Social Note-taking: an idea for Digital Learning Day

There are plenty of ways for students to collaborate on class notes. They can work on a Google doc together, use Skydrive, Dropbox, Evernote, etc. You can simply assign one student to take notes for the class and then email them out to a list, or post the URL to your LMS, etc. But I’ve been thinking about making note-taking more social using Storify.

If I reimagine my class (SAMR) as an event, not just a prosaic high school class, and assign the students the roles of reporters, not note-takers, we could create a multi-layered blanket of social artifacts that could be woven together via Storify and then shared with all of the participants (and lurkers from the admin, teacher, parent, and student communities).

Some students would be asked to tweet about the class in real time. Tweeting out quotations from the teacher and classmates that seemed to resonate or carry the weight of consensus would be an effective use of the medium. Other students would take photos of the blackboard and screen (Storify likes Instagram, but other image options exist). I would ask less techy members of the class to take handwritten notes, but perhaps using Sharpies on colorful index cards that could then be converted to attractive digital photos. Perhaps some students would be asked to search for useful internet links during the class.

After class, I’d ask some students (in the role of editor) to weave together all of these elements using Storify. Then we’d post the link to our LMS page, and promote it, too, via the native options. If we wanted to, we could send it to Evernote, etc.

Two of my classes on Feb. 5 (Digital Learning Day) are “lab periods,” so that would provide me with the time I need to assign roles, set up the materials/tech, and debrief. All I need now is the core of a lesson that involves elements of discussion, lecture, summary, maybe a poll from PollEverywhere, etc. I’ve got chapter two of Black Boy to cover in class, plus vocabulary to work on and grammar, so I can structure the time effectively. Let’s give this a go.

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