Teaching Students How to Debate Intelligently and Respectfully

Debating issues online brings out the worst in people. We often see disagreements turn into personal and frightening attacks. Our students need to learn the value of stimulating debate, which focuses on issues and strays from personal attacks. Additionally, our students need the skills to deal with online trolls and bullies. These skills can help them cope with the ugliness of the Internet and may save their lives. This is why in my new book, Hacking Digital Learning Strategies: 10 Ways to Launch EdTech Missions in Your Classroom, one of the missions is for students to engage in an intellect online debate. Students post their arguments and counter-argue. They are also encouraged to reflect on how counter-arguments force them to think more deeply about the issues and give them more knowledge. They are motivated to see their most worthy opponents as competitors who make them stronger thinkers just like any famous athlete learns more from their best competitors. We can’t be our best without challenges and skilled competitors who push us beyond our boundaries. As a class they also collaborate to defeat an online troll. Join us every Sunday on Twitter for the #EdtechMissions chat (10am to 10:30amET; click for more time zones) where we share ideas and resources.

Get your copy of Hacking Digital Learning, The 30 Goals Challenge, or Learning to Go. Ask me about training your teachers, ShellyTerrell@gmail.com!

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a teacher trainer, instructional designer, adjunct professor, and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT. She has been recognized by the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, the Ministry of Education in Spain, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as an innovator in the movement of teacher-driven professional development and education technology. Recently, she was named Woman of the Year 2014 by Star Jone’s National Association of Professional Women and awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, the Twitter chat that spurred over 400 teacher chats. She has trained teachers and taught learners in over 25 countries and has consulted with organizations worldwide such as UNESCO Bangkok, The European Union aPLaNet Project, Cultura Iglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, and VenTESOL. She shares regularly via TeacherRebootCamp.com, Twitter (@ShellTerrell), and Facebook.com/shellyterrell. Her greatest joy is being the mother of Rosco the pug.

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