Every year at TEACHAPALOOZA educators share stories about how they are trying to find ways to get students thinking more critically about the information they hear and read. Here is a great case study.
The University of Maryland released a study that suggests a particular brand of chocolate milk may help young athletes who suffered concussions to recover. The questions arise whether the study makes any scientific, let alone logical sense. Then we learn that the milk company helped pay for the study.
Here are strategies to help you get every class off on the right foot:
Open with a question or two.
What did we learn last time?
Asking students to tell you what they already know (or think they know) has two important benefits. First, it lights up the parts of their brains that connect to your course material, so when they encounter new material, they will process it in a richer knowledge context. Second, it lets you know what preconceptions students have about your course material. That way, your lecture, discussion, or whatever you plan for class that day can specifically deal with and improve upon the knowledge actually in the room, rather than the knowledge you imagine to be in the room.
Reactivate what they learned in previous courses.
Write it down.
Frequent, low-stakes writing assignments constitute one of the best methods you can use to solicit engagement and thinking in class. You don’t have to grade the responses very carefully — or at all. Count them for participation, or make them worth a tiny fraction of a student’s grade. If you don’t want to collect the papers, have students write in their notebooks or on laptops and walk around the classroom just to keep everyone honest and ensure they are doing the work. Limit writing time to three to five minutes and ask everyone to write until you call time — at which point discussion begins.
During TEACHAPALOOZA 2015 we heard predictions that crowdfunding for journalism would rise. It has.
In the first nine months of 2015, crowdfunding projects devoted to journalism raised more than $1.74 million on Kickstarter, according to the report. That’s up from $49,256 in 2009, the year Kickstarter launched. The amount of crowdfunding projects has also increased, growing from 17 to 173 projects over that same period.
Likewise, the contributor base to journalism projects on Kickstarter has also expanded, increasing to 25,651 people in 2015 from an initial 792 people in 2009.
Increasingly your students will not be working for traditional newsrooms. They will go to startups, they will work as freelancers and they will change jobs-a lot. Some journalism schools are requiring students to study the business of journalism, not just the craft of journalism. Our visiting TEACHAPALOOZA faculty Deb Wenger writes about this trend in EdShift.
The New York Times used virtual reality 360-degree technology to allow readers to witness the outpouring of emotions in Paris after the shootings there.
When Donald Trump suggested banning Muslims from coming into the United States, NBC’s Tom Brokaw put together a commentary for NBC Nightly News that is worth sharing with your students.
In August 2015, CBS’ 60 Minutes re-aired some of the most graphic video it has ever aired. (It first aired in April 2015.) The program included video of victims from Sarin gas attacks in Syria.
Scott Pelley explains the decision. Watch the interview, which includes clips of the video in question:
“If you don’t see it, I don’t believe the impact truly hits you,” Pelley tells Silvio. “Even though people will be disturbed by what they see, it has to be seen.”
Eyewitness cellphone videos, broadcast on 60 Minutes, show the aftermath of the 2013 sarin gas attack and the horror that victims of all ages suffered — including seizures, vomiting, and respiratory failure.
Ask your students, what would have happened if Jews in Germany and Poland had cellphones and could have posted their plight on the Internet?
“That’s not the kind of thing you want to report on for a couple of days and then walk away and never remember again,” Pelley says. “You want to never forget that that kind of thing happened — and that’s where 60 Minutes comes in.”
TEACHAPALOOZA guest faculty Mark Johnson taught a flipped classroom course for NewsU and we are making that course free to TEACHAPALOOZA 2015 participants.
Enter the promo code 15FLIPPED100 and watch the course.
Our TEACHAPALOOZA friend Vanessa Schneider at Google shared amazing tools with us including:
Storytelling with Google’s Geo Tools – Tutorial site:
Getting started with Fusion Tables – Tutorial site:
Movie Making with Google Earth – Tutorial site:
Teachapalooza Demo Data (for practice!):
Google Media Tools:
Google Media Mailing list:
Let’s take a closer look at Google Public Data .
This powerful search tool makes it easy to look at thousands of data sets from around the globe.
Google trends can help you find out what people are searching for.
Not only can you find out what’s hot, you can find out what is hot where you are.
Google Trends can also tell you WHEN people search for certain topics.
Google Trends Visualize
See what his hot in a constantly updated visual.
This is a way to visualize data