I’m still thinking about the next version of the projects booklet for this summer’s workshops. I’m thinking about types of interaction. What kinds can you think of? Here’s what I have so far:
- Presentation followed by Q&A. The basic exchange used in MI Week Exchange (the original exchange started in 1997), Read Around the Planet (which was based on MI Week Exchange), etc.
- Participation in each other’s presentations. This includes the snow ball fights, doing the actions along with the presenting class etc.
- Interacting with the other class’ content. Game shows, quiz shows, any academic challenges. Data collection projects. Role playing, mock trials, etc.
- Using the other class’ presented information to do something with it. MysteryQuest, Texas History Mystery, etc.
- Hands-on interaction. Gadget Works from COSI Columbus, and making puppets at the Center for Puppetry Arts.
- Bringing created objects to share and interact with. Monster Match, sharing worm farms, growing gardens, design projects.
- Dialogue, discussion, debate. True spontaneous conversations. Usually on hot topics: GNG’s discussions of hot topics, and MAGPI’s issue discussions.
Can you think of any other types of interaction? What am I missing?
I can’t think of any new types of interactions, but the one area that I think has a lot of potential to expand is #3., “Interacting with the other class’ content”. There are a lot of possibilities for this that would look a lot different in terms of student experience and teacher preparation.
I’ve been a big fan of Challenger Learning Center’s model of simulation problem solving in real time, and I wonder if there’s a way to get kids involved in creating and leading anything remotely close to this type of experience. Perhaps a case study where a topic, skill, or issue is presented to two sides initially in a VC. Each class then would then work on their own (a week perhaps) to create the scenario to be worked through, roles, and information needed. A time would be scheduled to then have the one class lead the other class through the scenario/case study/simulation and then the solution(s) would then be discussed and reflected upon. Following that, a time would be scheduled for the reverse – the other class to lead the initial class. I suppose it’s possible to have 3 or 4 groups in a multi-point where one site leads 2-3 other sites and they all rotate, but that might get too complicated.
My question is, with any of these amazing collaborative class-to-class VC structures, what level of support is needed for teachers? Do you take part in these collaborations – by request or at all times?
I plan on going through the projects booklet with the Regional Lead teachers (about 25-30) on our June 5 in-service – any chance the updated book will be ready by then 🙂 Thanks for this amazing resource!
On your other question – what type of support do teachers need. It’s a good one. I have found that the projects scale best when we can create the materials (website plus prep info) for the teachers and find them partners. Most of my higher level type projects haven’t happened without a lot of involvement on my part.
I have a three or four schools now who can dream up their own project and post in on CAPspace or CILC and get a partner. They tend to be projects like – pen pals, math riddles, etc. The simpler ones.
What do you think works best in Alberta for support?
I think you’re right, Danny, on expanding #3. I love the CLC problem solving too – and we did have some classes try to solve a crime scene via VC with another class. So that is getting closer to the idea you’re thinking of. We have to keep pushing these boundaries!
I’m really really trying to get the booklet done by May 21 before I go on a much needed vacation to a very warm place. 🙂 So stay tuned!
Love this thought process…I am working on a post related to where learning occurs.
What we have seen is that when we create the structure for the project with suggestions for interactions, it makes it easier for the teachers to implement in the classroom.
I agree with the area that I want to work more in is #3 and #4 to use to create projects that we will run for our schools.
Looking forward to the new booklet!
Here’s a list of activity structures that might add to the ideas you already have for types of interactions using VC based on a project that 2Learn.ca, the parent organization which oversees the Alberta VC Regional Leads Network, took part in with a school jurisdiction a couple years ago:
Great list of structures – Judy Harris’ work is very inspiring. Now I just need to figure out a way to get more pages in the booklet! Thanks for this link, Danny!
[…] activities to include a greater emphasis on class-to-class collaborations. Janine Lim wrote a great blog post about the types of interactions that can take place through VC as she updates her Project Booklet. As the VC Regional Leads Network […]