Collaborative Note Taking

Alan November - Keynote

Janet Hale



Mike Fisher


Web sites / Connectivity

Marie Alcock



Who owns the learning?

  • Students use tools in preparation for lifelong learning
  • Moving from teachers owning the learning to the students owning the learning
  • Students should be working harder than the teachers
  • Connect your children with the children AROUND THE WORLD
  • Move from Technology-event Learning to Technology-enabled Learning
  • A learning organization (system) needs to change so that when one part of the leadership leaves the SYSTEM STAYS IN TACT
  • Misconceptions trump good teaching; therefore, change instructional practice to check often for misconceptions
  • A school must be an APPLICATION PLAYGROUND for students ... What do we (teachers/admins) to ensure our curriculum design and instructional practice is meeting this mission?
  • Do not add technology to a culture that is no yet asking students to be responsible for application and transferability independently
  • FLIP Instructional Practice: What use to be homework become classwork ... What used to be classwork becomes homework ... Student need immediate feedback!
  • Use what the students know well to aid in teaching and learning (e.g., cell phones, Facebook)
  • Instruction/Design: What can we do to have students able to download all the content for a course (e.g., Algebra I, Grade 3 Math) via phone or computer so class time can be focused on accurate learning/ understanding (based on questions students pose on the teacher’s Web site)
  • How do we know that students making accurate notes in our classroom? Are we moving toward making note-taking transparent and doing them on Google Docs (which is better learning for BOTH teachers and students)?
  • PROFESSIONAL MEETINGS - How do we know that teachers/adult learners making accurate notes in our meetings? Are we moving toward making note-taking transparent and doing them on Google Docs /Wiki (which is better learning for BOTH facilitators and teachers/learners)?
  • Are we moving toward teachers who create teams in classrooms with instant feedback daily; collaborative learning environments?
  • What issues with IT/technology in our district/school need to come down to make what we KNOW needs to happen happen (e.g., bring someone in like Alan to talk to the right people at the right time)?
  • While we have to reconsider our 4 program structures, but we can do all do simply right now like multi-note taking and flipping and classwork?
  • If we have underestimated student as learners (and their capability to multi-task and participate activity in the learning process, what can we begin to do now to start changing that culture in our learning organization?
  • Are we using hashtags (e.g., #cmi2010) for various topics we are going to be professionally thinking about this year and using to read it as the year progresses and help plan meetings and personalized PD?
  • Are we moving toward students experiencing “empathy” in our learning organization wherein we are truly ask them to look at issues/concerns (focused on specific content) from others perspectives without the filter of “our” beliefs (e.g. using advance filter search features in Google search engine)?
  • Are we globalizing our curriculum? (e.g. Looking at the American Revolution form England’s perspective) This should effect/affect both curriculum DESIGN and instructional PRACTICE.
  •  Are we teaching (and ensuring students are learning) critical thinking and connecting students with students/people around the world?

Other Ways to Take Collaborative Notes:

Lessons that have student designed objectives.  

EQ What do I want to learn?

EQ What questions do I have?

Use a poll of the students using cell phones.  (2233) is the number and then text the selection. Polling for interest, polling for accuracy, polling for data collection.

Cell phones can be used in the classroom for spelling bees, internet searches, polling outside the school for data collection, story / joke telling, writing.

Skill set:

Translation of text speak and common English.  ex. Romeo and Juliet scene in text speak.  

Evaluation of relationship between clarity vs. concise.  What happens to the meaning when conventions and words are removed?  

EQ To what extent is the comprehension of my audience impacted by the limited characters of my writing?

Homework: discuss today’s topic with two people outside this class and have a note signed from them stating what was discussed.  See if you can explain the concept.

Better homework

Classwork: reflect on the discussions and work revisions for teaching the concept to two new people.  Practice with your partners and give feedback to one another on accuracy.

Use instant feedback tools in the classroom.  “Clicker” feedback tools.

Teach facebook-like in school.  Teach how to do facebook as part of the resume.  Have students evaluate facebook pages as potential employers.  

EQ What characteristics would I want to see in an employee?

Have students list questions on a wiki space that the teacher promises to review and use in building future lessons.

Present questions on a wiki space and have students work the solutions together in groups.

Note taking lesson - have students take notes on shared space and build them together.  Give feedback during the lesson on notes.  

Follow-up could be to show teacher notes and have student highlight what was accurate, cross out what was not needed, and write in what was not there.  This way they have feedback on their processing of the information.  

EQ How do I determine what information is important to know?

Have minutes done before people leave the meeting, maybe even done before the meeting is started...  , Google docs, etc...

“Group” lesson set up in similar format and let students have access to it.  They can list questions, prepare their materials, organize their thoughts, all before the material is “covered” in class.

Follow-up: invite and encourage students to attempt answers to student questions.  If they are willing to ask one another provide a space, a blog maybe, on which they can ask questions to one another.  The teacher can monitor but try not to enter too many “answers” until students have a chance to participate. ecollege and black board products can support this.

Have students SKYPE with other classrooms around the world to explore “point of view” or have them communicate with the greater community including local businesses, community resources, local leaders.  

Community lesson: have students identify a part of their community that they believe would benefit from an “upgrade”.  It can be safety, beauty, etc. and have students design and propose their upgrade.  Have them present solutions to appropriate boards and pursue the goal...action.

Have students divide into “jobs”.

videographers, script writers, editors, graphics design, audio team, directors, and generate documentaries.  

Documentary Lesson: students make documentaries on books they read, adventure stories, history, scientific experiments, math theories.  They can generate the media interpretation of ANY aspect of the curriculum.

EQ How can I translate what I have learned into a media that shares my new ideas with my audience?

EQ Who owns my learning?

Critical thinking community lesson: Have students keep journals of their learning.  Let them reflect on what they learned and identify what helped them do so.  They should generate ideas for organizing future learning and strategies to support their own questioning.  Finally, they can reflect on how their own biases are changing as they learn.  

go to the online model and use that for this journal. Then have students share and compare their own learning processes and give feedback.

Country Search Lesson: Students explore searches and compare differences when using different country codes.  Have them explain why it is important to search...and then research to be informed about an idea.

EQ: What does “research” mean to me?

Global Awareness Lesson: Use google / bing searches to compare content in US texts to other global locations.  Have them generate questions and then have them organize a search sequence to explore at least three different points of view.  They should then compile samples of the information to present their findings to their group.  

EQ: How does information change depending on where it is being shared?  How does information change depending on who is doing the sharing”