Saturday, October 04, 2008

Google Teacher Academy, Non-Tech Tips

I blogged about my impressions on Google Corporate Culture after my day at the Google Teacher Academy. For me this is still the biggest piece I walked away with. But I did pick up some good tips/tricks. I'll share them over the next few blog posts unless I get distracted by something shiny.

We started the day by breaking up into small groups to share our favorite non-tech lessons. These could be ones we've done or ones we've seen. Then we came back together and the best one from each group was shared with everyone. Here were my favorites:
  • Use a large whiteboard as wiki training wheels. Many students, particularly younger ones, have a hard time understanding how a wiki works. The facts and framework for a concept can be put up on a whiteboard. Over time the information and layout can be modified as new things are learned.
  • Six word stories graffiti style. Students write six word stories about some subject. The best ones are then turned into graffiti style art that is hung on the walls for all to see.
Now, I know many people out there don't have an extra whiteboard that they can dedicate to a long term project, but you might be able to get one cheaper than you think. You can get shower wallboard for pretty cheap (under $30) and it comes in 4'x8' sections and makes perfectly acceptable whiteboards. This would also be a perfect way to display the six word stories.

I'm already planning on getting a couple panels for my classroom. I'll let you know how they work out.

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