If your refrigerator was empty, your next step would probably be to make a list of groceries for your next shopping trip. Which items would make it on your list? Eggs, bread, butter, milk, cold cuts, etc. Most of us usually buy the same 100 or so items when shopping, that’s it. We don’t stray away from our comfort items and necessities. However, when we go out to a restaurant and order an item that has ingredients other than that in your shopping list, it tastes great and we suddenly say,
“We need to make this at home!”
“This is different, but delicious!”
“I could get used to this!”
The same goes for using digital tools in the classroom. Why are we “Kahooting” our students to death? In no way am I saying that Kahoot is not a great formative assessment tool in the classroom. What I’m saying is that it’s not the only one out there. We’ve all heard of “Death By PowerPoint” and I’m comfortable in saying that “Death By Kahoot” is not too far off. Think for a second to your classroom or classrooms that you’ve visited in your educational role. I’m pretty sure that you’ve probably seen some sort of “Death By …”. As educators, we get comfortable with what works for us and that comfortable recliner is one that is difficult to get out of. When we do learn of a new tool or resource, we usually like it and see its value but then get turned off by the fact that we now have to create content with that new tool from scratch. Let’s think of this from a student perspective.
Diego walks into his 1st period at EdTech Bites Middle School and sits through a 28 minute PowerPoint and then takes a quiz through Google Forms after. Once he completes the quiz, he begins gathering his items and waits for the bell to ring. His 2nd period teacher does the same thing, and so does his 3rd period teacher. By the end of the day, his only deviations from this were lunch and gym class. Would you like to have the same coffee and bagel everyday for breakfast? There’s nothing wrong with coffee and a bagel but wouldn’t it be nice to have a blueberry scone or a veggie omelette on occasion? Sure, that scone would take some work to prepare and bake. On the other hand, your family would be grateful that you took the time and effort to change things up.
Variety is the spice of life. Sure there are things that we always like to count on but there are instances where variety has value and can give you a bit more insight. Our digital toolboxes are growing yet some of those tools needs to be dusted off and used more. By doing so, you’re changing things up for your students and exposing them to other means of presenting, taking a quiz, and giving input. Don’t they deserve it? I know my children do. Do yours?