Since I started the etMOOC (Massive Online Open Course about educational technology), I've been contemplating how to make students creators of knowledge. 21st Century learners are collaborators, creators, and sharers. I knew that before, but the etMOOC has been helping me to make that into a reality in my classroom.
During that same Monday workshop, I was introduced to a new version of Bloom's Taxonomy made for iPads:
The point, of course, is that the highest level of thinking is creating or synthesizing, so I have been spending my week exploring how I can have my students create their own knowledge.
I liked the way +Michael Buist uploaded a video of his students' completing a math task. You can see in the video how he scaffolds their learning and understanding. I was truly inspired by that video. To me, this was a Digital Math Story.
I decided to have my students create videos of their math solutions in a similar way. I used the ShowMe app because it is free and so easy to learn and use. My students quickly caught on and in their collaborative groups, they used the ShowMe app to explain how they used the volume of rectangular prisms to solve math problems. As always, I was walking around the class while the students were doing their work. I was thrilled because they all seemed to be understanding the math concepts. I asked them questions, they gave appropriate answers. During the consolidation of our math class, we watched one of the videos. We made comments and asked more questions. Everything seemed great. But then when I got home, I watched the rest of the videos, and I discovered so many misconceptions as I listened to the conversations they were having while they were solving the problem. It was incredible learning for me.
The next day we watched the videos and discussed everyone's misconceptions. We also reviewed the first part of the 4-Part Problem Solving Model, because I realized that while my students understood the math, they weren't always understanding or answering the question.
Today, we solved another math problem; this one required that they use their knowledge and understanding of the surface area of rectangular prisms. I asked only two groups to create videos. I chose one of the groups because they had previously demonstrated that they made certain to understand the problem before moving on. Then I showed their video to the class as a model for how to go through the first step of the Problem Solving model.