We gave our group presentation on concept mapping this past week, one of two group presentations that night. Our intention was to have them concept map their ideas on Adaptive Teaching, except few remembered to read that article, so we had to change our plan on the fly. Which, ironically, is part of adaptive teaching. I think the presentation ended up being more fun for the class because we chose the topic of planning a summer vacation for the concept mapping exercise. It made it more fun for me, too.
Overall, I think our presentation went well and was well-received. A few people in the class had used the tactic before, and they contributed to the discussion. Some folks were brand new to the idea. Even if the class didn’t realize it, I recognized that we were still demonstrating the idea of adaptive teaching – creating the middle ground where the most learners can participate – with the way we structured our presentation. Concept mapping “newbies” heard from “the pros” about practical ways to use the maps, and the pros said they learned new things they could incorporate into their practice of mapping. And everyone was able to participate in the mapping exercise since the topic we ended up using was familiar to all.
I recognize that not all teaching or training glitches will work out so well, but at least when it happens again, and I know it will, I will know all is not necessarily lost.
The second group that presented explained how automated classroom response units, or clickers, can be used. This was my first exposure to the clickers, and I have to admit, the technology is petty slick. I can see where there is opportunity for misuse or bad use of the clickers, but I really like the idea that the clickers promote independent thinking because you can’t just say, “I agree with what he/she said.” With the ability to show the range of responses, the system also allows students to assess their own learning against their classmates without any stigma or embarrassment because the answers are anonymous (at least to the class). I hope to have the occasion to learn more about how to use these devices and to have hands-on experience in future coursework.
Wonder what fun things I’ll learn in the remaining group presentations?