Hacking Digital Learning Strategies: 10 Ways to Launch EdTech Missions in Your Classroom by Shelly Sanchez Terrell

Mission 4. Remix Learning Into a Digital Textbook: Produce and publish an engaging online book.

  • The problem isn’t that students don’t want to learn, they want to have input in what they learn and how they learn it. When students adapt content and use it in their
    own digital creations, we call this remixing, an important part of producing new, original
    learning material. Today’s technology empowers us to leave old-school practices behind. Students now have the tools to create their own digital textbooks.
  • For this mission, students act as contributing authors to a class digital textbook and make it available on multiple platforms and devices. Their work should contain more in the way of media like pictures and videos than traditional textbooks. Students can each take a subtopic in a chapter as they explore primary sources. Students will gain skill with searching and evaluating what they find. Students can share their work with other schools for feedback. They will also learn about copyright.

Mission 5. Debate Issues, Don’t Diss People: Argue differences of opinion respectfully.

  • Traditionally, we teach students to debate by writing argumentative or persuasive essays. While this is important, our digital learners need to engage in online debates.
    They need the opportunity to draft shorter arguments to share with the public, as well as practice in responding intelligently to those with opposing views. Our students may regularly debate or argue on social media, yet schools rarely afford them the opportunity to acquire respectful debate skills as part of the curriculum.
  • This mission will prepare learners to approach varying opinions with an open mind and to focus their arguments on the issues. You can survey your class so see which issues they might be interested in. Start with students making arguments face-to-face before you take them online. Teach students about trolls who are individuals who target an online group and post inflammatory or off-topic messages to provoke a reaction or start quarrels. This can be done by having the teacher enter a discussion as a troll who is trying to spread chaos. Be sure students know that it’s ok to disagree about something and that they should respect each other and be ready to step in if things heat up.

Mission 6. Seek and Preserve the Truth: Share digital news responsibly and accurately.

  • Students are consuming an unhealthy amount of biased and fabricated news. Our students already act as citizen journalists and reporters on social media. We need to teach them to be responsible creators, consumers, and sharers of the news. We need to teach them how to quickly fact-check news. The time has come to motivate your students to guard and preserve the truth. In this mission, students collaborate with peers on a news team. At each stage of covering a live event, students gain the necessary digital skills required for producing and creating with technology.
  • To get started students work with fact-checking websites and are given stories with faulty reporting. After producing their own stories they will share them with the class and perhaps put them on a class blog. There may be an issue with some parents about student identities being revealed, but students who use social media have already revealed themselves to the world.
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