Where's the Beef? Rigor and Relevance with Technology Rich Learning Environments


Effective communication skills start with an author’s capacity to develop content that is worthy of packaging and sharing first! Since “Where’s the Beef?” expression was first used in 1984 as a Wendy’s advertising slogan, it has become an all-purpose phrase questioning the substance of an idea, event, or product. There are never going to be enough technology bells and whistles to decorate up thin thinking into worthy content! So when reflecting on learning tasks or products using technology in your classrooms or assessing student digital work created with technology tools, let’s start peering past the technology glitz and begin asking questions about rigor. Using high-yielding H.E.A.T. strategies elevates good ideas for learning tasks and student work demonstrating "deep understandings" into GREAT ones. Participants will use graphic organizers called “Turning UP the H.E.A.T.” (Higher Order Thinking - Engaged Students - Authentic Tasks and added-value Technology Uses) while modeling a modern day “Extreme MakeOver" game developing engagingly HOT technology uses with kids as the winners! Let’s activate RIGOROUS content first with students as meaning makers before being media makers!

Guiding Questions

  • How can we distinguish digital products that deliver HOT (information production) or NOT (information consumption) representing "deep understanding"?

  • How can colleagues use H.E.A.T. metaphor to craft high-yielding student tasks featuring rigor and relevance?

  • What technology tools can accelerate students' capacity to create meaning for themselves and others?

Agenda Topics

Topic: Hot or Not ~ Information Consumers or Information Producers? (Shakespeare)
Process: Group Brainstorm for More HEAT
Process: Compare and Contrast Student Digital Products for Chaucer
Process: Jigsawing H.E.A.T. Elements to Code for Transforming (Anne Frank/Science Fiction / Mash-Ups)
Process: Group brainstorm for more HEAT
Topic: Give me an “H” for Higher Order Thinking Tasks / TYPES of Communication
Topic: Give me a "T" for Value-Added, Transforming Learning Uses of Technology
Topic: Decision Tree for TYPES, Modes and Tools
Process: Reviewing Coachingheat.wikispaces.com for Inspiring Tools
Topic: Give me an "E" for Engaged Learners
Topic: Overview of Depth of Questions Spectrum
Process: Sorting for CLOSED and OPEN Questions
Process: Round Robin Brainstorming and Sorting for Driving Questions
Process: Organizing for Student-Directed Learning Spaces aka Increasing Affinity / Agency
Process: Practice ExTReme Make-Overs HEAT-ing UP Book Reports w/ Table Mates (group work/ideas posted to ietherpad for group review)
Topic: Book Reports NOT - sharing an accumulation of transforming ideas for literature with technology tools

Today's Learning Tools and Links

• Ideas for H.E.A.T.-ing UP - Mice / Men a la ietherpad.com
• Ideas for Book Reports NOT -