of fun animations and funny voices, two things I don't have when I stand up front and lecture, really helped my students begin to understand the qualities of feedback. The other amazing thing was, none of their answers in the google doc were copied and pasted! Their responses in our shared doc were exactly that: THEIR responses.
As educators we need to see the value in the wealth of knowledge at our students' fingertips. Rather than creating a paradigm where accessing this knowledge is seen as cheating, we need for them to see it as empowering. Knowledge is power after all, right? And with all of the knowledge readily available, our time can now be spent on giving our students opportunities to communicate, collaborate, create, and think critically.
This assignment was an amazing experience. There was a depth to the conversation that I don't think would have been possible in a traditional lecture, independent response setting. There is a sense of relief too in my not having to be the expert in every topic we cover. This class shifted from my being the one holding the knowledge to me learning alongside my students offering my input on an even playing field. We're learners together.
As you can tell in their responses, this lesson will also be used as a means of strengthening our writing skills! Formative assessments with writing for a purpose is a blog for another time though.
On the topic of giving feedback: Mrs. Ownbey!! You're giving us feedback on feedback!!

Teach in the way they are smart.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts