A bit of time has passed since my last post so I shall give a quick update before I contribute my more detailed one. Although the project is never far from my mind, it felt as though we had slowed down with our movement on it. Last week, however, Victoria spent a day working on it and this Friday both Victoria and Justine will be devoting their total attention to it.
What stands out for me the most in this project is the time and thought that goes into its creation. I have spent many hours going to various in-services and discussed at length the possibilities of it. Last Friday, for instance, Justine attended an HTA conference as did I on the Saturday. Both of us came back with lots of ideas to share that might be used in the project. There was a lot of useful information given on the new curriculum and how it could be delivered to our students. In addition, there was excellent discussion of issues like literacy for the history student. We shall explicitly incorporate important literacy skills in our programme as we believe it is an important role of the history teacher.
We have still not made a final decision about whether to purchase tablets or ipads, although we have moved closer to making a decision on the platform we shall use to present this project. We plan to present it on a website giving ease of access across all schools. By pooling resources from teachers and family we can produce this. We will still provide a hard copy version but the digital version will be the preferred mode of delivery.
Over the holidays we have created an assessment task(for our work on China) that was backward mapped to achieve the desired outcomes for the students. The task involves the creation of a digital mind map which is then used to create an extended piece of writing. Students will be collaborating to construct these mind maps.The classes would become familiar with the nature of the task by doing a similar one in class before completing it as an assessment. The assignment itself will be delivered on Edmodo which has a similar interface as Facebook. One of the classes is already using this tool for both class and assignment work.
Before beginning China we wrote an overview for the topic. While it had a lot of interesting material it has taken much longer than our syllabus writers would want it to take. It should only take about 5 hours of our class time. Over the next few weeks we shall also be amending this part of our program so that it too can be delivered effectively to the other four schools. I anticipate that a large part of the overview will be selected pieces of audio-visual material, mind maps, power points and maps. The idea is to give them the ‘big picture’ of ancient civilizations before they inquire into a specific one (in our case Ancient China).
The last week has seen a lot of progress. More to come soon!!