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How To Engage Students In Current Events: Make It Fun

Posted by Jay King on May 09, 2011 |

"How do I engage my kids in current events, so that they not only learn from them, but actually participate in the process, and enjoy the experience?"

Blast logo Our answer: make it engaging, utilize technology that is second nature to them, allow for real-time participation, and make it fun. That was the idea behind StudySync Blasts: an interactive tool designed to stimulate student interest and encourage thoughtful discussion about important, present-day issues.

Each Blast contains a thought provoking question posed to students based on relevant issues that they face as they try to make sense of the world around them.

SyncBlast A peer rating and review component makes Blasts both collaborative and competitive. Once students post a Blast response, they're asked to anonymously rate their peers’ responses.

Then, as ratings are compiled, the students are shown the top ten posts. This adds a competitive, gaming component to the process as well. So students not only have fun, but become inspired to make the most concise, compelling, and intelligent statement.

But don't just take our word for it.

English teacher Ryan Gilbert describes his classroom experience:

While a Blast might limit them to 140 characters to respond, which in itself is good practice in being concise, students can do far more than the five reviews and ratings than I require. And they do.

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Categories: Critical Thinking, Current Events, EdTech, Mobile Learning

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