Idea, development, smooth implementation.

Ideal, but not realistic. Real ideas aren’t smooth, they have bumps and flaws. Today we are going to run our eye over some of the bumps in ‘Sliders’ and look to see how these may not be as big of an issue as they may seem.

The first of the bumps to Sliders moving to reality is the need for the teacher to have a technological device capable of receiving the data, and the need for the entirety of the class to have access to an appropriate digital device. Considering the need for quick and easy analysis for the teacher it can be suggested that a teacher would need access to either a computer, a laptop or a tablet. Any device that can receive the information while being easily visible and quick to access. Although it would be possible to access data on a phone, this would take teacher time and may be deemed as unprofessional. The other part of this problem is that the anonymity of student responses requires students to have access to their own sliders, which of course means they must have their own device. This is ok if the school has access to 1:1 laptops, but otherwise could be a potential issue as it can’t be guaranteed that every student will have their own appropriate device. This issue is partially addressed in last week’s blog by providing the broadest range of technologies possible, but it can be seen that the suitability of this idea for a particular school should be examined before implementation. Another potential solution that was disregarded was to provide devices similar to clickers, however this would increase cost and add a component that could be lost.

The second potential flaw that stands out is that Sliders is an idea that relies upon a student to report upon their own learning. This has two potential ramifications, either students deliberately put in incorrect confidence levels to either gain attention or speed the class up or students unknowingly mis-report their knowledge by saying that understand it when maybe they do it. These are both issues that can be solved by using questioning or ideas like a 1 minute paper at the end of the lesson. This would seem suggest that we would be twice examining the understanding of students, once with sliders and once with a question, but it could rather be seen that we are receiving feedback on student confidence with the Sliders before checking for understanding with questioning when their confidence seems high. This suggests that Sliders place in education is one of a guide rather than a rule, and one that may be better placed with a mature class to ensure appropriate use.

It should be remembered though that Sliders still has support in its simple design, its provision of learning ownership for the student and a history built on similar ideas working that it is looking to improve on.

That’s Sliders bumps all out there. Bared for all. I think it’s still beautiful. Do you?