Answergarden: a great tool for activating prior knowledge

Activating prior knowledge is one of the most important introductions of a course. It does not only facilitate learning for the learner, it also gives the teacher some very valuable information for making the class more meaningful. In this blog post, I will give you 4 ideas for using Answergarden for your course or class.

 

How does it work?

I could give you an explanation, but I prefer you find out for yourself what this tool does:

And, what do you think? Did you already come up with some ideas for using this tool in an educational setting? Here is four of my suggestions:

1. Prior knowledge

Activate prior knowledge in the introduction of your class. Ask a question like: What do you know about volcanoes? What verbs do you use most when you are talking Spanish? If you provide the link, students can also fill in the wordcloud before attending class. This way, the teacher will have some information about the students’ prior knowledge or ideas and can prepare his class based on this information.

2. Brainstorming

Answergarden is also a great brainstorming tool. Think about questions like: What are the biggest problems in cities nowadays? What are ideas you have for making our cities more sustainable?

3. Trigger attention

Start with a (provocative) statement and ask students how they feel about it. For example: Everyone can learn a foreign language, Cities should be ruled by citizens, Plastic must be forbidden. It is a great conversation starter.

4. Resume

This works like in the introduction of you class, but then at the end. Don’t let your students leave without a short evaluation of what was learned today. For example:
What is the word that summarizes this class for you? What are the three most important things you learned today? What do you want to learn more about?
Before I leave, keep this in mind when using Answergarden:

Short = key:

  • Ask short questions.
  • Ask questions that can be answered by a short answer.

What do use Answergarden for? Please leave a comment below!

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