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A weblog designed to share Geography resources with students and colleagues

Sunday, November 15, 2009

How did the dabble do?

Categories: s1 and s2, Limestone, Advanced Higher

This post is mostly a follow up to the dabbleboard one the other day. I am looking at a collection of thoughts from my s3 who have been collaborating on a board since Thursday. I set some homework around conflicts in an upland limestone landscape. I am not sharing the link as it can be edited by anyone I share it with, but hopefully the picture above is a fair indicator of the potential in this resource. This is a fantastic way to let a class or a smaller group work around a topic. I like as a teacher seeing a variation in the depth of the information presented by the students, and I suppose in a way this kind of activity gives people an opportunity for extension, while being inclusive of the range of abilities in the class. I can also see some great discussion points for tomorrows lesson where we can address some issues of understanding or simply tease a bit more out of the points. Finally, I wonder how the class would fare if I presented a question or a series of questions where this was the 'textbook'? Would the information be sufficient, for instance, to provide a well exemplified response? This is a nice way to self assess the work that has been done and give students a bit of responsibility for their own learning. Overall, despite one individual trying to initiate the chat (no takers), I am very pleased with the output, particularly as this was a class who struggled to properly engage with the social aspect of etherpad last year. I suppose that in itself is a small triumph for the class too.
New s1 rotation tomorrow, I am handing the reins to Miss Lamont for a few weeks, which should allow me to sort a potential project with another school involving this class, while Advanced Higher are revisiting critical evaluation. I feel I handled the feedback from the last exercise quite poorly in retrospect, thinking that by holding it back I would allow individuals to focus on a piece of work due for Friday. I was reminded of Neil Winton's assertion that we should let students experience failure, and I think that by presenting the students with the gaps in their work, I would probably have served them better for Friday's hand in. Even though I think I did what I did for the right reasons, it had the wrong desired impact, so I feel a lot of responsibility to help the class get this right tomorrow.
Lastly, I am now on google wave. I haven't even started to consider the pros and cons of student use, but I have been very impressed with the way in which during a very short time period today, some colleagues and I managed to make some real headway in a collaborative project around Pixar movies. If you are a geography colleague and are interested in this, please contact me here or through twitter


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