10 Replies Latest reply on Dec 3, 2013 2:56 PM by staceylazarus

    Modifying applications or learning new ones? Taming and Training of the Technophobe

    staceylazarus

      Last month I ended the Taming and Training of the Technophobe with some questions. It is with those questions that I start this posting:

      How would you use an interactive white board to get from simple to more interactive? How do you use visual ranking in your class?


       

      Could you use Seeing Reason, found at the same Intel website(Intel.com/teachers), for this activity?

       

       


      If you have not used Visual Ranking by Intel, you should take a look at it. It is located at Intel.com/teachers. “The Visual Ranking Tool makes the process of ranking items and comparing lists easy.”

       

      Visual Ranking is great for making lists, placing items in order of some form… biggest to smallest, most important to least important… but can you use the software for something other than the intended use? Why would you? Those are the questions we will explore together.

       


      I have seen several adaptations over the years when I have taught Visual Ranking in professional development courses. Here are some and I am hoping others will add to the list, to show others how versatile this tool is.

       

       


      Create a timeline of events.

      Place a conversation (any language) in a proper sequence.

      Create a two person conversation (any language) where the teacher provides one side and the student has to enter into the text box their response.

      Students place topics in order of what they need help with.

      Pair items together in a sequence of cause and effect.

       

       


      Oh, wait! The last modification of Visual Ranking looks like it is duplicating another wonderful Intel tool: Seeing Reason.

       

       


      For the Taming and Training of Technophobes, would you recommend taking one application (Visual Ranking) and modifying how it is used to create a “cause and effect” activity, or would you show the technophobe another application (Seeing Reason) built specifically for it?

       

       


      So this month’s questions are:

       

      How do you use Visual Ranking?

      Would you modify a program for the technophobe or introduce a new one?

        • Re: Modifying applications or learning new ones? Taming and Training of the Technophobe
          glen_w

          Stacey,

           

          <soapbox> I love introducing teachers to the thinking tools using Visual Ranking! </soapbox> The smile on a Social Science teachers' face is huge when they learn how Visual Ranking can engage students in discussions regarding policies or positions of political candidates.

           

          I also had the opportunity to train a teacher in a different state how to use Visual Ranking via email & twitter. Together our students helped create and use a project to use Visual Ranking. Students determined which parts of cells were most important and then had to justify their answers. I am always amazed at the deeper thinking that happens when this tool is used. I would not modify the program for a technophobe - rather I would offer to work with them and be their coach in using Visual Ranking.

           

          I'm interested in hearing of other projects that cross districts, states, nations, or continents using Visual Ranking. How might the power of this tool be used by students to make good things happen in their world?

            • Re: Modifying applications or learning new ones? Taming and Training of the Technophobe
              staceylazarus

              Glen,

               

              It is always a pleasure to see people get excited about learning something new and using it to help their students. Visual Ranking is one of my favorites.

               

              For training, it is important to know what your students' limitations and learning capabilities. For the "technophobe", it may be difficult. My question from the original post would be dealing with the person that only wants to do "one thing at a time".

               

              If this "technophobe" begins to get comfortable with Visual Ranking, instead of showing them Seeing Reason, (again seeing their expression), I would modify Visual Ranking. How?

               

              The teacher would submit into Visual Ranking sets of "cause and effects" (this is what Seeing Reason is based on), and the students would have to put them in appropriate pairs. The students would explain their pairing in the text boxes.

               

              Would this modification work for you? Or be better for your students (rather than learning a new program)?

               

              How do you use Visual Ranking in your subject?

               

              Stacey.... always looking for alternatives.

                • Re: Modifying applications or learning new ones? Taming and Training of the Technophobe
                  intelnoemi

                  The Visual Ranking Tool brings focus to the thinking behind making ordered lists. Students identify and refine criteria as they assign order or ranking to a list. Items in the list may be represented by images.

