Students must be able to integrate the information from any class into their own lives and minds, and rehearsing that information helps to achieve that goal. Making use of the information learned is crucial to a student's depth of understanding. Active learning and guided practice can work hand-in-hand; however, using technology does not mean students must stay tied to their desks. Getting students moving can also keep them engaged.
Real Lesson Example
1. Pull up an interesting image on your computer (this is one of the few times I'll say you may access Facebook, Snapfish, or other site where you store images). Please be sure your image is appropriate for our setting.
2. Tear a sheet of paper from your notebook, and place it in front of your machine. On the paper, write 3 sentences describing your image, using at least 1 simile or metaphor and 1 use of personification.
3. Move one seat to your left. Look at the image on the screen, On the paper in front of it, write 3 sentences describing the image, using at least 1 simile or metaphor and 1 use of personification.
4. Repeat 3 times.
5. Go to your original seat. Read over the descriptions on the paper in front of your computer. Choose your favorite (it might be your own!), and be ready to share it with the class.
-Create a round-robin activity using classroom computers. Have each student pull up a relevant image, website, article, equation, etc. on their monitor. Have each student place a piece of paper at his or her seat. According to your goal, have students write a sentence or two relating to the topic. Before the next step, have them fold the paper in such a way that their response is hidden. Now, have students find a different computer (this can follow a rigid sequence, such as counter-clockwise, or be more scattered, letting students wander anywhere until they've found a new machine). Students should leave their written responses at their original seats. Have them study the content on the new screen and write a response on the paper at that seat. Repeat this pattern a few times. Next, have students return to their original seats and read the responses from their peers. In partners, small groups, or as a class, discuss the similarities and differences in the responses.
-Have students explore real-world examples of your topic outside of class. Perhaps they could visit a museum, a nature preserve, an accounting office, a hospital, or other physical place that corresponds to your subject. Have students document their trip with photos, and post the photos to a class website. Discuss how their real-world excursions relate to the material at hand.
-Use a website or Blackboard to share a graphic organizer students can use to organize and prepare to discuss relevant information (see attached example).
-Use software such as Noodletools to help students document a research project. Use the sharing, note card, and other available functions to guide students along the research process.
-Ask Jacobs Library to create a library guide to help students find out about a topic.