Universal Design for Learning and Innovation Blog
My burning question: How can educators design
their classes to be more inclusive to benefit a
greater number of students?
There is an example of a Kahoot quiz from both the teacher and student perspective that I created above.
If you have ever tried using a student response system such as Nearpod, Poll Everywhere, Kahoot, or Socrative, you might find that these are fun ways to gather information from students that include: quizzes, discussions, and poll questions. It is amazing to see student responses live that can be anonymous or not.
The only problem with this is that it isn't usually followed with any specific pedagogy in mind. If you ask a teacher what the student benefit of using this is, they might tell it's fun, or the students love using it, but if asking about what the true learning benefit is, or does the technology replace older methods like having students write responses on the board, or leaving sticky note responses, this will be tough to answer.
Another issue is that not all tablets and cell phones are created equal. I have used Kahoot quizzes and have accidentally left out students who still use flip phones that aren't internet friendly. Illac (1970) writes, in his article "Why We Must Abolish Schooling," when speaking about the disadvantage of that low-income students face in schools, "it is not their access to traditional schooling that separates them, it is their access to things like 'conversation and books in the home to vacation travel and a different sense of oneself'”. Things have changed since the 1970s, but there are still students who have less resources than others outside of the classroom. In the context of student response systems, they may not have equal access to cell phones and tablets required to engage in these activities. One should not assume that we all have equally working cellphones to make these activities work.
Therefore, two questions need to be kept in mind when designing lesson plans that involve student response systems: First of all, What is the point of the activity and is helping students learn? If you want students to strictly remember facts in a fun way, then student response systems are great, but they don't involve higher order critical thinking so we need to keep that in mind. Secondly, do the students have equal access to engage in the activity? Assuming that students have equal access to the activity would be reckless and inaccurate. Tablets and laptops could be provided before hand by the school library (hopefully).
Illich, I. (1970, July 2). Why we must abolish schooling. The New York Review of Books, 15(1), 9–15.