Anatomy of EasyTech Discussions
EasyTech Discussions complement Learning.com work that students complete online. Discussions are teacher-led prompts that spark inspiring conversations about technology concepts without any online interactive portion for students. They are primarily designed to be used by teachers to introduce a new unit of curriculum before moving on to Lessons and Activities. Discussions are great for getting students to take a break from screen time and engage with each other about what they’re learning.
Discussions can be found with the other EasyTech curriculum and assigned to classes in the same way. However, if a Discussion is assigned within the Learning.com platform, teachers will see it in their gradebook, but it will not appear to students when they sign in.
If a Discussion is the only curriculum item that a teacher has assigned to a class, then students will not see that class at all.
If Discussions have been assigned using Google Classroom, then they will appear for students to see in their stream.
***Note that Discussion Reflections must be assigned separately and will be visible to students. See below.
Components of a Discussion
Selecting the ‘View’ option for a Discussion opens a PDF file providing teachers with a detailed lesson plan made up of four parts:
Gives information about how to introduce, review, and get students thinking about concepts within the upcoming unit
Gives talking points and provides a conversation content overview
Provides the educator with steps to wrap-up the Discussion and have students practice what they discussed
Ideas to help extend the learning experience
For some Discussions, teachers also have the option of assigning a corresponding Discussion Reflection. These are Application Exercises found with the other EasyTech curriculum and assigned to classes in the same way. They have been designed as a follow-up to the in-class conversation. Discussion Reflections will appear to students in the Learning.com platform and ask students to complete a simple survey of their experience participating in the Discussion. Teachers can then see the responses and a participation grade can be given.
Grading Discussions and Discussion Reflections
Teachers have multiple options if they want to grade a Discussion. They can enter a grade for the Discussion, the Discussion Reflection, or both. Teachers often use these scores as a way of giving students credit for participating and to keep a record of who has completed them.
First, grades can be entered for the Discussion itself. Grades for Discussions must be entered manually into the gradebook, but they can be done all at once. See our Grading Discussions page for a step-by-step guide through that process. Using this method, students using the Learning.com platform won’t be able to see what grade they received.
Alternatively, teachers can assign a corresponding Discussion Reflection which allows students to submit a survey to their teacher. The teacher can then review the students’ answers and give them a score for participation. See our Application Exercises page for more details.
***Note: Because students do not launch the Discussions, they are not reflected in all reports available to teachers and coordinators. For schools and districts that track usage through content launches in the District and/or School Usage Reports, we recommend using Discussion Reflections, as these will be reflected in the Usage Reports.