Engaging students with 5 web2.0 tools in 40 mins

This year I teach Information Technology an elective subject at year 9/10 level. In this group are a high percentage  of our school’s disengaged students. We usually survive a single lesson of 50 mins without too much drama, but I also have them for a ‘double’ class and this often proves too much for all of us.

At the recent ICTEV In Touch conference, I sat through a fast paced, action packed session called  web2.0 for the Classroom 40 tools in 40 minutes.  Starting to wonder how I could keep my full class engaged for 100 minutes I decided to use some of those tools and some from the recent Google Gathering with the class. How it would work:-

  1. 5o minutes working on spreadsheets – drawing up a budget for the upcoming school Presentation Ball
  2. 50 minutes of ‘timed’ use of 5 technology tools

Requirments: individual access to computers, external speakers attached to my laptop, a blog post with links provided to each of the sites.

The second part of the lesson:-

  1. Used kukucklock with a variety of sounds to indicate when times was up.
  2. Google squared (6 mins) Find google squared, search for Prime Ministers, describe what you can see, search for another topic you are currently studying. Discussed google labs
  3. Google timelines (6 mins) Search for Oprah Winfrey, search for another notorious sports person or actress/actor
  4. Find the google question of the day. (3 mins)
  5. Explore the global lunchbox project. Discover what students around the world are eating (5 mins)
  6. Goto sketchfu, register and draw the lunch that you will have today. Grab the code and add to a blog post. Include a text description of your lunch. (10 mins)

What worked well?

  • the timed structure of the  lesson with kukuklock
  • a variety of short, simple, snappy tasks to keep them focussed at all times, allowing little opportunity for boredom
  • the google applications worked reasonably well and exposed students to a different  format search results
  • the lunch box project was engaging and caused a lot of discussion
  • sketchfu was the winner though. Students spent more than the allocated 10 minutes this tool, and were highly engaged. Here is a great student sketchfu example of their lunch by skippy.
Constraints: Google squared did not always work well depending on the key words.

Highlight of the day: Two of my most disengaged students who become extremely restless in the final 15 mins of a double, actually stayed into their lunch hour to ensure they embedded their sketchfu file into their blogs! Students want to work with it again next week.

Challenge: How could sketchfu be used and adapted in other subject areas?

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One response to “Engaging students with 5 web2.0 tools in 40 mins

  1. Pingback: Immersing technology in the classroom…how? | Teaching Knowledge Test Prep

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