The first month of school is exhausting! New students, new routines, and, for many of us, new curriculum. Getting kids acclimated to all the newness spurs a lot (and I mean a lot) of questions. In an effort to save my own sanity and teach students how to be independent and resourceful, I put a technology spin on the old adage, “Ask 3 before you ask me.”
It’s not just that I am wild about technology. I also want to model what I do when I have a question. I’m not always in a room surrounded by colleagues when I get stuck or need help, so my 3 is Google, YouTube, and social media.
First, ask Google.
Sure, students need some tips for getting the most out of Google and filtering through the results, but we go over all of that together in the first few weeks. After they get an introduction to the Google search engine and know how to use it effectively, then it should be their first stop.
No luck with Google?
Second stop, search for a YouTube tutorial.
Today’s learners are increasingly visual. They love pictures and videos, which makes YouTube a fantastic resource for students. They can search for video tutorials on topics ranging from citing properly to making elaborate rubber band bracelets, which my daughter learned to do by watching a series of videos.
No entertaining tutorials?
Third stop, ask people on social media.
An increasing number of students are already using social media to connect with people, so why not encourage them to tap into their social network to find information on a topic or troubleshoot a problem?
When I’ve done a Google search and checked out YouTube videos and still cannot figure something out, I ask the Twittersphere. Within minutes I have a half dozen responses with links to online resources or suggestions to connect with specific individuals who might be able to help.
Now, instead of just asking 3 people who happen to be in the same classroom, students can ask Google, YouTube, and social media. Ultimately, I think teaching this new version of ask 3 before you ask me will make our students more self-sufficient learners when they leave our classrooms.