Tinkering in education

While tinkering in education sounds as though we are just dabbling in the art of educating, it refers to the “tinkering” that is now a part of our Web 2.0 world.  Web 2.0 refers to the “new” world wide web where users are pushing the content.  It is a daily feed of thoughts and creation by the users of the http://www.  This week, we were asked to use GoogleDocs as a tool for working as a team with a partner to create a lesson where students would be able to use the tool to create a document.  In a previous blog, I had mentioned some of my thoughts regarding using GoogleDocs in this way.  I had previously used it for a group assignment in a class myself and it was fantastic.  It allowed us to create a document and presentation together without losing work and being able to see the progress made.  We were able to do this without face-to-face meeting.  Which in the views of some, could be a downside.  Yet, as we were all adults who had email addresses and no concerns about potential thwarting of our social skills growth by not meeting face-to-face, again, it worked great for us.

For use with students, my partner, Marianne and I decided to pair our 5th and 1st graders up to be reading buddies.  They chose a book and then added to a book reviews document answers to questions about plot, character, likes/dislikes, and recommendations for others.  This allowed us to have the students work on a variety of skills and create something they can use in other ways later, reading it to help select a book, and build upon, by having them produce reviews in other formats.  The students loved the project and look forward to seeing their list of reviews grow as they read stories. There is nothing we like better then offering our opinions on things and having others consider them in making their own choices. In this way, the goal is to create document where the students can go later to decide the next book they would like to try.  Also, in the vein of having the project and their skills grow, we selected a course where the students could continue to do this, but using other media.  We would like to hopefully find a way to have them vlog their reviews sometime in the future.  Student Book Reviews


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