This morning, I had the opportunity to participate with Karl Fisch, Anne Smith, Maura Moritz, and their classes in a discussion about design - centered upon principles introduced by Dan Pink in his book A Whole New Mind. The experience was very worthwhile and an excellent example of how much technology can help to make in-class discussion an engaging process.
Put it this way: I know I never paid this much attention when I was taking English classes in high school. Those kids were engaged, actively thinking and participating in the discussions - both online and face to face.
In order to facilitate the discussion, several key components were set up ahead of time:
- A wiki to bring all participants together. This was also used to understand who was participating, and when.
- A MeBeam room for each of the different classes (see screenshot above). This was used to connect us all together during the discussion. They were able to see me (and the other off-site participants) while I was able to see (and hear) them.
- A blog for each class (with posts corresponding to each class discussion). I participated with two different classes in two different discussions - Period 2 here and Period 3 here. The discussions are found within the comments of each of these posts. Keep in mind that I was able to hear them.
I know I'll never forget it.
Well done Arapahoe High School - raising the bar ever higher.
Technorati Tags: education technology blogosphere whyblog