Posted by: crudbasher | February 21, 2011

Question for Teachers: What Would You Do If…

(cc) dcJohn

Here’s an interesting thought experiment I came up with this weekend. I am interested in feedback from any teachers that read this!

Scenario conditions:

1. You are a teacher in a classroom.

2. It can be any grade level.

3. Each student has a laptop and an Internet connection.

So far so good, but here’s the twist.

4. You are teaching a subject that is completely unfamiliar to you.

I know what you are thinking: Say what? That would never happen!

That’s probably true today, but what if it happened? What if you weren’t the expert anymore but you still had to facilitate learning in the classroom? How would you do it? I’ll post my thoughts tomorrow.



  1. If faced with this scenario, I would employ a role-play game technique, suggesting that students take the role of the teacher. In order to do so, I would break down the subject matter into two categories (A and B), each to be researched online by a group of students (1 and 2). I would then have group 1 teach subject A to group 2, and group 2 teach subject B to group 1. Finally, each group would rate the other in terms of their success in explaining the subject matter and facilitating their comprehension.

  2. Wow. Great question. On the first day, I would have them set up a blog. Once they do that, I would have students write a blog post with 3 paragraphs: describe what they think the class is, tell everything they know about the subject, and questions that they have about the subject.

    After class, I would read (and maybe make a Wordle) all their posts. I would also get on Twitter and see what others who teach this class are doing. From there, I would create my first lesson.

    On the second day of class, I would demonstrate a lesson and we’d complete some activities together.

    From there, I would have them continue posting on their blog, perhaps putting questions out on Twitter, and finding relevant resources on the internet. I would frame everything we do in the class as a question. An essential question would start each unit or day and they would have to figure out how to answer the question and demonstrate deep understanding of everything involved.

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