As I mentioned, I had the real pleasure of speaking at TeachMeet Creative Classrooms Edition at the Scottish Book Trust in Edinburgh last night. Because of last minute problems, I had to change my topic and opted to speak about my ongoing CfE-Time Detectives project. Here’s a wee update!
If you’ve been following my posts, you’ll realise that they are currently password protected. Similarly, the wiki is set to private. Both these measures are temporary because, as I said last night, if you search for my name, it’ll only take seconds to find my blog… and because of the nature of the project, I don’t want my class finding out the ‘answers’ that way! They’ve got to work for them! 😉
If you have seen me speak about it, or if you are a teacher interested in finding out more at the moment, you can contact me here: http://about.me/nwinton and I’ll give you the passwords and add you to the wiki!
The one thing everyone has been asking me about is my use of Glogster. I’ve always liked it, and have played with it a bit in the past, but this is the first time I’ve found a means of making it a useful tool for enabling learning. In essence, the whole project revolves around a research and investigation. As I mentioned last night, I’ve called it CSI:CfE, or MrW:CSI or some such. The class have been directed to the Glog(?) which is at http://nwinton.glogster.com/cfe-time-detectives, and that has given them access to some of the ‘clues’ I’ve placed on the Glog. (There is an annotated guide to them on the wiki)
The basic idea is that, they have to research all the objects, and try to find the narrative that links them. To do this, they are expected to use as many different sources they can think of. I’m awarding extra ‘investigation points’ for every book they use, or person they contact, or other source they use. In addition, they have been told they must keep a note of every source they use. If they don’t keep the sources and references, they can’t use the materials in their final project.
Incidentally, the way I put this notion to them was to produce a very quick ‘Powerpoint’ that I put together on lighthouses. I then gradually removed all the copyright infringing materials, and also any text that had only been ‘copied and pasted’. You can see the slides here, and you are welcome to take it and use it yourself.
As I’ve already said, the area I am interested in evaluating is the actual research skills. That will be expanded to guiding them into making the most effective use of all the materials they uncover. It is very much the case that it is the process that is the important thing, not the tools, and ultimately, not even the finished project. (I’m keeping quiet about what that may be in case any of the class are watching! 😉 )
One thing I will share with you is my attempt to reference the possible skills used in the project and process to the E&Os for Curricuum for Excellence. This does, however, come with a MAJOR HEALTH WARNING! This is NOT about ‘ticking boxes’! If you think that is what CfE is about, you’ve fundamentally misunderstood the changes it brings. What it is about, is seeing where I might find evidence of learning depending on what happens next. I do not expect every Outcome to be covered (…in fact, if it is, I’ll sell the plan to every school in Scotland and retire to the Caribbean!), but I do want to be prepared for finding evidence where ever it may appear.
My thoughts are in an Excel file here: Time Detectives Poss EnOs
And finally, I will be sharing all my thoughts and work on this unit once it has been completed and I’ve carried out an evaluation. Thanks for showing an interest! 😉