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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

No Tech X Fist or Five

Years ago I wrote this post, No Technology Just Good Old Rock, Paper, Scissors.  It continues to be one of the most popular posts on my blog...that is about technology integration.  I can't say I'm surprised.

Inspired by the impact of that simple game to simulate economic systems, I thought i would share another non-technology gem that I have been using with increased frequently in nearly every technology workshop that I have been facilitating recently.

Fist or Five...

I was first exposed to this concept by +Shawn McCusker (@shawnmccusker) when we had our 9th grade world studies students debating responsibility for the Holocaust via Skype & a Posterous blog as guided by this United States Holocaust Memorial Museum document. (the Posterous blog became of a victim of the internet and Posterous shutting down.)

During the debate, Shawn turned to his students and asked "Fist or Five" for a question we were discussing via Skype.  His students immediately threw up a certain number of fingers to indicate their stance on an issue.  I was intrigued with such a simple approach to checking in on understanding, agreement, confusion, master, or anything that can fit into this fist to five scale.

I immediately became a fan, used it in my classroom often and now use it in nearly every workshop.


My approach to Fist or Five: 


1. After we explore a new tool, approach or concept to integrating technology I do a technology comfort level check-in.

Fist = this app, web tool or concept makes me very uncomfortable / nervous
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2
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4
5 = I have mastered this idea & could teach this to my colleagues



2. I then ask what is the likelihood of using this app, tool, concept or approach in their classrooms

Fist = Not going to happen, this isn't a good fit at all
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4
5 = I would leave this workshop right now and use this with my students if I could!

To add one more layer to this approach, throughout workshops I like to have participants use Evernote as a method to archive and compile their ideas from the day.  I also like to build in reflection time, where everyone will create a new note about this recently explored topic and archive their ideas, concerns, tips to remember as well as reflective discussion.  After both Fist or Five questions, I like to ask participants to discuss their ideas with one another and add those thoughts to their note.  I have found from experience and feedback that the non-technology check-ins throughout the workshop gives participants time to slow down and think about the tools, be honest with regards to their comfort and interest and hear from one another about potential classroom implications.

I wonder how others have integrated non-technology check-ins in their classroom or instructional routine...


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