Describing 16 Habits of Mind”: persistence, managing impulsivity, and listening to others with understanding and empathy and “respond with wonderment and awe” (habit # 12) at how integrating technology in the classroom can help us build these habits into their lives.
Persistence, “sticking to a task until it is completed,” is a habit that many students could use practice with. Is it that they just “give up” because they do not have the ambition to proceed further? Or is it that they just do not know how to proceed further? Have simple tools, like Google or Siri made it too easy to get an answer? Opening our students’ eyes to a variety of resources, problem solving and research skills beyond a simple Google search is a great way to help them develop persistence.
The second habit, managing impulsivity, or “jumping to conclusions” is often demonstrated by students who shout out answers or think before they act. Just providing wait time before students can raise their hands or insisting that students read comments over carefully before hitting send can go a long way in helping them manage simple impulsivity. Students need to be asked to “stop and think” and “clarify” what they mean (the first two steps of the SCAN critical thinking strategy), when they enter into a discussion, either online or in the classroom.
Listening skills have been at the top of teachers’ wish lists for a long time. They are needed even more desperately now as we bombard each other with messages at lightning speed. In many cases, listening carefully is now increasingly transformed into reading carefully. Either way, our students need to practice this communication skill. Using web 2.0 tools gives us a great opportunity to reinforce, monitor, and moderate discussions and consciously work these “habits” into our students’ daily lives.
Web 2.0 technology gives us the chance to re-open the discussion on classroom discussions. Students learned the basic rules of classroom discussion in kindergarten. Moving the classroom discussion to the internet allows us to moderate and reinforce those rules and practice in a new venue. Why not work in some good “habits of mind?”