How to engage students in real life activities?
There are many great projects for students to get involved, just take a look around the web. When you read about using technology in school today, many will probably focus on how to use it to engage the students in their learning. I am sure you might have thought that it seems difficult to do so and that business as usual, is the best approach. I’m not saying that reading books in class and discussing important issues in class is wrong. As long as you get the whole class involved in the discussions, that is a great thing. Put the computers away for a while and let’s discuss. But to be able to make solid arguments and discuss difficult topics in class you need to have a thorough knowledge of the subject area. Students can read about it in books, they can Google it, but how will they actually remember what they have learned in school and how can it make an impact on their lives and the life of others? I think if we have that in mind we will be able to find the best ways to use technology in class. Let’s for once forget the discussion about pros and cons, distractions and exam results. Lets for a minute think that we in the western world in general and in Norway specifically have the ability to make a difference in other people’s lives.
If we can focus on connecting, cooperating, learning, discussing, interacting, researching, interacting, enjoying, helping, playing even, then we are talking!
Angela Maier has a great program called choose to matter, You are a Genius and the world needs your contribution! If we as teachers and students work together, then the outcome can be “the unimaginable.”
Kiva is a project I heard about when attending EducaBerlin in December. You can find out more about the project here.
This is how it works, look at the graphic on the right. A borrower applies for a loan, the loan goes through the underwriting and approval process, the loan is posted to Kiva for lenders to support, (that is where we come in), borrower repays the loan, lenders use repayments to fund new loans, donate or withdraw the money.
Our class was divided into groups of 4 and the groups invested 25$ on projects they choose to fund based on their own research. Read about the class project on some of my students’ blogs here: Christina, Sara E, Ole Simon and Fredrik.
And enjoy the video the class made below: