Monday, 17 April 2006

Fluid collections: a disincentive to resource-based instruction?

by Doug Johnson

Doug described very well a problem when lessons are linked to resources (digital) which may disappear without notice. OK, even with notice is still as bad.

Tom Hoffman commented that it is an incentive to just use free resources on the web. Unfortunately, it does not solve the problem as well. Free resources, like locked resources in repository, are equally likely to disappear.

The traditional "resource-based instruction" starts with a collection of resources gathered by the teacher and ends with the same collection! This is time to think about maintaining the collection by the teacher AND students. Obviously, we will still start with a collection of resources gathered by the teacher. BUT it should be end with the same collection. As part of the learning process, students can annotate, comment, add and remove resources. Year in year out, this would evolve into a collection much more appropriate to the cohort.

To begin, the collection can be as simple as a list on a web page (a wiki page will be better).

OK, that also means that we are sending students to the wild weird world and they may encountered inappropriate matter during the search and raise a Pandora of issues and concern. What should we do? In the real world, when a student wants to leave the classroom for whatever reason, what do we do? We send another one to go along, right? May be students should also work in pair for Internet searching.

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