Tag Archives: passive

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A Space for Developing Historical Interests and Comprehension

As many of you already know, I am very interested in working on the subject of passive to active learning.  I overheard a young lady voice frustration around not understanding a class reading and bemoaning the idea of having to produce a lengthy writing around it.  I have since spent time reflecting on how to produce a tool that would visually aid students  to understand what they have read and potentially increase their desire to know more about historical events and human strife.

This exercise requires students to have read assignments before attempting to complete the exercise.  They should leave the exercise space prepared to begin writing around themes in the reading.

Utilizing a web app, students would be able to pose a question around a reading, construct keywords, and then recreate visually what they perceive is going on within a passage by placing  contemporary images in a grid that represents the action within the text.  Students would have the ability to rearrange the images in the grid.

For example, if the reading was about the French Revolution, students could focus their responses around other themes besides the main theme and use the keywords to help form contextual questions to help them populate the grid.  The option to add more rows to the grid would be available if students wanted to work in a larger space.

For instance, to answer the question why did the peasants revolt, students would be able to visually answer that question with the use of contemporary images to describe conditions around human hunger, greed, female suffrage or any of the other factors that figured in the politics of the day.  Having created the visual grid, students should be positioned to write with a better understanding of the various themes within the text.

A backchannel could also be made available that would allow other students to comment on the question posed in the main space.  Their discussions could be around other historical events that are similar to the topic in the main space.  This comparison is meant to help develop interest in and understanding of other historical events, either past or present.

Teachers could introduce this tool to students at the beginning of the semester, so that students gain familiarity before using the tool in their personal spaces.

Project Proposal: Building a path from passive to active learning

I want to build a website to address the issue of passive learning and to provide a framework in which parents can explore new options for their children, by identifying failing schools and comparing them to schools who have a proven track record of success in educating children through engaging students through a combination of progressive and traditional learning. By highlighting the successes of these schools (i.e, showing student collaboration on projects, increased subject interest through research, making and building, and exploring how technology encourages blended learning through digital practices) parents can gage new educational options and understand children can be educated within combined progressive and traditional methodologies.

The website will allow visitors to view maps of both failing and successful schools, and will also provide different data visualizations around success rates and curriculum, trajectories for successful careers as well as consequences for failure.

A space would be provided to invite writers to contribute articles around the many ways technology could be used in the classroom. This space would be specific to technology, as a way to glean the possibilities for in-depth training in the area.

The website will also provide space for discussion around curriculums and ongoing projects at different schools.