                  • Re: Modifying applications or learning new ones? Taming and Training of the Technophobe
                    glen_w

                    Stacey,

                     

                    I'm not sure how effective it would be to use Visual Ranking twice to demonstrate cause and effect. I, however, envision the technophobe as being more relaxed knowing he or she only needed to create s slightly modified Visual Ranking project to further classroom instruction goals. I don't know how learners would compare the two lists. BUT - the important fact is the teacher would feel VERY confident using the tool again.

                     

                    I use Visual Ranking in my classroom whenever I want students to consider how and why differences exist between things. Recently my science students needed to compare substances in different states of matter and how their particle motion differs. I'm considering Visual Ranking might also be used to have my students sort objects by increasing densities. Does this sound too easy? How can I incorporate deeper thinking in this task?

                      • Re: Modifying applications or learning new ones? Taming and Training of the Technophobe
                        staceylazarus

                        Glen,

                         

                        In my excitement of showing how to modify Visual Ranking, I left some important words out. Thanks for responding and stating it didn't make sense. I am not asking to use Visual Ranking two separate times, one with Cause items and one with Effect items. The items would be listed in one Visual Ranking. You would have up to 8 pairs.

                         

                        If I have entries: "water is cold" and "water is hot" and ask the students to put these (and similar cause effect items) in a sequence of cause and effect and stating in the comment box what the catalyst is, you may get answers such as:

                         

                        1-water is cold........ If the temperature is below 0 degrees Celsius it is frozen and called ice.

                        2-water is hot..........Adding energy in the form of calories increases entropy and the faster moving molecules turns the ice into water. If the entropy increase, at 100 degrees Celsius the water will turn into gas.

                         

                        If you think of the week's vocabulary and form your paired items, your students can be assessed using Visual Ranking.

                         

                        What vocabulary and "pairs" could you use in your class? How would the student respond if they had the pairs listed above in the other order?

                        • Re: Modifying applications or learning new ones? Taming and Training of the Technophobe
                          staceylazarus

                          Glen,

                           

                          You asked: "I'm considering Visual Ranking might also be used to have my students sort objects by increasing densities. Does this sound too easy? How can I incorporate deeper thinking in this task?"

                           

                          Visual Ranking can be used to make simple lists. It is good that you are considering increasing the complexity of the question.

                           

                          I think the two items that need to be considered are the verbs used in Bloom's Taxonomy, and what terms are used to define Density.  How can they relate Mass, Volume, Pressure, ...... when comparing items.

                           

                          Interesting question, and I am not sure if I added anything to it. Are some items too simple to have complex questions?

                            • Re: Modifying applications or learning new ones? Taming and Training of the Technophobe
                              glen_w

                              Stacey,

                               

                              I pondered this concept and realized density could be a great way to use Visual Ranking. I'm thinking it would be great to list several objects and provide the mass and volume for each object. Students would need to solve for density prior to sorting the objects from least dense to densest. Students would show the mathematical reasoning behind their density calculations for each object. Comparing answers between groups would be interesting when different answers are found - based on how the calculations were done. This is not going to get to the top of Bloom's Taxonomy, but would engage students in density calculations in a different way.

                               

                              What other mathematical applications for Visual Ranking do you envision?

                                • Re: Modifying applications or learning new ones? Taming and Training of the Technophobe
                                  staceylazarus

                                  Glen,

                                   

                                  This problem solving, critical thinking we are having in this discussion is important... not only for us, but for us to instill in our students. Specifically, when you asked "What other mathematical applications for Visual Ranking do you envision?", I thought of how I could modify what you were already doing to involve more of Bloom's Taxonomy or differentiated instruction.

                                   

                                  One unit of Science deals with working in similar units of measure. You could make the math problems of your density activity have various units of measure, so the students not only have to "do the math", but also convert the units to something they can then rank.

                                   

                                  A second unit is the Solar System. Expand the density activity to have items on different planets!

                                   

                                  Now is your mind moving????? How about throwing in this density visual ranking into a Physics class and determine where density varies during a roller coaster ride!!!!

                                   

                                  So Glen, I am sending your question out to everyone...."What other mathematical applications for Visual Ranking do you envision?"