Know Your Why!

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In November I put a creative idea to engage my students. I am a strong believer that both formative assessments and reflective questions are essential the different parts of any learning process. I am always seeking to try different things to help my students understand what they know or don’t know, so I developed the idea of having students create memes to reflect on our Agriculture and Food Unit.

I was fairly thrilled by my first attempt and the creative representation that would happen. I hoped to see some amazing creative types of my students making connections to the machine objectives. I had been excited to see what they required away from the unit and how they would exhibit their learning takeaways.

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Sadly, this was not what I acquired. Despite my frequent use of the portrayed phrase create, most of my students shared and found a meme that someone else experienced already created. Some of the blame is on me because I did the same thing while i created the experience. I didn’t want to consume good takeaways by creating my own, so I “reshared” existing memes that I came across. I did a poor job of modeling the merchandise I was longing for. I think I put too much emphasis on “going viral”, so the majority of the memes did not reflect on learning actually. Students were too focused on finding something funny even if it didn’t connect to our learning process.

My student’s mentality about what it means to produce is a little different than mine. I spoken to many of them about this and they take a look at “resharing” somebody else’s work in almost the same way I was thinking about creating and writing an original work. I am not someone who provides up easily and I considered my first attempt at this activity as a good learning experience for both my students and me. We’d a good discussion about what proceeded to go right and what proceeded to go wrong and I thought were ready at attempt round two a couple weeks later.

Better leads to round two, but more disappointment still. I used the same format and wording but spent additional time on verbal explanation. This was insufficient apparently. There were some more original works, but otherwise, copy my bullet points from round one here. Third times the charm, right? We talked again and I changed the format of the activity a bit. Much better results. Not perfect Still, but near to where I hoped we would be the first time around.

I’m getting excited about adjusting a little and trying again. This year I will probably do that at least once more, using the format of the 3rd example. Maybe tweak the wording a little and add some spin that connects the meme with their daily lives. If you have suggestions, I’d like to listen to them?

I do think that I am going to use my first failure next year the first time I do this with my new students because I think it ended up being a valuable part of the learning experience. I’d like to see if a new group of students requires me down an identical path.

In days gone by knowledge was something with the energy to free people. It was focused in the tactile hands of colleges, where it was openly taught to those with the capability to learn (and undoubtedly the amount of money to pay any tuition fees). But today we reside in the age of ‘big data’.

The current global epoch is sometimes called the ‘information age group’. The internet has made information and knowledge more accessible than it has ever been, and many commentators have written about how exactly this is empowering ordinary people. It might be, however, that it is government and big business who are the most empowered – with our expense. Big data is the buzz term of the day. This is actually the analysis of large sums of data, and is powerful incredibly.