Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Recently I have begun to write a column called "Curriculum Connections" in our weekly newsletter "Technology Times". The brainchild of Dave Miller, IT Manager at the OCDSB, this newsletter reaches out to our learning community to provide communication on any number of initiatives. I see this as an opportunity to archive some of the curriculum ideas that have been the foundation of the workshops that we have provided. 

I had meant to cross-pollinate to this blog weekly, but this year being what it was, I have only now been able to turn my non-vampire eye to the task. (If that doesn't peak your interest, I don't know what will!)

Here then is the first column. I'll get the next few up as fast as super-humanly possible.

Digital Collaboration

In 2007, Andrew Church ranked digital and multi-media skills along the revised (2005) Blooms Taxonomy. Check out the diagram below to discover where skills such as creating videos or designing wikis situate. His Communication Spectrum ranks “Texting” as a Lower Order Thinking Skill, while “Collaborating” is found at the top of the Higher Order Thinking Skills.

What are the implications of this Digital Taxonomy? While students appear to be tech-savvy, communicating easily through text and instant messaging, they are not deep-thinking in their multi-tasking communications. The collaboration involved in creating a digital story (storyboarding, taking appropriate shots, editing, publishing) leads to critical inquiry and problem solving. A wiki is a collaborative tool designed for groups to discuss, contribute, moderate and edit collegially. The evolution of one student texting another, to many students working together to design, plan, produce, and invent, takes place by scaffolding their prior knowledge, and engaging them with familiar tools (computer, handhelds, Internet).

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