Posts Tagged debate

A Day of Tech in Multiple Classes

Continuing to record the use of tech in the classroom, I had the privilege today to assist two teachers in tech use, aside from my own use.

  1. Teacher A being given an iPad to be used as a debate timer using the app Presentation Timer, as well as a video player. This was his first use of an iPad in the classroom.
  2. Another teacher was given our electronic blackboard projector to show and demonstrate how to fill in forms for the students’ preparation for an abroad school trip coming up in February.
  3. Myself, placing a number of audio speeches on 3 iPads for students in small groups to listen to while practicing the preparation of a debate summary speech.

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Wikipedia for research and in the classroom

In continuing my quest for preparing students for a debate contest in march, I presented a second activity in teaching Japanese English students how to research by introducing them to Wikipedia. Why Wikipedia? I wanted them to know both the positive and negative aspects of using the open online encyclopedia. We provided them a worksheet with questions we wanted them to find answers to, such as: What is the population of Japan. It was explained that any information found on Wikipedia could not be used unless there was a source number [##] in the paragraph, and even then, they had to verify that the information was accurate with the source by visiting the linked source. When writing the answer on their worksheet, they had to write, “According to {source}…”

Aside from the introduction of Wikipedia, how to search was also practiced. Students were shown how to search for Wikipedia pages (using the search function embedded into the website), as well as how to search for keywords within Wikipedia through the use of the command+F on the Macintosh. For people not familiar with this shortcut, command+F allows anyone to search for words or phrases not only within a webpage, but within any document that is opened on the computer. So if you are working on an 80-page thesis, you can use command+F to search for words as you are editing.

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Google Public Data Explorer

I have the duty of preparing students for a debate contest in March. One of the steps for this preparation is teaching students how to research. I came across Google Public Data Explorer I found it to be the perfect introduction to researching. The graphs displayed are interactive, and the connection to the World Bank’s facts and figures makes it extremely easy to find and compare figures and statistics of the world and individual countries.

As I am dealing with 10th Grade Japanese students, I treated this activity as an introduction.  Students worked in pairs and were given two tasks to fill:

  1. Choose any two countries and compare their population from any year.
  2. Compare Japan’s internet users from any two years.

Students were given five minutes for each task.  After time had elapsed, students had to present their findings, starting with the following phrase, “According to the World Bank…”

Such an activity I believe can give a brief introduction to research, give students a student-centered approach to learning how to read graphs, and how to state both the information researched and how to reference it in speech.

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