Our district has placed a great emphasis on students writing rooted in academic conversations. As a tech coach, teachers have been scrambling to get me to show them "techie" ways to foster writing and academic conversations without consuming mountains of paper and boring students with traditional pedagogy.
A veteran teacher recently booked me to "tech up" a math lesson. I am not a math teacher, but her lesson immediately led me to an app smashing recipe of Google Docs, screencasting and YouTube. After planning the lesson, I did a 10 minute demo of the apps and skills for the students. Midway through my demo, students were chomping at the bit to get started. They were stoked to know their expertise on their ratio problems would be posted on YouTube to teach other students.
Once students got started, we hit a snag. Part of their activity was to collaborate on a written explanation of how to solve the problem on a Google Doc. In addition, they were to work out each step on a whiteboard and insert a picture of each step into the Doc. Unbeknownst to me, the camera app was disabled for 6th grade. As I clamored for a work around, a student got my attention and reminded me that when you go to insert image in Google Docs, you can select "take snapshot" which will use the Chromebook's webcam.
The #eduwin here was how that student was able to solve the problem without the guidance of the teacher. This student empowered himself to take the initiative and be a leader. With this #eduwin, the class proceeded. This student went to each group to demonstrate how to access the camera. By the end of class, nearly all groups had finished their Docs, screencasted their mini lesson and uploaded the video to YouTube.
The teacher was astounded by the level of student engagement. Students felt empowered in many ways. Empowerment took the form of them teaching each other as well as providing vital tech support for classmates.