Continuing in our brand-new (but sure to be time-honored) tradition of tip-sharing via blog, we present you with the Tips of the Week. Savor and mull over these delightful morsels of education advice, and check back in next Tuesday for more!
With warm temperatures finally hitting Madison, WI (where Atwood is based), and spring making itself felt in earnest across the country, the topic of icebreakers seems appropriate. From 147 Practical Tips for Using Icebreakers with College Students by Robert Magnan comes this handy tip:
48. Find out more through follow-up questions.
You can intervene after an answer by asking a follow-up question. Here are some examples. The question “Who here is planning on a career in this field?” could lead naturally to “What do you want to do specifically?” The question “Who here would like to take this course pass/fail or for no grade?” could lead logically to “Why?” The question “Who here reads books in this field for fun?” could lead to “What have you read lately?” or “Which books would you recommend to other students?”
Spring is also a great time to think about sustainability. With green leaves and grass all around us and fresh air in our lungs, the natural world cannot be ignored. From 147 Practical Tips for Teaching Sustainability by William M. Timpson, Brian Dunbar, Gailmarie Kimmel, Brett Bruyere, Peter Newman, and Hillary Mizia, comes this delightful suggestion:
83. Develop Natural Schoolyards.
Students learning from nature at school is so important. Outside areas can be converted to gardens for what once grew locally. Students can see what it is like to grow gourds in the fall, tend the land, observe the wildlife, and participate in the process of nurturing plants and protecting wildlife.
Last but not least, any time is a perfect time to learn about the tricks and advantages of implementing online technology in your education practice. 147 Practical Tips for Synchronous and Blended Technology Teaching and Learning by Rosemary M. Lehman and Richard A. Berg guides you in that process with tips like this one:
97. Use learned presentation skills.
If you are using videoconferencing, webconferencing, or webcasting, your course participants will spend a great deal of time watching you and listening to you. Remember that your presentation skills will be magnified through the lens of the camera and through the microphone. Learn about presentation skills and practice them. It’s always a good idea to practice your presentation skills with a pilot audience for feedback and critique, or tape yourself while you’re presenting and watch the tape for self-critique.