Monday, February 21, 2011

Personal Learning Environments for Inquiry in K12 Week 2 #plek12

Topic of Inquiry:
A few years ago I was asked to come help in a science classroom. It was the end of the quarter. All around the room were huge posters. The teacher had assigned a project where students took photos of various plants showing growth over time. The photos were pasted on big pieces of poster board and a description written next to each picture. When I walked in, kids were ripping the posters off the wall and tearing them to shreds. The project was over, time to move on.  I was struck by how sad this was. All that work and for what?
I often hear students say at the end of the year they don't need any of their work. It's done and over with. We have some great projects going on, but for some reason, it's hard to collect and share them publicly. We have so many options for storing work: web space, Google Apps for Ed, E-mail, blogs, wikis, Nings, the list goes on and on.

My questions:
  • Is it too hard to collect digital projects?  
  • Is it that teachers don't know how to share or is it just a part of teaching culture that as soon as we are done with one project we must quickly move on the the next topic? 
  • Are teachers uncomfortable sharing student work? 
  • Does it take too long to organize student work to be shared?
  • Can students help in the process?
I intend to find out how difficult it is to collect work. Using some of the tools we'll be exploring in class, I aim to take a look at this practice and see if I can develop ways to help teachers and students show and celebrate student work.  

1 comment:

Valerie said...

What a wonderful post. Sharing student work (portfolios and beyond) is so important. A lot of teachers, myself included, find it difficult to share because we struggle with which tools to use and how to find (manage) the time to do this. One key to opening this door is having students help in the process in some capacity. This is a shift in teaching/learning that many teachers need training and confidence in.