Greetings! Welcome to the newly launched Veritas Debate Library Blog for Forensics Educators. Now that Nationals is over we can all begin working in earnest on next year’s topic. I have heard some educators refer to some kind of “Summer Break,” but Debate Folks don’t seem to have those endless days of tourist travel, lakeside lounging or lazy days at the pool. Debate Folks are different - some of us pack up and spend weeks at summer camps with the very students everyone else is trying to escape from. Others of us will begin to create from scratch educational materials for this crazy class we teach that has a constant kaleidoscope of changing topics every year, every semester, every two-months, every month. My non-debate-coach colleagues think it is absolutely crazy that the students of the nation will vote on what I will teach next year. But this is also what we love about the craziness that is Debate Pedagogy.
As a means to that end, while also pondering the famous statement that "golf is a good walk spoiled." I’ve created some materials to help the novices that I will soon meet to quickly develop an understanding of some of the seminal legislation and court rulings that govern education policy. Like many of you, I won’t start introducing this material when school starts, I’ll start a few weeks before that, in August, at a summer camp explaining the foundational concepts of education policy. My colleagues also can’t believe that debate students work all summer for the upcoming year. I like to imagine that they are jealous of my students’ enthusiasm. I suspect that they actually think I’m a workaholic.
SO, let me set the scene . . . its summer, kids are wearing flip flops, shorts, neon things. Outside, the sun is bright, inside we are beginning to delve into the fabulous world of education regulations. A lecture from me would be pretty dull compared to all the joy of summer, so I’ve made a US Education Regulation QR Gallery Walk. Just Print and post the Gallery Signs around your room or down a hallway. Give each of your kids 8 sticky notes and have them download a QR Reader to their phone or ipad. They scan the QR Code, watch/read the related link, and write their response to the question on the sticky note and stick it on the wall. That’s it. You can sit at your desk sipping lemonade (yeah, right) while the kids browse and get a quick intro to the topic.
The nice thing about the QR code is that it can link kids to written sources, videos, podcasts, songs or any media that is more interesting than me talking at the front of the room while they take notes.
Best of luck with your summer teaching, prepping, and camping,
The Old Coach