Sunday, December 15, 2013

Searching visually and by reading level

A few times recently I've found myself searching and searching with students for good information. It has made me realize I haven't been modeling and teaching search skills enough for students to own a broad group of search strategies. These are two tools I'm really liking right now:

Instagrok is a visual search tool that creates a searchable mind map of ideas connected to your search term. It also allows you to search by reading level, gives key facts, and resources in various formats. (Thanks to Jason Kadonaga and his students for re-introducing me to this tool)

After seeing Instagrok found Google's reading level filters shown below. I'm not sure I would have listed this Encyclopedia Britannica article as "basic", but I did find some resources here that I was able to recommend to a student.

What search tools do you use? How do you teach search skills?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Initial Thoughts on the BC Science K-9 Draft Curriculum

Wordle: BC Science K-9 Draft Curriculum (Dec 2013)
Curriculum Documents:
I'm curious to see and hear how people respond to the Draft BC curriculum. Its great to see the Ministry of Education opening channels for public to provide feedback regarding the curriculum too ( I hope we get a sense of what the people of BC think of the changes.

I took some time recently to try digest the Science section of it and condensed it all onto 11 by 17 sheets as seen here. The wordle above illustrates the emphasis within the Science Curriculum. For me the phrase "competency driven and content based" captures the essence of the new drafts perfectly. The shift in emphasis is no doubt dramatic.

After pushing into Project Based Learning in a Bring Your Own Device environment I see all kinds of opportunity in this new curriculum for my own practice. I see the competency driven nature as a stronger structure with which we can continue to develop Educate citizens with the core knowledge and core competencies to be leaders of tomorrow.

What do you think about the change? Have you given feedback to the Ministry?