Over the course of this semester I have actively engaged in learning about the different tools that help students become successful in the classroom through the engagement of meaning making. My main focus at the beginning of the course was on students who are in the primary grades with little reading comprehension. I still feel that much of the resources that I found connect to the primary grades, but can also be used in any grade to help create meaning making in the digital media world.
Here are the different parts that I discovered to be most helpful.
Understanding that students need to learn in a manner that is engaging while educational helps create this meaning. Without the use of engaging media or videos than students lose interest and ultimately do not create any meaning making that can connect to prior experiences.
When I was in my first placement I completed a unit on two-dimensional shapes. I found that the students really enjoyed programs on the computer that involved a little amount of reading but had incorporated images to create understanding.
Here are some ways that meaning making can be brought into the classroom through different forms of digital media.
- Use interactive activities in your classroom.
- Allow the creation of blogs or web pages that are connected to student learning
- Allow the pen pal system through email. This could help engage students learning about different countries while tie into literacy.
- Set up a class website that students are able to view over the course of the year.
- Use video in the classroom with students who have trouble with the written word. The use of Toontastic is great for this.
- At the beginning of the year have student lead discussions on why digital media is a great tool. This will help activate engagement in students thinking and connect to prior understanding about what digital media is to them.
Engaging meaning making is great through digital tools but I struggled with coming up with questions that could be prevalent in digital media. I found that Bloom’s taxonomy is a great tool and helps establish meaning making in many forms of learning. The questions below could be rewritten to engage an audience in the primary grades. Co-creating success criteria when engaging in digital media is essential. If students understand what is expected of them then they are able to succeed. These questions could help guide inquiry in the classroom and be a reference guide to students when completing digital media projects.
- What do you know about this issue or situation?
- How did you come to know this?
- How do you feel about this issue or situation?
- What is the evidence for this knowledge?
- What are your beliefs about this knowledge? And why do you believe this?
- What information is missing from this picture?
- Why is this information missing?
- Have the social, cultural, economic, political, and/or ethical aspects of this situation been considered?
- Whose voice is heard in this writing, article, or classroom activity?
- Whose interests are being served? Who has the power in this situation?
- Who is being advantaged?
- Who is not being heard or served?
- Who is being disadvantaged?
- What are the inequalities that exist in this situation?
- What needs to change?
- How can you contribute to this change?
Now that you know how to create a meaning making classroom. The activity that I have is an exit question. In the form there is a spot that says to write down 3 words that come to mind after learning about meaning making and how to incorporate it into the classroom. With these words I will be creating a word cloud which I will post on the blog and in Slack for reference.
Link to the Exit Question: https://goo.gl/forms/jYQsdl7wHydz7j342
Engaging students in critical thinking and action processes. (n.d.). Retrieved February 03, 2017, from http://health.tki.org.nz/Key-collections/Curriculum-in-action/Making-Meaning/Teaching-and-learning-approaches/Engaging-students-in-critical-thinking