Asking questions is fundamental to the way in which many of us learn and yet how many of us use ICT to enable learners to ask questions? We seem to prefer the ‘put your hand up’ routine which, as you will have read in a previous post, I regard as being soo last century.
So rather than having students put up their hand to ask a question, I present 6 ways of using ICT to ask questions;
- A Discussion Forum – set up a discussion forum for your class, subject, topic, SoW or whatever and allow your learners to add comments or create their own thread. An advantage here is that you can answer a question in whatever detail is required and the learner can read your response whenever they need to. They can reread or ask supplementary questions as well. It also has the advantage that you might find that another learner answers the question before you do.
- Allow Blog Comments – set up a blog to go with your session and allow learners to comment upon it. The comments need not of course be restricted to questions, they could also be evidence of their findings or learning.
- Use Twitter – Twitter has the advantage in that it can be used in real time as well as be stored. Use your Twitter nickname or set up a hashtag for the session and have the learners tweet any questions to you.
- Use Wallwisher – set up a question wall on wallwisher.com and allow the learners to post their questions there. Wallwisher has the advantage in that users can post pictures or video as well as plain text, which could be useful if you need to illustrate an answer.
- Email – Ah yes, the good old and much maligned email. You can allow learners to post you an email ( use a work email if you are uneasy about students having your personal email) to send questions to you. An advantage here is that your response can be sent to just the person asking the question (avoids any embarrassment or stigma) or to the group if necessary.
- SMS or Txt messaging – A simple, basic and effective method (most of the time) but it does rely upon the learner having your phone number.
So there you go, 6 simple ways of using technology to ask and answer questions. Remember 21st century learning doesn’t just happen in class so we need to be flexible in the ways we allow pupils to raise questions.