Student-to-Student Interactions in a Blended Learning Classroom

As we transition to a hybrid model, we need to consider one of the necessary interactions that could be missing from our instruction. The student-to-student interaction often done through turn and talk and partnerships was a huge part of our instructional practice prior to March 2020, but it may have gotten lost as we were thrown so quickly into remote instruction.

How Do We Bring It Back?

Students who are in person can still turn and talk even though we will be 3-6 feet apart. It will just be much louder, but what about those at home or when the discussion is too complicated for such distance?

The Slow Chat

There is the option of the slow chat which is a discussion in the learning platform (Schoology for secondary teachers and Google Classroom for elementary). A discussion question can be posted and students can respond, read the responses of others and respond to them as well. This is called a slow chat for a reason. It’s not the quickest of turn and talks, but it does provide the student-to-student interaction that is crucial in learning.

Zoom

The breakout room feature in Zoom is a great way to incorporate the student-to-student interaction that is a quicker than the slow chat. During synchronous instruction, those who are in the Zoom can be put into breakout rooms with a partner for a quick turn and talk opportunity while those in class can physically turn and talk.

Jamboard

Another option is Jamboard which is a Google App and collaborative whiteboard space.

A Jamboard can be worked on by an entire class or slides can be assigned to partnerships. Here’s a video that shows the basics of getting started.

More information and ideas to come using Jamboard!

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