GOAL! … Setting goals, though dates doesn’t work too well for many people. We all too often put the date back if we can, or put the work off ’till we have to. It’s the ‘want to’ verses ‘have to’ thing that often stalls professional development too. We have to get this done by Friday, but when Friday comes and it’s not done or we have to understand social media vs we want to use it – we did nothing,
We give students deadlines all the time – the assignment is due on some date, followed up by a threat. We are then left to procrastinate over a period of time, then find it often hard to meet that deadline. In professional life, this happens all the time with long deadlines; we can work towards them, but often some exception comes along, and blows the deadline. This is get’s worse with students who are using computers persistently. They often know the task, but find it hard to plan their time well enough to meet the goals.
A way to change that is to turn your classroom from goal setting, into event setting. This means calling on people to do short presentations, come to a meeting, share something with another person. While we blow deadlines all the time, we are often less willing to disappoint other people in the process. ICT lessons are often like that – lots of searching, lots of copy and pasting – and even more formatting. What we need to do is get a piece of A4 paper and in nice big letters write ‘This is now a CMC Classroom. ICT has been cancelled’.
CMC – Computer mediated communication is event driven – read a blog post, make a blog post, reflect on a blog post – collect bookmarks and share them, answer the question using Shout ‘Em before the other team does. (Capture the flag with Twitter/Shout’Em and Yammer) is a great classroom motivator). The point is, that life is event driven. So assignments need to have events at the end, not tests. Teacher training also works better when it is event driven. Don’t set training goals such as ‘learn to make a blog’, create an event ‘bring 4 people with you to meet the 2 I’ve found, and some snacks we can eat while working on a new reading list’. One is a chore, the other sounds like fun – and has a visible end.