Last week I attended the Global Leadership Summit and it was, as usual, amazing. One speaker I thoroughly enjoyed was Susan Cain, author of Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. Yes, I am an introvert. I prefer to be alone and although I love collaborating, I do my best work when I am by myself. I get terrified talking in front of groups. Two days ago I spoke at our faculty retreat on the subject Inspiring Learning by Empowering Students and I spent the weekend dreading how I would get through it. Through the grace and power of God, I did~! I find that if I visualize what I want to do beforehand, that helps. Our faculty knows that I walk around each day, at some point, to connect with others around campus. Believe me, this is not in my nature. I have to force myself to go out and talk to new people. It is not my comfort level!
Many of our students are introverts. In fact, it may be as many as 50%.
(Sorry, Susan…I am not an artist! You are much prettier than this note!)
How can technology help introverts? I can think of many ways but I want to share just two:
Moodle Discussion Board! (or use of LMS discussion board posts)
I am specifying Moodle simply because our university uses Moodle. However, there are many other platforms that may be used such as Edmodo, Canvas, Blackboard, etc. Why use discussion board posts when students can have a discussion in class? (Did you read the title? smile) — to help reach our introverted students. Students may not be as apt to speak up in class and more apt to have a deeper discussion using a forum post. Allow for different discussion formats in your class and try out using a discussion/forum post at least a few times in the semester if you have the tools available to you!
As a Google apps school, we have EASY access to Google sites. A site can be created with just a few clicks and students may use it to blog about any question or topic. Try having them research a topic of interest in your content area and teach the class about it through a blog post! Google sites allows for privacy control so the site may be shared with just the instructor, the school, or the world. We were discussing at our retreat the fact that many students do not read their text books. How about having them blog about each of their reading assignments? They can write about what stood out to them the most, state their opinion, or even ask questions of their peers.