Thursday, January 17, 2013

Third Grader Researchers and Work Flow

What is your personal workflow system? Which tools do you use in your personal as well as professional world to manage information in performing tasks? In the field of education, we talk more in terms of a student's personal learning system but it still comes down to work/learning and the process of being efficient and successful. Students use hardware as in iPads, computers, and phones loaded with the software/apps that helps them find information, process and curate it, to then communicate their findings and understanding. 

Our Third Graders are on track to develop their own personal learning systems. The image above is a screenshot of one way the students are doing research on specific animals. The left side of the image is of a browser open to the Encyclopedia Britannica. The right side is of the Inspiration mind mapping software. 

Many of the Third Graders are using this split screen technique to read from websites to then process their findings and record the information into the notes attached to each category symbol in Inspiration. Other students like to have a full view of both the website and of their mind map. They read from the website, minimize the window and then maximize the mind map from the system tray to record their notes. 

The Third Graders began the process of developing their personal learning system last year when they worked on the ColonialQuest WebQuest. They used websites and books to record their notes into paper notebooks. This year they are using paper to record notes from books they are reading in the classroom. They will draw from the paper and digital notes to write their papers. 

As they progress through the Lower School into the Middle School, the students will start using our Haiku learning management system, more Web 2.0 tools for creativity and collaboration, Noodle Tools for research, Google Apps for content creation and sharing, Mindmeister for creativity, planning and collaborating and many apps on the iPads that they will use to best support their learning needs and styles. 

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