Monday, March 18, 2013

Reflecting on Marzano - Summarizing and Note Taking Strategies.

In continuing with our discussion about Marzano's best practices for teaching, we read through the chapter on summarizing and note-taking.  I find summarizing and note-taking to go hand and hand, and will definitely strive to use some of the strategies that I've read when I have students partake in these activities.  The big question is:  where is the intersection of summarizing and note-taking with Educational Technology?

I often have students do independent research online, and then summarize their information before creating a presentation.  So how can educational technology transform summarizing and note taking in ways that couldn't have happened without it?  Tools such as Inspiration (mind-mapping/graphic organizer) allow for the webbing style of note-taking.  However, this is simply at the substitution level.  The same could be said for using Word or Google Docs.

So how can I improve note taking and summarizing for research?  First, I can take cues from this chapter and use some of the strategies that were outlined, such as the Problem/Solution frame (where students decipher the problem, then find possible solutions, determining the best one) or the Argumentation Frame (where students find the evidence for a claim, determine the claim statement, find examples that support it, and then also make concessions about the topic).  I believe utilizing these two strategies will get at higher level thinking skills such as analyzing and synthesizing, which lends perfectly to the next step up, which is creating a presentation.

With this being said, are there ways that educational technology can allow for significant task redesign for note taking and summarizing?  I think so.  Although I mentioned Google Docs as a substitution level technology, the fact is that the collaboration aspect of it, where students could be taking notes and editing notes together, could be more of an augmentation level technology.  Students could also use Tagxedo or Wordle to create Word Clouds of their summary/notes to pull out the main points, something that couldn't be done before technology.  Therefore, those would be getting more into the modification/redefinition area of the SAMR model.

Note taking and summarizing are hugely important tasks.  As adults, we do this every day, almost constantly.  Therefore, it is important that our students get as much practice and support in this realm as possible.  I believe that, personally, including more project based learning will allow me to work on more of these skills with students.

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