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Posts Tagged ‘priming

Today I present at the SST Tech Summit. It might seem like a technical session, but it is actually about creating readiness, retentiveness, and reflectiveness.

My Google Slides are at

I described my 45-minute session as a pedagogical-technical one even as the summit focuses on Google Apps. My research and experience remind me that the pedagogy must lead and guide the technology.

It is easy to know HOW create a Google Form and even know WHAT questions to ask but not know WHY. It is just as easy to keep using forms for exactly the same thing, i.e., collecting information.

Google Forms are also good for priming both the teacher and the learner. The teacher can gain insights into the learners and find out their readiness or prior knowledge. If a teacher prepares a media-and-URL-rich form, the form serves to activate schema and can be an advance organizer for learning.

When used for quizzes BEFORE content delivery, teachers can create environments for emphasizing the WHY of learning and just-in-time instruction. This is a variant of assessment AS learning.

Google Forms do not offer these functions out of the box. It is up to an educator to shape these opportunities based on his or her pedagogical prowess.

One of my pre-workshop habits is to survey teacher-participants with Google Forms. I do this with two latent intents.

The first is modelling for teachers how to use the forms to collect prior knowledge, questions, and expectations of learners.


The other is something I started doing only recently. I asked participants if they were familiar with two concepts and provided visual representations of them.

The purpose of doing this was not just to find out if my learners knew about the concepts. It was also to prime them for the workshop, and for the highly motivated, to spark self-directed learning.

While I show and discuss the results with my participants, I have not built in a “rise above” component in the workshops to make them aware of the design and purpose of such survey forms.

Such a component would be very useful in a series of design thinking workshops so that educators apply educational theory as they problem find and problem solve.


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