Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Science Fair Revolution: Putting the Trifold on Trial

(graphic by Tim Holt)
The digital shift revolution in educational practice isn't about throwing everything out that has been done before (sometimes to Ad nauseam) but to add projects & product choices that enhance learning and better demonstrate research assessments and the comprehension of data.

In other words: does a diorama and the science fair trifold with pasted on pictures & graphs really best show that the student has grasped the meaning and complexity of the research project. Really?


Several change agents in eduction are asking this question of late (including yours truly) and I would like to start that conversation here, too!
This also ties into the conversation Diane Cordell and I will be leading at EduCon in January (YAY!) The Power of the Product: Creative, Meaningful, & Daring Ways to Demonstrate Information Mastery : This conversation will create a shared list of viable, creative, meaningful, and daring products that demonstrate information mastery, go beyond the regular research report and span the digital divide. The products of this conversation (Google doc, Wallwisher, wiki, & Slideshare) will generate layers of sharing, producing, and value.

Diane Cordell - librarian, photographer, author of the blog Journeys and master researcher and brain trust that she is forwarded the blog of a great thinker Tim Holt from TX about moving away from Analog lessons to Digital lessons - see all28 pages of AWEsome PDF (wish I could embed it for you here!)

He also laments (ok, rants) about his annual call to arms to re-think the traditional science fair project - "Every Year at this time I rant about the need to get rid of science fair projects that rely on centuries old presentation methodologies and move our kids towards more of a, shall we say, modern approach?" - Tim Holt

Click the graphic to visit his site & watch the video. It's worth it.

Again, my stance is: don't rid of the analog - because we have to take into consideration access and the digital divide, but to add to it a menu of digital choices (and provide in-school creation time!) so that all our learning styles and modalities are taken into consideration.

Students...Parents...what do you think?

Not a sermon... just a thought!


Photos:
Screenshots from the video "A Vision of Science Fair Projects Today" from the Intended Consequences blog by Tim Holt

Power of the Product graphic by The Daring Librarian


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