[callout]This post is written by Stephanie Howell, an Instructional Technology Coordinator in Pickerington, Ohio. You can connect with Stephanie on Twitter at @MrsHowell24 and check out her blog.[/callout]
Technology has changed every aspect of our lives. Friends are at our fingertips and you can binge watch countless shows and movies without even leaving your couch. We as a society are exposed to more content and diverse ideas than ever before.
So how does this affect education?
If students become proficient communicators, collaborators, creators, and critical thinkers, they’ll have great advantages in being prepared for the future. Technology lets us use a variety of teaching strategies and activities to bring the 4 C’s — communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking — into our daily lessons.
Here are some examples of ways my district has utilized technology to incorporate the 4 C’s into any subject area. Each title is linked to a page on my website with even more details.
Students can use different audio recording and hosting applications (Anchor, Podbean, Audacity, Garage Band) to create a podcast sharing their ideas on a topic of their choice with a large audience. Communication has evolved these days to the point where one voice can reach most of the world.
Students can collaborate on these podcast projects with not just students in their classroom but also with students and specialists in another location. They can include them as guests on their own podcast or in a response post, either by recording audio together (Zencastr) or by recording segments and stitching them together with an audio editor (Audacity, Garage Band).
Furthermore, students improve their critical thinking skills, developing their opinions to deliver on an episode and hearing others’ opinions on other podcasts — or their own show.
In this protocol, created by Jon Corippo and Marlena Hebern in their book The EduProtocol Field Guide, students are put into small groups and are given a segment of a unit/lesson about new material. Each group creates a slide to teach their most important findings about their topic to the rest of the class. Students are limited to 10-20 minutes of collaborative work.
Time is not the only limitation. Students are also given a special ingredient (hence “Iron Chef”) to include in their presentation. The special ingredient could be a video, GIF, or bullet points. You can find more Edu Protocols here.
In this project, collaboration and critical thinking are a natural part of the creation process. Their presentations will let them practice and improve communication skills.
Giving students choices in their learning helps students with their education. In the “Would You Rather” activity, students choose between two activities packed with the 4 C’s. Teachers can re-use the lesson, rearranging and making small changes while using different content. which allows for endless creative options for the students. Students are able to think outside of the box and produce amazing projects.
Technology provides students with more opportunities to use the 4 C’s. Some of the limitations that teachers once faced have been eliminated by technology. Adding the 4 C’s can increase student engagement, and technology makes this easier than before. What are you waiting for?
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