Over summer I did a bit of work on the [Interactive White Boards (IWB) project at Cambridge]1, and wrote a chapter for the reader on [creating an environment for effective dialogue in the classroom]2.  The focus of that work, and the chapter, was primarily teacher led talk.  It was still interested in encouraging children to talk effectively, with each others, in whole class contexts, and in response to teachers, but it wasn’t generally focussed on how to set children up to lead sessions or ask questions using the IWB. So – what might that look like, and what might a CPD session based on it look like? 1.  What rules would you need? Could use Thinking Together ground rules here (See also below) 2. What are the learning objectives?  Presumably, we want to do presentations because we think they add value above reading, both to those presenting and those listening.  But lots of presentations just give information (and sadly sometimes the information isn’t delivered well either) – so what could facilitate better collaboration (involving all of the group, and including the class), more interaction, and continued dialogue? 3. What assessment criteria are most important?  Do we focus on content, collaboration, interactivity, presentation style (see rubric below), etc. If I was  running something I’d: 1. Talk about setting up rules (and modelling effective dialogue) 2. Talk about learning objectives – 1. If they’re group presentations, Bob Slavin (for example) talks about ensuring the learning objective is for everyone in the group to have the right answer, not just for the group (as a whole)/a single individual in it (can’t find resources at the moment, [nice summary here]3 though). 2. Looking at Bloom’s taxonomy to think about what sort of research the pupils have been asked to do might also help. 3. As would thinking about presentations based on enquiry. 4. It might be worth thinking about whether it’s framed as a “presentation” or “being the teacher” – the latter might give some drama ([ideas for using drama in classroom]4) and perhaps encourage the presenter and other pupils to ask questions 3. Assessment – think about peer assessment (and deciding as a class what pupils want to get out of the presentations), even if they’re more for talking points than anything else it might be worth thinking about rubrics for 1. presentation style, resources given, etc. 2. content 3. questions asked (and answered) 4. fit with assessment criteria (for me, AO1/2/3 – content, evaluation, synopticity…broadly) The presentations themselves could be set up in any number of ways.  Using the IWB allows you to save it for future use, and play with all of the dialogue supporting features described in the Cambridge project.  But [resentations can take place through posters, dance, role play, cartoons, photograph sequences, charts and graphs, mind maps etc. Some may even involve audience participation.  I like the idea of pupils presenting work and asking their classmates to reply using whole-class response systems (like mini-whiteboards). It might be helpful if pupils have a question to address in their presentations, and if the rest of the class are primed to ask questions.  The questioning approach described below might be a way to encourage dialogue, as an alternative to taking notes (instead groups jot down questions).  This will likely be time consuming, one option would be to ask pupils to run start activities which then become the focus of further research and dialogue. Might be ways to introduce games too…I’d have to think. A couple of links: * [Improving pupil learning by enhancing participation: Research for Teachers]5 – a nice resource, although all of these are too text based with not enough good CPD activities.  Good case studies though and a nice overview of areas to consider in pupil participation (including lots on talk), well worth a look. * – encourage students to ask questions, give them ground rules, then a divergent question (or ‘talking point’) around which they have to come up with new questions.  With some more introduction and the [QFT resources website (free)]6.  But – it focuses on questions, but not on how to use technology, or presentations to facilitate students in asking questions. * As an aside, the [philosophy for children]7 site looks great * [Rubric to assess some qualities of presentation skills]8


  1. http://iwbcollaboration.educ.cam.ac.uk/

  2. http://oro.open.ac.uk/36484/

  3. www.learner.org/workshops/socialstudies/pdf/session6/6.CooperativeLearning.pdf

  4. http://orbit.educ.cam.ac.uk/wiki/Using_Drama_Activities

  5. http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/967/

  6. http://rightquestion.org/educators/resources/

  7. http://p4c.com/concept-stretchers

  8. http://drsaraheaton.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/presentation-grading-rubric4.pdf