Monday, March 17, 2008

Digital Sharing and Engagement

A struggle with my Drexel students kept me thinking about what really is the difference between presenting and digital sharing? Again, we were stuck on semantics - traditional paradigms about presentations with PowerPoint.  We came up with the term digital sharing to reflect what we were trying to do. Traditionally the last night of class we have everyone present their project to the rest of the class. A painfully long experience when there are 20 students in the class.  We wanted to have students look at each other's projects in a more meaningful way.

What we came up with was this:  the students would post to my Drexel Wiki page and then using the wiki discussion board section, they would share comments with their peers.  I was amazed by how much more involved the students were this method. They were forced to make an effort to look at others projects and they had to share feedback. Because this was done in a way that made sense to them, via a Wiki, the web and a discussion board, they were engaged.

But that wasn't the same time they were working on this they had learned how to post to my voice thread about Blogging in Higher Education. They were doing this with their cell phones!  Now I know Marc Prensky has written about harnessing the power of the cell phone in the classroom, and I agree, but to see it actually in practice, engaging students, amazing!!!

They immediately got out their cell phones and began to call themselves to post their response, then they stopped.  They realized that they wanted to script out their sentences and then collaborate with their peers to see who was writing what.  The energy in the room was awesome!!!  They took the time to have the voicethread call themselves in the hall so that their recordings could be quiet.  It was engagement at it's finest!!  Now if we can just harness that for K-12!! : )