Aug 25, 2023
Fostering Engagement and Collaboration in the Classroom
In a recent Q&A session with Tiffany Cunningham, a seasoned teacher who has used Weelrn in two distinct communities, we gain insights into the dynamics of using this platform to enhance student engagement and collaboration.
Tiffany shares her experiences with different age groups and subjects, shedding light on the unique challenges and successes she encountered.
Engaging Older Students:
With older students (16 to 18 years old), Tiffany noticed a sense of hesitancy initially. These students were highly focused, quiet, and often absorbed in their own learning cycles. Despite the initial challenge of gauging their enjoyment, Tiffany found that leveraging Weelrn for topics like chemistry sparked their interest, creating a positive learning environment.
Dynamic Interactions with Younger Students:
In contrast, Tiffany observed a more enthusiastic response from sixth and eighth-grade students (11 to 14 years old) who were engaged in physical and earth science. These students embraced the platform with enthusiasm, demonstrating competitiveness in being the first to respond and showcasing a keen interest in their peers' contributions.
Innovative Teaching Approaches:
Weelrn alowed Tiffany to adopted a creative approach to incentivize participation, introducing points for the number of responses, reading others' contributions, and tagging peers. This not only motivated students but also led to unexpected moments of humor as they raced to keep up with the fast-paced discussions. Emphasizing the use of handwritten notes for typing responses reduced reliance on external sources and encouraged individual critical thinking.
One notable aspect of Weelrn was the promotion of collaboration among students. Tiffany encouraged students to tag and correct each other's responses, leading to a dynamic exchange of ideas. This collaborative environment extended beyond the virtual classroom, as students interacted both online and in-person, creating a lively and interactive learning space.
Tiffany highlighted the inclusivity of Weelrn, citing an example of a student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP). The platform facilitated seamless communication between the student, teacher, and aide, offering a valuable resource for reviewing lessons and fostering a supportive learning environment.
Tiffany's experience with Weelrn showcases the platform's potential to transform traditional teaching methods into dynamic, interactive learning experiences. The engagement, collaboration, and inclusivity observed in both age groups demonstrate the adaptability and effectiveness of Weelrn in diverse educational settings. As technology continues to shape the future of education, Weelrn provides educators with a powerful tool to enhance the learning journey for students of all ages.