Wednesday, March 6, 2013

We Learn Better Together

In the rush of a 47 minute high school class period,  there is little time for sharing and peer review.  Today Jeff Bernadt (@jbernadt) dedicated the period for students to share and provide feedback to one another. The gift of time was a home run.

Students, with headphones hanging around their necks like stethoscopes,  moved into groups and started sharing their projects.  Mr. Bernadt joined them on the floor, plugged in his headphones, and enjoyed their creations.  Students created video projects in Doceri over a topic in the 1950's such as politics, fashion, and business.  As one student played his/her video for the group, group members listened and then each person provided feedback in the form of two stars and a wish, two things that were outstanding and one wish for improvement. 

What happened next, was mind blowing.  They started spontaneously revising their work.  That's right, without being told!  What they thought was their final project containing all the required elements when they walked in the door, morphed into something they had not yet conceived thanks to the ideas and inspiration from peer projects and constructive feedback from one another.

"Kids are evaluating their projects by collaboration and then improving the product they are putting out because of it," Jeff Bernadt (@JBernadt ) said.  " We learn better together."
Mr. Bernadt (purple shirt) joins his students and listens to their projects.

Lessons learned:
1.  If its worth assigning, each one is worth sharing. 
2.  Feedback is a HUGE motivator, inspires students, and directly leads to ownership.
3.  Peer feedback, sharing, and revision are keys to learner driven classrooms.

Golden Nugget:

All students used the Belkin audio splitter allowing up to five headphones to be used in at one time.  Headphones made it easy for all students to hear the videos and eliminated outside distractions.  A must have!
Belkin 5 Way Audio Splitter
Written by Ann Feldmann

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