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Students complain about painful, dry reading passages appearing on the SAT and AP Language and Composition exams. Teachers need to devise a way to make these passages more inviting and less intimidating. Essay writing is a major component in an AP Language course. Students dread writing essays for a variety of reasons.
Technology Can Help: Twitter
Twitter can be used as a collaborative tool and can be used as a means to somewhat dissect passage-based multiple choice questions and make them seem easier to approach and conquer.
An instructor could post a series of multiple choice questions on Twitter and students can then post their answers and justifications for those answers. Other students can comment and add to initial responses, either confirming or challenging the answers given.
Presentation of the Project
Dr. Shannon Brogan
EDU 542-Integrating Technology into Education
June 16, 2013
High school English teachers are faced with numerous challenges in this digital age. In order to successfully reach and teach high school students, the instructional setting must be restructured and revamped to suit the needs of this tech-savvy generation. Even though technology can offer assistance, instructors must keep in mind that as with all new technology “computer-based materials and strategies are usually tools in a larger system and must be integrated carefully with other resources and with teacher activities (Roblyer & Doering, 2013, p. 10).
Technology Can Help:
In the Knowledge Forum, “a user community creates a database where notes are stored, ideas are connected, and knowledge is produced” (Howland, Jonassen, & Marra, 2012, p. 34). Howland, Jonassen, and Marra agree that “[r]esearch on knowledge-building environments suggests that the sustained inquiry that is engaged in these environments results in improved scores in conceptual development as well as basic skills and a degree of student interaction that occurs regardless of ability” (2012, p. 34).
Technology could be used here to alleviate some of the anxiety and angst associated with essay writing. Passage based multiple choice questions is another area that could be restructured to seem less grueling and intimidating for students.
They are using Twitter to post relevant material for others to see. They post subject-related videos and helpful links related to the coursework (2009, p. 3). Students can use Twitter to work together to figure out the correct answers to multiple choice questions.
Learners in this collaborative tool can then question, add to, expand, redefine, and reference each other’s thoughts. Using this forum may help ease essay writing anxiety. A version of the essay topic can be presented in the Knowledge Forum a couple days prior to assigning the essay. Students can spend a couple days discussing and exploring the topic before they are asked to write about it. Having the topic ahead of time and having an easy way to discuss it with other students and learners can make the actual essay writing more manageable and less intimidating for students.
Howland, Jonassen, and Marra agree that the “Knowledge Forum seek[s] to combine the best elements of writing assignments and live discussions…” and “the programs provide more scaffolding and support for systematic reasoning than…writing assignments…” (2012, p.34). It is important to link all types of knowledge and organize the curriculum around world themes to ensure integration (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009, p. 134). Students should be able to see the cohesion and connection among all elements of the curriculum, rather than seeing the curriculum as compartmentalized units. The Knowledge Forum is one way to do that.
Links to the technology
Sign up for your instructor Twitter account:
Begin using your own Knowledge Forum:
Objectives: 1) Before and after multiple choice based exams students will make use of social media as a way to make passage based multiple choice questions more manageable. Twitter will help students implement, analyze, and evaluate literature to draw conclusions about multiple choice questions.
2) Before, during, and after writing assignments, students will have the opportunity to give and receive feedback on essay writing from peers and instructors. Knowledge Forum will help students infer, compare, organize, plan, and produce to compose original essays
Guided and Independent Practice
Guided: The instructor posts an essay question on the Knowledge Forum website and multiple choice questions on the class Twitter feed
Independent: Students dissect the essay question and discuss possible responses on the Knowledge Forum. They pose questions for their classmates.
Independent Practice Cont.
Independent Cont: Students answer the instructor posted multiple choice questions on the class Twitter feed. Students then respond to one another either justifying the original answer because it is correct, or explaining why the answer is incorrect.
Assessment: The instructor will respond to the essay discussion on the Knowledge Forum and evaluate students' performance on the multiple choice questions posted on Twitter. Students will be given a timed in class essay on the same essay question.
Dunlap, C. & Lowenthal, P. (2009). Tweeting the Night Away: Using Twitter to Enhance Social Presence. Journal of Information Systems Education, 20, 3. Retrieved from https://web-ebscohost-com.libdatab.strayer.edu
Howland, J., Jonassen, D. H., Marra, R. M., & Crismond, D. (2012). Meaningful learning with technology (4th ed.). Columbus, OH: Pearson Education, Inc.
Ornstein, A.C. & Hunkins, F.P. (2009). Curriculum: Foundations, principles, and issues. (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Roblyer, M.D., & Doering, A. H. (2013). Integrating educational technology into teaching
(6th ed.). Columbus, OH: Pearson
Wallis, Claudia, and Sonja Steptoe. "How to Bring Our Schools Out of the 20th
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