Thursday, March 3, 2011

Instructional Dialogs

I can still remember sitting in my middle school history classes as Mr. C. went through overhead transparency after overhead transparency as I quickly attempted to get everything written down in my notes. I was able to record almost every single word about Mesopotamia, but did I actually LEARN any of it? Or was I simply trying to do my best impression of a court stenographer? Even worse, two weeks later when it came time to study for the unit test on early civilizations, I couldn't read half my notes because my hands had cramped during frantic note taking.

I hated taking notes in that class, and the worst part was if you were caught talking or being a general classroom nuisance then you got to spend time at lunch or after school cleaning the stacks and stacks of used transparency sheets covered in Vis-A-Vis markers. I remember it all too well. Technology advanced and soon I was sitting in high school history class. There I was desperately trying to keep up with Mr. V. and his presentations. We've all seen these boring presentations.

On the plus side, there were fewer transparency sheets to clean at the end of the day (however there was plenty of gum underneath the desks, but that's a whole other story). While the way the information was given had changed, the end result was pretty much the same. If a student was unable to get the notes, if they were absent, if they left their backpack on the bus, they didn't have the notes ready to study.

If only there was a way for teachers to be able to present information to students in a fashion they are familiar and comfortable with, while making it easier to retain the information and have the notes handy, without the dreaded, crippling, wrist cramp.


You may or may not be aware of Galileo's Instructional Dialog technology. These are slide-based instructional pieces located in Galileo K-12 Online. Dialogs are currently available for use within Galileo, but you can also make your own.

What is the benefit of creating a Dialog to use in the classroom?
Dialogs are online - Galileo Dialogs are available to you regardless of which computer you are using to access it.
Dialogs are available - Your students can log into Galileo and pull up the Dialog that you've created. They can review their notes before a test and focus more on what the teacher is teaching during the class rather than stressing to jot down every last word and letter before you switch the slide.
Dialogs are standards-based - The first step in creating a Dialog is aligning it to a standard or standards. This makes it easy for you to go in after the fact and find the Dialog because you know what is being taught.
Dialogs are interactive - You can even add a quick quiz at the end or add question slides in the Dialog to guide any classroom discussion of the topic at hand.
Dialogs are multimedia - There are many options to add media to Dialogs. You can add pictures, videos, graphs, clip art, as well as links to other games, videos, etc., that are already out on the Internet.

Galileo Dialog

(Click the image above to open a Galileo K-12 Online Dialog)

-Chris Domschke
Field Services Coordinator

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