|cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo by Wesley Fryer: http://flickr.com/photos/wfryer/2110288948/|
Like many of you, I've been working with the SAMR model of technology integration to help myself and others redefine learning in a technology enhanced environment. I contend that digitizing the workflow for worksheets isn't Substitution. In fact, it doesn't even land on the SAMR continuum in my opinion. Not only are there a ridiculous number of hurdles to making worksheets paperless, hurdles that interfere with the basic intent to "be instructive and provide meaningful practice and application of ideas", but it makes the most important elements of timely feedback and fixing mistakes nearly impossible.
Here is what many of my conversations have started to sound like or will sound like going forward.
- If the worksheet is worth doing (i.e. it is instructive and provides meaningful practice or application) feel free to make copies and hand it out.
- Feel free to put a digital copy (within copy rights) online for students and families to access as a reference and for printing.
- Allow a student to annotate and submit the work electronically if needed (long term illness or travel) and take the time to give feedback.
And here are my tips for transitioning toward digitally enhanced forms of practice and application that take some cues from or extend the activities found on the worksheets.
- Add QR Codes or weblinks to the top of the worksheet that link to support resources, audio recordings of the directions and questions, challenge questions, or online group discussions.
- Take questions that have fixed responses such as True/False and multiple choice and use a digital assessment tool like Socrative, Edmodo quizzes, or Google Forms to automatically grade student responses and provide immediate feedback.
- Take one or two open ended questions that require higher order thinking skills or application of knowledge and ask students to submit digital responses, electronic projects, videos, etc. in response to these questions.
- Challenge students to develop questions that fall across Bloom's taxonomy and then distribute these to their peers using a tool like Google Forms or a discussion forum in Moodle.
- Consider Project Based Learning (PBL) as a way to move away from textbooks and worksheets and into authentic and purposeful learning driven by meaningful "driving questions".
How would you add to this list of tips and what suggestions do you have for teachers hoping to transition away from traditional worksheets using effective teaching methods and digital tools? Oh, and if you happen to be riding the Unicorn of Digital Worksheet Love share your secret to success.