Are we asking the right questions?

Alan November Ted talk November 2016

In this Ted Talk, Alan November points out that we might not be asking the right questions and that the art of asking questions is especially important today. Here are six questions he has come up with. Is this visible in your classroom?

  1. Critical thinking on the web?
  2. New lines of inquiry?
  3. Make thinking visible?
  4. Authentic audiences?
  5. Create contribution?
  6. Do students own their learning?
Working on our Kiva project

If the answer is no,  you have to wonder; Are we using technology to do old work with new tools? Research shows that if you are using technology (even if you are good at using technology), but not changing the design of the work, , there is not a lot of added value. It is the same point I have made before, new technology, old pedagogy, not a good match.

Alan November’s deepest concern is that we overestimate students’ critical thinking skills when they are using search engines. How do we teach students to get the best information in the world? How do we teach them how to use Google? Because the students think they know, but they don’t. Just test how to search for academic papers in another country. How do you do that, do you know? Alan recommends two websites to get you going here! Power searching and google guide. Self-paced courses for different levels.

Making thinking visible, today we have the ability to make thinking visible in the classroom. Students can share their thinking online in a safe environment. Alan suggests using Prism; A tool for collaborative interpretation of texts.  It is a safer way for students to participate in their learning. Alan also takes about how you can build a learning network for your students where they can share and learn from each other. Twitter is a good way for teachers to get connected. Another example of sharing thinking is the use of Padlet. This is an example of how we did this in my class on the topic global warming.

That example ties well in with point 4 authentic audiences. Alan November says that teachers in Norway and Finland are eager to connect their students to the internet. Not only to search for information but to take part in real conversations with real people. He is concerned that his own country the US is not that eager to participate in these conversations and teaching kids to work with people across the web.

Teachers are more important than ever. They are crucial to guide and help their students in their learning. Teachers need to know about this. Teachers need to help the students build their own ecology of learning, how do you create a global network where you can learn and work and share? Please share your thoughts on the topic here.

I would love to hear from you