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Debating with Technology

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Keywords: Research, Round table, Discussion, Technology
Subject(s): Writing, Life Science, Science, Technology, Social Studies, Civics, History, Reading
Grades 3 through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: East Bernstadt Elem School, E Bernstadt, KY
Planned By: DeAnna Eversole
Original Author: DeAnna Eversole, E Bernstadt
* A predetermined topic will be given to the students and a short "What do you know?" discuss will take place.
*Topics that can be assigned are ideas such as, digging up artifacts, naming sports teams after people from history, or other controversial topics. Stay away from topics that are over the students heads or they should not research due to inappropriate information.
*Discuss what the students already know and what they want to know or what they've heard and want to prove true or false.

*Give the students the instructions they need to complete this assignment entirely and what is expected of them before the end of the class time.
* Give them the expectations of using technology in the classroom such as, only relevant information should be searched and shared, anything they have searched is on the school network and can be seen by others! Any other safety information they may need should be shared.
* Remind the students that we have already discussed some information about the topic and their task is to come up with more evidence to support their side whether it be for or against.
* They can have a piece of paper to write down information or sites that found helpful.

* Let them explore the world wide web. During this activity you must monitor closely to make sure all students are staying true to the task.
* Allow them helpful hints if anyone becomes stuck.
* Books that are found in the classroom may be photographed with the camera located on the technological device and used in the debate later.
* Give the students enough time to find some good information about their stance and then introduce rules for sharing.
1. One person talking at a time.
2. No rude noises, yelling, or foul language.
3. This is a debate so both sides will be supported even if we don't agree with one.

* Allow students to take turns supporting their side and showing the information they found to support their side.
* Take notes while they discuss and enter questions into the Responseware app to answer later.
* Allow each student to give evidence for their side.

* Instruct students to turn their Responseware app on, on their technology and login in to begin the quiz.
* This allows a few minutes to get the questions in, however, it does not take long to use and get the information entered. It is great to allow the students immediate assessment.
* Have students answer all questions and print out the report to grade and send home with each student to show their parents/caregivers.

* To extend this lesson have any students that found pictures or videos supporting their stance to share them with the class.
* Finally, take a poll to see which students changed their minds after the discussion and how many stayed with their stance. The Responseware can also be used for this or other poll taking apps are available.
This lesson is very vague on purpose. Since it can be used in so many ways, it was left with a lot of options and different turns to allow the teacher putting it in place some creative freedom with the instructions.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This plan can be used in any subject are where there are controversial topics. It is aimed mostly at Social Studies or Science, but could be used across the curriculum especially in reading.
Students to research more in depth on their topic and stance and create a report or short summary of information they discovered.
Materials: Internet Services, Word Processor, Mice, Keyboards, LCD Monitors, Wacom Tablets
Other Items: 24 Smart phones with apps and internet capability , $300 each, total of $7200.00