Category Archives: scribing

Release the Hounds

A great presentation by Chris Harbeck (blog) at the K12 Conference.

He divides the presentation into 4 learning journeys involving blogging, e-portfolios and unprojects.

Scribe posting – a ‘scribe’ in blogging terms is where a student volunteer records and summarises the class activity. The summary is placed on the class blog or wiki with the intention that a new student takes on the scribing duties every class day. The intention is to produce a class textbook by students for students. One of the key aspects is that each summary includes images, colour, even audio and video elements to describe the content. They also include what Chris refers to as 21st Century learning tools i.e. bubbleshare, voicethread to make the scribe more understandable. Key to this that the students must understand that the scribe posts are being read by their teacher, classmates, and people from around the world.

The teachers role, apart from having the courage to let the students scribe in the first place, is to allow students to know who can be the next scribe and to comment on scribe posts to show that the scribes have an audience. The latter is very important – it lets the blogger knew they have an audience and in doing so pushes them further but also provides them with feedback.

[slideshare id=119097&doc=scribepost2512&w=425]

View examples

Growing posts – instead of creating many blog posts as they would say for a journal the students instead create and maintain only one post and adds to it until it is completed. Essentially the student just keeps editing the post content. Additionally each student is asked to read each others growing post and leave comments (again automatically in doing so you provide each blogger with an audience). The growing post therefore is added to through feedback.

As an example he highlights a particular students’ (Ingrid) growing post which uses, in addition to text, animation and images to explain the topic.

The time period for growing posts is discussed. Essentially there are two types: one, where the student answers a different question everyday with a separate growing post or second, as an assignment over a period of days/week (thus allowing for home work).

In terms of assessment Chris first asks the student to do a self evaluation and then leave it as a comment on their growing post. He then asks the student to evaluate 2 other students in the class, again leaving comments. And finally he adds his own evaluation to each growing post (as a comment).

[slideshare id=120903&doc=growing2981&w=425]

View examples

E-portfolios – Some great examples. For instance his students have created portfolios with the intention of teaching their parents specific math topics. The portfolio contains key information and questions for the parents to answer. As per the blogs the portfolio content uses highly visual elements to explain the topic. This is good example of learning and reaching understanding about a subject through the act of teaching it.

[slideshare id=125996&doc=eportfolios4190&w=425]

View examples

Unprojects: I like the concept of this. Basically the students having undergone the preceding learning journeys are equipped with the necessary technology and storytelling skills to create a an online project. The choice of project topic and where they will locate it (wiki, blog0 is left to them. Basically Chris provide them with a lot of freedom here and he is very truthful about the outcomes: some students will do the minimal work while others will exceed all expectations.

For success he identifies several key elements the students must sign up to:

* They are in the drivers seat. Not the teacher. This is the students chance to showcase their learning. Amplify their knowledge not mirror content.
* Choose a project they like.
* Be prepared to live by a deadline.
* Show creativity but still show an understanding of the subject content.
* Teach other students how to use new tools and applications.

And as for the teachers part:
* Give students a deadline to achieve this part of the assignment.
* Once this part is done the teacher needs to step back and let the students be creative. Do not step in their way. Let the students be as creative as they can.
* The teacher is a resource to sound ideas off of not the creative force in these projects.

[slideshare id=125206&doc=unprojects4274&w=425]

View examples here and here

Full presentation here

For more detail and further examples visit the presentation wiki here.

Also his blog which he uses to teach students is worth a look (here).