Thursday, March 1, 2018

Teaching in Pictures for Generation Z

Weekly Tech Tips

Did you know that there aren't any millennials in our classrooms anymore?  Generation Z started around the year 2000 or before, some have already passed through our schools.  Did you miss it...I did.
Take a look at the differences below. 

Image result for millennials text per day

The one that stood out to me is the "Communicate with images" vs. "Communicate with text"...Whoa!  I remember fretting that students were writing so many texts (50, 60...100s per day).  But now if we look around students are constantly snapping pictures for Snap Chat and Instagram.  They communicate with Images.                                                                                                                                                                                                              The question I asked myself was, "How do I lesson plan for Generation Z?"  One sure thing is that I want to use more images.  Three ways that images can be incorporated into good lesson design are through social learning activities on Padlet, enlightening gif directions, and student made infographics.  


Padlet is a Digital Bulletin board that allows student thinking to be presented publicly in visual format.
This is great when you want to see all your students work in one place, for students to see each others and for multiplying learning opportunities.

Lesson Examples: 

Imagine teaching students to solve a math problem or write a thesis statement.  As a good teacher you want to check their understanding with an Exit ticket.  Each student writes the math problem or thesis down and turns it in.  Hopefully you have enough time to give good feedback to each student and for each student to read and understand the feedback.   There are a lot of maybes involved.  
What if, instead, students entered their sample math problems/thesis statements on a padlet?  The next day each student's warm-up activity is go to the padlet and read the math problem/thesis statement and vote for the best one.  Each student now has seen not just the teacher's example and their own but 25 others plus a class discussion on why the top vote getters were valued as the best...thus multiplying learning opportunities.

Padlet Samples

Enlightening GIF Directions

If a picture is worth a 1000 words then a GIF (a repeating, moving picture) is worth...  When you add GIFs to a list of step by step instructions you allow for a easy way for Generation Z to understand what they are supposed to do.
GIFs can be made from a series of images or from a video at or you can search for gifs on google as seen if the GIF below. 

Google Slides and Docs both support GIFs which along with your bitmoji and digital stickers, will really add to your Gen Z cred.  Sample directions slides.

Student Made Infographics

Infographics are essentially information in pictorial form.  Graphs, charts images and text coming together in an explanatory way.  As with many learning activities the teacher could synthesize the information into a graphic and it would help understanding BUT if students each do their own work we vault to the top of the Bloom's ladder and increase student learning potential.  Here are some student examples from recent projects. 

Try it out with easy to use templates at piktochart or canva or make your own in Google Drawings.

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