Using Thoughtexchange in the classroom is a great way to hear directly from students and foster a crowdsourcing mindset with schools and districts.
Exchanges can help identify the things that are top of mind for students and give teachers and leaders a head-start at addressing the things that matter most. When you begin to launch exchanges, it helps to consider a phased approach where your first exchange serves as a temperature check for where participants are at mentally and emotionally before you move on to more specific exchanges to generate ideas around a particular topic.
Exchanges allow you to hear what is important to the entire class, not just the few students that feel comfortable raising their hand and sharing their voice. It allows students to hear from one another, especially the quieter voices and voices that don’t feel comfortable sharing because of language barriers. The tool can also help you gather feedback on how to better support your students. In this current world of social distancing, exchanges are a great way to drive content, respond to prompts, facilitate Socratic Seminars, group work, checks for understanding, exit tickets, etc.
- What are your thoughts and feelings about this class/school year?
- What are fun things that you did over break? (If your thought rises to the top, be prepared to share the story.)
- What are your favorite things about school?
- What are your academic/personal goals?
- When I say group work, what thoughts and feelings come to mind?
Beginning of the Course
- What are important norms that create a safe, respectful, and successful classroom?
- What can we do to create a successful and safe learning environment?
- What do you need to feel safe to learn in this classroom?
- What are your thoughts or questions about the syllabus?
- What thoughts or questions do you have about this class?
During the Course
- What thoughts or questions do you have about today’s lesson?
- What questions do you have based on what you learned in this chapter?
- What thoughts do you have after reading this chapter/book?
- What would you like me to review as you prepare for the exam?
- What is working well and what do we need to do to make group work better?
- What are some of the environmental benefits of …?
- What were some of the challenges that the main character needed to overcome?
- How can this math concept be used in daily life?
- What are some of the benefits of daily exercise?
- From the perspective of Germans, what were key outcomes from World War 1?
- What skills and/or concepts did you find most useful for problem solving?
- What are some ways in which this approach could be applied to other scenarios?
- Some key items that I will take away from this are…
End of the Course
- As you reflect on this quarter/semester, what comes to mind?
- What was your favorite part of this class?
- What concepts did you master and what concepts are still a struggle? (Add #master or #struggle)
- As you reflect on this class, what went well and what could be improved?
Running an exchange live during class time? Check out Presenter Mode.
There are many features to consider as you create any exchange, and when creating a student exchange, there are a few features we recommend not skipping over. Click here for more information on exchange settings for student exchanges.
Discover - Working with your results
As you plan each exchange, you want to think about why you are asking this question and what you plan to do with the information. This not only makes for a stronger exchange, it makes the Discover process much easier. A few things to think about while creating an exchange that could impact your results are the use of survey questions and participation groups.
Below are some tips and tricks for how you can use some of the tools in the Discover Dashboard. Want to learn more about the dashboard? Click here!
- Post in classroom
- Use in reminders to participate in an exchange
- Use and include filters to find out what was important to different subgroups (departments, grade level, language, etc.)
- Add leader comments (text and links) to respond to thoughts and questions
- Create a Thought Report to share out results and leader comments
- Add Thought Report to website/virtual classroom for easy reference
- Share during classroom to show where the group was polarized and where the group came together
- Use AI to uncover topics that emerged within the larger conversation and divide groups by theme to dig deeper
- Use Action theme set template to help you organize next steps
- See what themes are important to your survey question groups (departments, grade level, language, etc.) to tailor next steps appropriately
- Thinking of running the same exchange time after time, check out Learn from Me in Auto Themer to streamline the theming process
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