Digital Hybrid Socratic Seminar (CA Dept of Education)


>>Hi, my name is Matthew Cowan and I am an
instructional coach and teacher on special assignment here at Redlands Unified School
District. The digital hybrid, it takes a Socratic seminar and the Socratic method and it basically
kind of divides it in half where the first circle is about maybe 40% to 50% of your class,
and those are students that are gonna be doing more of a traditional model Socratic method,
where they’re gonna be asking each other questions, they’re gonna be responding using textual
evidence, they’re going to be using some collaboration skills and inviting students to kind of come
in, which is a new push for the common core standards: learning how to collaborate and
work together in an organic way that’s–that causes student achievement. The outer circle
is basically the remaining 50% of your class, and this is where the technology comes into
play. They’re gonna be answering and engaging and collaborating on the same groups of questions
that the inner circle’s doing in the more traditional manner, but they’re gonna be doing
with blogging software and they’re gonna be blogging with each other, often anonymously,
answering questions, soliciting feedback, using textual evidence, and this is basically
two consecutive Socratic seminars going on at the same time. What’s really cool about
this is that teachers can focus in on the inside circle while they’re doing assessment
in real time, and monitor what’s happening on the outside circle. However, they can go
back and assess vis��vis the document that’s created from blogging at a later time.
So they don’t have to worry about 36 students in real-time assessing. They can worry about
about half of that, which really takes a lot of the load off the teachers in real time,
but still gets the student product that you were wanting. Basically what happened is this
morning is the students came in. They sat down. They got out their scaffold sheet, which
when they read the articles and they watched the TED Talks, there’s a side where the kids�students
can put their opinion, and then the other side of the document is where they actually
attach the textual evidence, and that’s–one of the main goals of this activity is to make
sure that students not only have a coherent opinion, you know, that is provocative and
has something to say, but that they can also back it up with statistics and real-life evidence
because that will help them for being a 21st century learner in college or whatever career
they pick, and it will also help them with the next generation of assessments coming
through with the Smarter Balanced, et cetera. Just a couple things to go over. All of you
have–on your desks here, you have some discussion starters, just ways to get people involved
if you disagree with someone, if you agree with someone, if you disagree with someone
to an extent. The stuff taped on your desk just gives you some ways to get involved.
What’s really important is we want to see people involving people in the conversation.
So if you notice someone in the middle, you know, for a score, you guys all have to say
something. If you notice somebody has been quiet for ten minutes, use one of the strategies
on your seat to go, “Hey, you know, we haven’t heard from so-and-so in quite a bit. What
do you have to say about this topic?” In the back, you’re blogging with each other. You
guys are having your discussion. It’s two separate things. So question one: “Does texting
negatively affect a teenager’s ability to write well?” You know, yes or no? Use your
evidence. Someone start in the middle. Go.>>Science has shown that texting is actually
beneficial for you, but if you’re on your phone too much, it strains your eye muscles.
>>But you can also become very dependent–like, you can’t spell properly anymore because our
phones can do that for us, and certain things we just can’t do anymore because we’re so
used to our phones doing it for us.>>A lot of times people use shortcuts in
their texting, like abbreviations, and then they get used to just using those rather than
typing out the actual word.>>The effects–the way people write and talk,
because they end up using slang by accident that they usually wouldn’t use, but because
they were texting [indistinct] and they stop paying attention, they end up using slang.
>>I’m gonna interject just a moment because I’ll notice sometimes when I am typing emails
even to my boss or to somebody, you know, that I need to really make sure that I’m typing,
I will be using BRBs and LOLs, and I have to go back and, like,
reedit myself ’cause I even find myself, like, getting lost into
text.>>When you’re texting someone, it actually
relieves stress. So, like, if you’re having a bad day, texting a friend, like, lifts–can
lift your negative mood.>>In the TED Talk that we watched a couple
weeks ago, it was saying how people use “LOL” now not even–they’re not even laughing at
most things. They just say “LOL” unnecessarily.>>I think texting helps less social–like,
socially awkward people, like, that might be scared to, like–or nervous to talk to
people in real life, or maybe even shy, but texting–since you’re not face-to-face–it
makes things easier–communication.>>There’s also on all desks for scaffolding
purposes and to assist in the formative assessment process some sentence starters and some discussion
frames that allow the students to engage in a conversation using ways to agree, ways to
agree or disagree to an extent, ways of organically inviting students into a conversation. So
say someone in the middle circle hasn’t been heard from for about five to ten minutes,
a student can–has a way to access inviting the student in.
>>Let’s hear from Donovan ’cause–>>I’d like to hear what Donovan has to say.
