How do I teach in an effective way?

Before we delve into teaching media literacy, we want to zoom out to look at effective didactical principles of teaching. How do you teach with effect? How can you teach in such way where students are more likely to succeed?

Tim Surma (director ExCel) collected twelve building blocks for effective didactics. These building blocks are not 'rocket science'. Some of these may seem obvious and are likely already integrated into your own practice and teaching, but by explicitly stating them again, it can serve as a reminder to pay renewed attention to them. For example, repetition is one of the building blocks, something we are doing now as well! 

  1. Activate relevant prior knowledge, refresh essential knowledge and skills from previous lessons.
  2. Provide clear, structured, and challenging instruction. Also, state the lesson objective.
  3. Use plenty of examples
  4. Repeat regularly. Spread practice opportunities over time.
  5. Provide support to students with difficult exercises and gradually reduce it.
  6. Check with questions whether students understand the material.
  7. Seek teaching methods that engage all students actively.
  8. Use tests as learning and practice strategies.
  9. Enable active processing of the material.
  10. Provide systematic feedback that prompts students to think.
  11. Alternate between types of exercises.
  12. Teach your students how to learn effectively.
Surma, T., Vanhoyweghen, K., Sluijsmans, D., Camp, G., Muijs, D., & Kirschner, P. A. (2022). Wijze lessen: Twaalf bouwstenen voor effectieve didactiek (5th ed.). Meppel: Ten Brink Uitgevers.

You can use all the 12 building blocks in your classroom, whether in the context of media literacy or in a general context.

Media literacy in my classroom so do I need to use digital tools all the time?

No, certainly not! Digital tools and technology should not be the goal , but rather a means to achieve educational goals. Technology can be distracting in the classroom, so it's best to use it in an effective way, in combination with one of the didactical building blocks above. It's important to maintain a balance, tailoring the use of digital tools to the specific needs of the lesson and the students. Digital tools can certainly be a part of teaching media literacy in your classroom, but it is not necessary to use them constantly.

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