Thursday, June 2, 2011

Social Learning in Practice

Developing systems i a classroom is essential to effective instruction. In my classes these systems have always included a social aspect to them. Student's love to work together. They thrive on that social interaction. It can present problems at times with behavior and work ethic, but the benefits completely outweigh the downfalls.

In creating group activities, I have recently been able to incorporate technology to increase the effectiveness of the student output, both during class and after. During class time, I have the nicety of having laptop carts at my current school. On any given day each student can have a laptop with internet access to help them along with their daily activities. I can also incorporate group work with multiple or single computers within a group. These can be adjusted to determine the level of participation among group members.

Outside of the class is also an area in which I am able to use social lessons along with technology. I have ranged from creating blogs, having an online thread or email chain that discusses the assignment, or even videos with the abilities of the students to peer review and comment. All of these tools give the student a higher sense of interaction that they would not receive otherwise. Having that social aspect is not required of a classroom, but it sure does help.


Orey, M. (Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.


  1. It seems like you have come up with some great lessons and tools students can use to collaborate with others and share feedback. One problem I still face at times is keeping all group members invested in the project. What will often end up happening is that one or two students end up doing the majority of the work. How do you keep all of your students motivated to succeed with group work?

  2. It sounds like you have a great start on incorporating technology in the classroom to help your students learn! How do you hold each student accountable in their group, so that the groups are successful?


  3. Tech in the Classroom,

    You mentioned that sometimes behavior and work ethic can become a problem when students work in groups. Something that I've just recently started doing giving students a score for work effort and behavior. I make this part of the rubric and share this with students before the project--and before they pick their groups. If a group is struggling to cooperate or stay on task during the project I remind them they are being scored on behavior. I have seen a tremendous difference in the effort and who students choose to work with.

    I often just use the rubrics from


  4. Steven,

    How has the participation been when you have asked them to collaborate with each other out of the classroom. I plan on implementing a discussion board feature in my social studies classes next year, but I am worried about the lack of effective participation outside of the classroom.