>>Well, I believe it does negatively affect how a person’s ability to communicate with
others in person because they’re just so used to, like, texting them, so I feel like they
can say things over text that they don’t really mean, which they wouldn’t be able to say in
person.>>While this is also happening, in the back,
students are blogging with each other using the same questions in real time and using
the same strategies and the same sentence structures. So the students have aliases in–with
this program, and so what they’ll do is they’ll pose a question and they’ll comment off each
other using academic language. They’ll use the same statistics. They will be able to
invite students in that maybe have lain dormant for five minutes digitally, but they’ll know
that, and they’re basically doing the exact same rigorous higher-level depth-of-knowledge
work that the inside circle’s doing traditionally, but in a digital format in the back row. What’s
so wonderful about this is that it hits so many different elements of the formative assessment
process recursively and they cross over with each other, and puts the onus of production
on students and the teacher is there as a facilitator.
>>Yeah, I think we should transition to the next question.
>>All right, Bo, read it.>>Nice job.
>>I think electronic communication can have a negative effect on schoolwork because kids
can cheat on tests and copy homework and it’s a distraction in class.
>>It could be positive because if you’re having some trouble on homework and your friends
don’t live close to you or you’re just not able to go to their house or something, you
could text them and have them help you. Maybe not cheat, but have them help you out with
a problem.>>Or you could just ask your parents.
>>We should move to question four. That was a phenomenal discussion, by the way. I’ve
changed my opinion a couple times just listening to some of the stuff you guys were saying.
What is–so now, what is video gaming in education? You read a few articles that kind of explained
that. You’ll define that. That might only take a minute or two, and then go into five:
“What are the positive and negative impacts of video gaming in education?” Like, how do
you see that playing out in your experience of a student? Go. So, for example, the rubric
is another way that the student–the teacher gets another set of data points numerically
based on the actual standards themselves. You know, anywhere from if you know they’re
proficient to the advanced proficient to developing proficiency all the way to, you know, maybe
just emerging into the process, and so the teacher will go back and look at, you know,
their records-keeping chart for the inside circle �cause they only have to look in
real time for half the class, or they can go back and print or take a look at the blogging
side of the discussion after the fact. They can look at, you know, how many time did students
respond? How much was textual evidence used? Did they, on the blogging side, you know,
elicit evidence and collaboration from others? And then they can give rubric scores on, you
know, public speaking and listening, the collaboration, you know, how well were the able to marshal
evidence in a public speaking and listening platform? And then put that into a program
or inform students of their progress forward. I thought I wanted a way to where–maybe to
connect the inside circle and the outside circle because there may be, you know, students
might have something to say in the inside circle, but they have no way to do that since
they’re in the back, so we created two spots in the inner circle called hot seats, and
it’s basically a way for students to parachute in and out. So say there’s something happening
in the middle that they need to jump in on. They have to get their opinions across. They
want to tie it in with textual evidence. They can parachute in. They will give their thoughts,
and then they will parachute back out and continue blogging like they were doing.
>>Hot seat. I think we should hear what they have to say.
>>Okay, well, I just wanted to say, like, I think phones, like, in general can kind
of, like–well, yeah, they do effect, like, our communication, and I think they effect,
like, our schoolwork as well because�>>As you’ll notice, we wrapped up. All the
students were engaged. There were students in this classroom–again, there were multiple
students with 504s. There were multiple students that are in IEPs–Individual Education Plans.
There were multiple students who are accelerated. This was a mixed class. This was very diverse.
It can work from–for pretty much all learners. Another cool way that this lesson connects
to future learning and instruction for both the students’ and teacher’s perspective is
that the rubric gives a way to–for the teacher to proactively inform next steps of instruction.
So for example, if you’ll notice on the rubric category of marshaling textual evidence in
support of an argument or an opinion, if you notice that a significant portion of your
class is scoring, you know, is approaching proficiency or is not yet mastered that standard,
you can go back and develop lessons that hit, you know, coming up with opinions and having
students, you know, back up their opinions with evidence from texts, from statistics,
from TED Talks, from other pieces of technology. So what’s nice is this gives you real-time
snapshot of where your students are struggling, and then you can go back as an instructor
and develop, you know, lesson plans that are engaging to students to where they can practice
skills, and then the next time you either perform this particular lesson or the next
time they write and the same criteria is involved for marshaling evidence, you hopefully will
have seen growth, or if you haven’t seen growth, then you can use that as another opportunity
to just reflect on your practice and go back and maybe design something else, collaborate
with other peers. So it’s just a way in real time to sort of see how are your students
doing in a different type of context versus giving quiz? This is happens about once a
unit or so, so probably once every five, six weeks. It’s a tremendous strategy, but it
isn’t one that I would overuse on a weekly basis. You want to have some sort of authentic,
“this is a special thing that we’re doing,” but it can be done at any time using any content.
Today the content was in preparation for a analysis paper that they were doing on the
effect of technology and video games in the classroom and at large. I would argue that
using something like this, which gets the kids involved, which puts the ownership on
them, which gives you different types of vantage points from the different pieces of evidence
that you get gives you a more holistic look at where your students are presently versus
where you need them to be, and you can connect the learning in such a way to where you can
get them there in the future.

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