U1 Day 1-2: PD Discussion Topic

How do you plan to facilitate discussion during this lesson (and later in the course)? Share at least one key technique that has worked well for you in the past.

If you have any other thoughts or questions about this lesson, feel free to post those in the forum as well!

I plan on having students get into groups of 2-4 by asking them the question of what they can think of the to them might be a computer that is used by them in their home, in school, and in social situations with their family and/or friends. I wll ask that they list these items on a flip chart paper so that each group can share with the rest of the class.

Once we have our Master List, I will see if they can identify some common attributes that these computer type items have, and how they may be different.

I plan on bringing in issues relevant to our community in discussion of our perceptions of absence/presence of computers.

I’m looking forward to the discussion piece as I think that each student is going to be bringing in some interesting ideas. One of the take aways that I had from this lesson was on the idea of humans as computers. I’m going to see if we can get this idea out there so that we can use it as an underlying theme for the duration of the year. As far as facilitating discussion, I think I’m going to start with small groups at tables so that everyone can share. From here, we’ll move to a whole group discussion to share out some of our ideas.

It will be important to establish the classroom environment as being “Safe & Comfortable” for students to feel confident in being able to share openly with other members of the class. Since this class will focus on class discussion, sharing ideas and information I plan on starting the class with an “Ice Breaker” to allow the students to get to know each other on a more personal level.

Although my room is configured as a Computer Lab, I have an area that is an “Open Space” that I will utilize that will allow students to sit in a collaborative setting as opposed to being locked in behind a Desktop Computer.

To facilitate discussion I plan on having students use a journal to first collect their thoughts and write them down. Then I want them to share their ideas first with someone next to them, as in just groups of two. Then after some time, I want the discussion to open up to a slightly bigger group (3-4 people). Then after they have shared, I will open it to the entire class. Giving students a chance to share their ideas in smaller groups will hopefully encourage them to participate. By the time we get to the whole class discussion, students will have heard a variety of opinions and can use their ideas as well as other ideas to direct the conversation.

Creating a safe learning environment is key. Students must feel that they are being heard and that what they have to safe is important. It is also important to set up your room in such a way so that students are making eye-contact while sharing their responses.

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First I make sure that the layout of the classroom allows for table talk by twos and fours.

Next, before our first class discussion centered on any course objectives for the year, I generally lead the class in an effort to establish small group and large group guidelines which set some common boundaries for ‘safe’ ‘table talk’ as well as large group conversation. That conversation will largely follow the script outlined @ https://apps.carleton.edu/curricular/aiseminars/cedi/mijacedi/

A lesson plan for that first day would look like… http://www.tolerance.org/lesson/ground-rules-discussion

At the very least, the ‘short-list’ for those guidelines generally looks looks like:

  1. ’Listen actively’ – respect others when they are talking.
  2. Speak from personal experience using “I” instead of “they,” “we,” and “you”.
  3. When needed, respectfully challenge one another by asking questions that focuses on ideas, refraining from personal attacks.
  4. Participate to the fullest of your ability, as growth will depends on the
    inclusion of everyone’s idea and input voice.
  5. Share and own your own ideas and experience in the place of invalidating somebody else’s ideas and experience
  6. Share with the goal of arriving at a deeper understanding as a group.
  7. Be aware of your personal body language and nonverbal responses. these can speak louder than ones words.
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I intend to have students generate a variety of questions about computers and have the common themes guide small group as well as whole group discussions. It is also important that a community and norms of respect are established before students engage in discussion with one another.

I plan to make sure my students sit in groups of 4 so that they can discuss with both partners and table groups. One thing I like to do at the beginning of the year is to establish group roles so that discussions can flow smoothly. I also like to have each class create a social contract that describes how members of our class should treat each other, and I refer back to that as needed throughout the year.

I like the idea of something that might be ambiguous, such as is a human a computer. If so explain if not what is your definition of a computer

I plan to have students work on classifications through moving of Post-It notes around to create new classifications and discussions. If everyone is participating at the same time and small discussions are happening, students feel safe to make decisions and discussions.

I intend to create an environment for students to feel free to express themselves. As the teacher, I will listen, respond, encourage and challenge the students to expand on their thoughts.

I plan on starting a discussion on the evolution of computers as it was just 30 years ago and what we use computers for now. Breaking the class into small groups of 4 and having them brainstorm their ideas of where computers are used now and what they see as the future

I usually have the students get into pairs or groups to have a discussion what they know, what they don’t know, and what they would like to know. This is usually done on a tri-chart and then at the end of class, the students would then presents their situation(s) to their other classmates and the teacher.

For my class I want to help promote an environment were students feel comfortable with one another and have and understanding of what is necessary for a productive discussion. I have lead talking circles in my previous classes where students discuss a topic of interest. These are usually simple questions such as “what is your favorite dessert,” which each student will have an opportunity to answer. Sometimes these topics can be more meaningful to the content and serves as a segue into instruction. At the very least this can serve as an ice breaker to get students more comfortable with discussing with one another.

For this lesson I do want to include a discussion on criteria for classroom discussion. I will allow students to list these in their journals, share in small groups, and then we will discuss these as a class. During this discussion I will create a thinking map while students provide their responses. This can be saved and displayed in the classroom for future reference. This will also model one of the techniques of discussion that will be used throughout the course, including during this lesson.

When we discuss the question of “What is a Computer,” students will be allowed to reflect on this question in their journals, discuss in groups of three or four, and we will create a class list during a whole class discussion. While in their groups students will create their own list on a poster that will be posted in the classroom. This will lead into a discussion of how to classify different categories of computers. Hopefully there will be a good variety of what are considered computers and if needed I will offer my own input. I understand that this discussion might be difficult for some students to engage in so I will constantly reinforce the idea that there is no correct answer and that everyone’s input is valid.

The courses I teach are hands-on tech classes with no group work and very few discussions; therefore, the article for this unit was extremely helpful. I plan to facilitate discussion during lessons for the ECS course using the following techniques suggested in the article:

  • Establish criteria for a good discussion at the beginning of the
    course. Spend a few minutes letting the students generate these
    criteria themselves. I really like the prompt to get them started
    "When I am in a small group discussion, I usually . . . "
  • Use review questions from the last session or even a non-related
    current event to get people in the mood.
  • Present material as problems to be solved, and encourage the
    consideration of multiple solutions.
  • Sliding Groups—give directions to whole class, each students writes down ideas in 2 or 3 minutes, students pair up, then students pair up with another pair, then whole class discussion.
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I like the idea to begin a group discussion by allowing students, in groups of 2-4, to discuss good criteria for a good discussion, chart them out, and let them do a round robin where everyone can visit each chart. Then finally, as a class, list the common and major items from their list and come up with a general criteria for the class. Then the next day, pose a problem, or a current event or social issue with regards the use of computers, assign roles for each group members then they have to make sure each follows the protocol or criteria of a good discussion.

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I believe it is important to have students reflect individually before sharing their ideas with anyone else. If a student holds any amount of anxiety when participating in discussions, this personal reflection time will help ease these feelings. I am very excited about using journals to help my students with this. I believe that the journaling process with make the entire discussion experience much more effective and valuable for all students.

After the internal reflection/preparation process, sharing with a partner, and then a small group before opening up to the entire class is a great way to establish trust and confidence.

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Once a safe environment is established, students will feel more free to share their own experiences and add to the discussions. Reflection is also a key component. Some students will be shy to add to the discussion but by reflecting, they will develop the confidence that they really do have important information to share.