Use Tech to Build Relationships
Kids will cut off their nose to spite their face because they do not like you.
As Rita Pearson says “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.” We know a kid will work harder for us when we have a relationship with them. Technology should be a tool to improve relationships, not just a tool to be paperless. It’s all in the mindset of how we approach tech. Are we asking “How does this improve relationships with students?” Let’s let this be a high priority in our rationale to use tech. On the ISTE Ladies Road Trip myself, Christine Pinto, Lisa Dabbs, and Sarah Kerns traveled to different schools on the way from LA to Chicago to share tips about integrating tech. A common theme in all our presentations was tech should be about interactions, creativity, and going beyond paperless. The link to my slides are at alicekeeler.com/isteroadtrip.
Encourage Students with Video
Research study after research study states that the most important element in a classroom is the teacher and the relationships we build. Students make connections with you. Creating videos for feedback helps to make that connection with students.
The webcam Chrome extension allows you to record up to 30 seconds with your webcam. The video automagically saves to Google Drive and copies the link to your clipboard. This means anywhere you can type comments you can Control V paste the link to the video. https://goo.gl/8eMx2A
No one thinks about you but you.
It is tough to see yourself on video. We all think we sound funny, have bags under our eyes, and a million other excuses for why we feel self conscious to put ourselves on video. I like to say that no one thinks about you but you. Meaning, when you look at a picture, are you hyper analyzing everyone else in the photo or just yourself? I’m never thinking about someone’s double chin or bags under their eyes. You look the same when you see your students as when you leave a video, it is YOU and they like you! I asked some students if they cared if their teacher wore makeup. Guess what the answer was… They don’t learn more from you because you’re wearing eyeliner, but they do learn more when you make a connection with them. I recommend just make the video even if you think you look weird that day. If you’re concerned, make yourself look weird on purpose. Only put eyeliner on one eye. Make your hair look funky on purpose. The ultimate is when kids are sharing their feedback with other students. Even if they are showing their friends “OMG look how crazy Keeler is, she has her hair over her face like Cousin IT” they are listening to your feedback!
Say Their Name A Lot
Notice in this webcam video how I say “Erica” a whole bunch. https://goo.gl/CynBww When people hear their name, they lean in. Students will listen more intently to your feedback if you say their name a lot. There is also a psychological trick that when you talk to someone and use their name a lot they think you like them. Well, of course, we like them, but this builds that connection even stronger! So go wild, to the point of hyperbole, and say their name a LOT in the video.
Bitmoji is You
I have a theory that Bitmoji makes learning better. It’s not just a gold star on their paper, it’s YOU! When using Google Slides you can literally drag from the Bitmoji Chrome extension to student slides, giving them fun feedback… THAT IS YOU! This is relationship building. Students like it. To get started with Bitmoji you have to download the app onto your phone. There you can design your look and outfit. Then install the Bitmoji Chrome extension and log in. Start dragging Bitmoji onto student slides.
I will create Google Docs for directions. When obtaining my Masters degree in Educational Media Design and Technology one of the things I learned was that when creating digital tutorials you want to have an avatar that guides the learner through the process. How much better that the avatar is YOU! You have a relationship with the students and they will engage more with the activity when their teacher is digitally instructing them. I insert a 2×1 table into Google Docs so I can drag my Bitmoji into one cell and put words of encouragement or instruction as if I’m saying it in the cell next to it.
I then right click on the table to choose “Table properties” and make the table border width 0 and center vertically.