Gadget Of The Day (GOTD) is a series of regular mini-lessons that consists of parts clue, fact based section, curiosities, links and student notes in GOTD book. The lessons are based on people, places or events and the purpose is – next to gaining knowledge – to spread a positive attitude to learning. Knowledge is cool.
To make connections between different places, people and events each classroom has its own large map of the world. Each GOTD becomes a dot on the map and links to a photo or headline to remind students about the lesson.
‘I mix randomly because I know those wonderful “connections” between old and new GOTDs will show up anyway. I repeat very often. Students have the following “homework” daily: talk about the GOTD at home to rehearse and consolidate their knowledge. I also run a quiz every 14 days on the old GOTDs to keep the knowledge alive.’ (Micael Hermansson).
Mini Classes are held four times / week and every class is approximately 7-10 minutes long. They all consist of the following elements:
A clue laid out the day before to inspire students and help get their thoughts going. Example: “deep, deeper, deepest” which refers to the Mariana Trench.
The lesson begins with the pupils guessing what the clue refers to. This happens individually, in pairs or as a whole class. Then a simple presentation follows: a PowerPoint with about three slides, but the board works just as well. Students take notes in GOTD-book (one page / thing) and they all draw a picture.
Putting the GOTD picture and a small description on the world map.
Asking students: Are there connections to a former GOTD?
It ends with giving the students a new clue for tomorrow’s Gadget of the day.
‘I made a long list of people, places and events that I base the lessons on. The presentation usually consists of three slides and contains headings, key words and a few pictures. Another important aspect – which I put a lot of time – is to get interesting, exciting and / or different curiosities. Students remember the GOTD much better if this is included.’ (Micael Hermansson)
Students taking notes in a special GOTD-book. One thing a page with the students’ own notes and drawings. In the book students write at which GOTD we are (which number), what’s today’s date, the title and the key information (when, where, why is it famous and so on). They all have to include the curiosities as well.
‘It’s amazing what effect these short stories have on the rest of my lessons: It’s like a ball of yarn. Whatever we are working on, there are always threads leading back to one I told them about earlier, to one of the GOTDs.’
Micael Hermansson describes himself as a typical middle school teacher: eager to learn, and a fairly wide field of knowledge. He loves quizes. Moreover, he believes strongly in the narrative as a tool to up students’ curiosity and their desire for knowledge.
‘A few years ago I had a boy with a brain injury. He needed for me to talk a lot more, but I noticed it not only favoured him, but it favoured many more, including those who do not always feel that school is fun. That’s when I started thinking about this model.’
Fifteen minutes every morning, that’s the time it will take. Planning must not become overpowering.
Micael Hermansson has a list of 100s of people, places and events that all fit and that he could speak about. He tries to find a spread among subjects from different perspectives: historical-, current-, scientific- and/or gender-related: Everything is possible. Sometimes he takes a moment and lets students read on.
“The fact that the lesson is so short makes all students remember something, and afterwards they can choose for themselves whether they want to go ahead in learning about the subject or whether what they got from me is enough. I like that model”, says Micael Hermansson.
Micael wrote a book on GOTD in 2015, which sold out immediately. He was also voted Swedish Teacher of the Year in 2015.
Spread the ‘Gadget of the Day’ to every kid around the world
Understand what the options are, what decisions need to be made and what needs to be done step-by-step.
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- How should I further productize my idea? Through a portal or an app? (How) can we set up trials other European educational environments?
- With whom can I best collaborate in order to build a solid, safe fundament towards the future? And how can I establish strategic partnerships? What unexpected partnerships like Toys’r Us or large Retailer Shops can we think off?