On Monday of this week, I met with a second grade class and we used Google Forms to create one-question student surveys for their current math lesson. This is a lesson that I remember doing as an elementary school student - one that until that day hadn't seen much change or innovation. Our goal was to integrate iPads into the equation for efficient and authentic data collection from classmates with real-time results streaming through the projector. We accomplished that a much more.
Second grade teacher Karen Davidson, at John F. Kennedy Elementary, reached out to me with a request. How can we make this lesson more empowering and real by using our tech tools? She was inspired by our recent district-wide elementary Valentines Day live data sharing event where students from all three schools could scan a QR Code and answer a quick survey question that resulted in live-streaming and ever-updating results while prompted classroom discussions about their authentic data. Karen and I decided to empower her class with the ability to scan and participate in peer surveys.
Once the surveying was done, we took a look at some of their newly created data and compared it to what they had learned in their math lessons about graphs. It was practical, authentic, and empowering for the students to see their ideas become reality. This, however, is not how the story ends. Here's a timelapse of the students taking the survey and then taking it to the next level.
I am always looking to do things that were previously impossible before our current slate of technology and communication tools. Having shared my own memory of this exact lesson as a student and as a teacher, I asked if the class would be interested in gathering information from people outside of this classroom. Would they be interested in gathering information from people outside of their school... their city... their state... and even their country? They were hooked.
We proposed question ideas, discussed their merits, and decided to ask a question that was fairly universal - but with definite regional favorites. What is your favorite sport? I would share the URL to this form on Twitter, using some specific hashtags and requests from influential contacts, to see what happens. The relationships and connections we have made here in Hastings, Minnesota resulted in an overwhelming global response and call to action.
I am sharing the results of their survey with Mrs. Davidson's second graders this morning. Here is what we gathered over the past four days thanks to the help of Twitter and the power of professional relationships online with educators from around the world. Video of locations.
Andrew G. Leiser