Written by Sarah Zbornik and Andrew Ellingsen, DCSD Instructional Coaches
Mr. Zach Fromm starts his class each day with a reading and discussion component. As soon as the students step into class, they log into Schoology and read an article. Mr. Fromm explained that the reading sometimes targets current events and other times focuses on past events. In the first 5 minutes of class, we observed students reading the article (or listening to a radio news story) and posting comments through Schoology. Having this system in place has allowed students to consider and discuss issues raised by the article while Mr. Fromm has the added flexibility of circulating around the room to check in with students while the class is meaningfully engaged.
Within Schoology, you can decide if:
Although within Schoology you cannot make student comments anonymous, other tools exist which do allow for this discussion format. One example is Padlet, a web-based tool in which multiple users can contribute to a digital bulletin board called a “Padlet”. If students are signed into their Padlet account, their contributions will be attributed to them. If they’re not signed in, though, they can contribute anonymously! (Don’t worry – you can change the settings on the “Padlet” to moderate the conversation so all posts have to be approved before being publicly visible.) There’s also a Padlet app, so if you want to moderate the discussion from your iPad and maintain your mobility in the classroom, you can.
Do you start class with moderated discussions? Do you want to? How would this look in your classroom? Join the conversation by commenting below.
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