Collaborative grouping and multiple displays at ISTE 2012
By Dave Effron
The theme “Expanding Horizons” for this year’s ISTE conference is very appropriate for me as this is my first ISTE conference with SMART. I added music and videos to my iPad for the flight to San Diego, where this year’s ISTE is taking place, and packed a book for the runway. I also downloaded the ISTE program app and was amazed with the interactivity it offers. From the very first page with the ocean waves moving on the page, I was ready to be in San Diego. When I arrived at the conference and saw exhibition hall, I felt as if I was staring out into the ocean. What an unbelievable moment. Navigating the vast sea of exhibitors I saw the SMART banners, a familiar and welcoming sight. Smiling, I entered the booth and oriented to the surroundings.
Well, I’m first up. It’s Monday morning and I’m ready with my presentation on collaborative grouping and multiple displays. I’m not nervous packed in a small room with 30 teenagers, but now I felt like the small fish in a big pond. I opened SMART Notebook collaborative learning software and began with my first slide. I wanted to leave teachers with a clear picture of collaborative student groups that are focused around a digital display. Successful grouping, especially with middle school students, depends on engaging kids with a task, giving them responsibility for a solution, and supplying the best tools to create and capture their work.
For me, three SMART products have made an impact – the SMART Board interactive whiteboard, SMART Document Camera and SMART Response interactive response system. First, I showed three students working together on the SMART Board, interacting with the lesson and “borrowing” some of my work to use in their own presentation. Teachers here at ISTE agreed that it is exciting to watch students on the SMART Board teaching and presenting to one another.
A second display is for students using a SMART Document Camera. Sure, they have the Internet and 7000 objects in the SMART Notebook Gallery, but students love seeing their own work captured into a group presentation. Student writing, drawings, doodles, even pictures of themselves are all captured by the document camera and saved into SMART Notebook. These additions add creativity and keep students engaged. I think I convinced some teachers to move their document camera off the teacher desk and give the technology to student learners.
The third display uses SMART Response for peer feedback and evaluating groups’ progress. I got the strongest reaction for this use of the “clickers”. Response is connected to a display and each student in a group uses a device with rubric to score the other groups while they work. Students move around the room and see which groups work well and some of the challenges other groups are having. Challenges are good when students are engaged. The Response group gets to learn from all the other groups and “borrow” their ideas as well. They return to their display end the assessment and insert the graphed data into each page of the grading rubric Notebook file. This file is shared for all the groups to pull off their peer feedback and include a reflection in their final presentation. During my presentation, I challenged the audience to answer three questions using SMART Response during the presentation. After the last page the Response questions were complete and the audience feedback was available. We inserted the bar graph for each question and had a moment to reflect on each question. I enjoyed back channeling the feedback and having it immediately available. There was no time lost to transition.
When the crowd cleared out a teacher thanked me and told me her school had clickers and they were not being used enough. Jokingly, she said she was afraid to tell other teachers to do peer feedback because she would then have to share the set!
The SMART booth looks great and is buzzing on this first day, and I feel I’ve gotten to expand my own horizons. It was an exhilarating experience. Thanks to all the SMART people and my fellow SEEs for giving me this opportunity and support. I can’t wait to see the other SEEs shine. I really want to see the iPad integration and what Joey Savoy has planned as he’s up next.
Dave Effron is a SMART Exemplary Educator (SEE) and a Computer Technology and Engineering Educator at Starling STEM Middle School in Columbus, Ohio, where he uses the STEM model and Problem-Based Learning (PBL) to engage small groups in collaborative inquiry. Effron was the STEM Engineering Coach for the National Society of Black Engineers as well as a Mentor Teacher for the Teacher Quality Enhancement Partnership with The Ohio State University.
Effron is also a SMART Notebook Certified Trainer and a STAR Discovery Educator. He presented at the National Science Teachers Association Annual Conference in 2010 and 2011 and was selected to present at the SEE Summit at SMART’s headquarters in 2011.