Reflection: Soil! (1 of 2) - Section 2: FLIPPED: Saving soil

 

Successful online discussions are part of classroom culture.  They do not spontaneously happen.  Students require training.  What are the rules on online discussion in an academic environment?  How do I critique ideas and not people?  What do I do if I think somebody is bullying me?  How do I access chat?  What happens if I forget my password?  Although nearly all students are comfortable and proficient with technology, they are not necessarily comfortable and proficient with all technology.  An online discussion has familiar features; it is, after all, similar to a text message exchange.  However, an online discussion is a rigorous forum for idea exchange.  This is not how students use text messages.  The most important teacher move to make in developing an effective culture of online discussion is to NOT make assumptions about students' level of technological proficiency.  

For some great ideas about how to build a culture of effective online discussion, I recommend this screencast develop by Matt Steiniger, one of my colleagues in New York City.  Matt's work focuses on the middle school level, but I have found that virtually all of his ideas are relevant for a high school classroom.  Another idea is to introduce a badge culture into a classroom to promote more effective online discussion.  Badges (and the emerging world of micro-credentialing) can be an effective way to recognize students' proficiency with online discussion skills.

  Developing a classroom culture of rich online discussion
  Developing a classroom culture of rich online discussion
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Soil! (1 of 2)

Unit 5: Food (biosphere and geosphere)
Lesson 13 of 24

Objective: Students will be able to 1) explain the relationship between “soil” and humans; 2) describe some characteristics of soil; and 3) develop a short presentation about a selected soil topic.

Big Idea: Soil is an essential component of sustainable food systems. How might we improve our understanding of the role of soil in healthy ecosystems in order to identify soil problems that we can solve through purposeful design?

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