Thursday, July 18, 2013

Out with the old, in with . . . Educreations!

Draw and submit. Draw and submit.

This is a typical "drill and grill" method of making sure students in economics have the ability to draw and analyze specific prompts.  One-third of the AP Economics test is entirely drawing and interpreting these graphing prompts.  The other two-thirds is multiple choice where students may have to interpret a graphing prompt.  These prompts can be difficult to manage because many of them include up to five steps or more.

It's clear - a skill in the class must be the ability to draw, analyze, and interpret a graphing prompt.

The old method of teaching this skill would be to give a prompt and have the students draw it. 

(a student drawn submission of the monetary policy cause effect chain)

That's great if the student can complete the skill to perfection. 

But what if they're not perfect?  Where did they go wrong during the process of completing the prompt?

Educreations offers a great solution for us to find out where they went wrong and correct the mistakes.  Educreations is an interactive whiteboard that allows you create an audio recording while you write on the screen.

Now, instead of just submittting the final answer, the students record their voices while they write their answers.  The viewer has the ability to listen to the student's thought process as they complete the prompt.  The teacher can find the spot where things went wrong and have the student remediate and move forward.  Peer revision could also be an effective way for students to make sure they have grasped the concept.

Here's a link to a good answer to an AP Economics prompt submitted using Educreations.

In the old method, I have often graded a student's submission with the score and posted on the board what the correct answer is.  Students might still be confused and not know where they went wrong.

In the new method, I can still post the correct answer somewhere, but the students who didn't get it can find the place where things went wrong.  Hopefully, this clears up the issues.

We could also talk about the psychology behind saying it outloud as you complete a task and how that helps you learn and remember.

This strategy is easily transfereable to other disciplines. It's certainly helpful in anything that has a step by step process or requires the student to show their work.

"Draw and submit" has now been replaced with "record, speak, draw, and submit".

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