A Big Idea and Some Big Questions

Posted: April 22, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about creating a digital museum for ancient history with my 5th graders next year. I know, there is still plenty of time left in this year. But, something this big needs time to develop.

I am part of a group at my school that is working together to understand and begin to implement more Project Based Learning. We are using the excellent online resources of the Buck Institute to learn about true, unadulterated PBL. So, the plan is for each of us to work on a unit we already teach that could be transformed into PBL. Then, we meet and help each other do the nitty-gritty of crafting driving questions, planning assessments, and coming up with ways to have a more public final something (which I find the hardest).

Once again, I have found myself with eyes bigger than my stomach. (Anyone who has seen me in front of a dessert buffet will have a clear picture here.) Instead of thinking about a unit, my idea involves tackling an entire subject area. In fact, I have had this idea rumbling around for months already. I have “put it away” many times and “gotten it back out” just as many. At the moment, it’s out again.

Every time I spend some time with the idea, I drag more folks into the project  get more people interested in working on the museum. So far this list includes:

At the moment, though, I am a bit stuck on the big question of what format to use for the base of the whole thing. I have not let this stop me, but it has slowed up my planning. Instead of really diving in, I am flitting around the edges, which is starting to feel unproductive.

So, I am asking for some ideas.

Here’s what I want:

  • to create “pieces” in many formats (text, audio, combination)
  • to embed these “pieces” on some home site
  • to be able to edit the site (during the year and year to year)
  • some ability to comment or contact us (my class/school) as creators
  • something that looks good
  • something that is a somewhat flexible

Question mark made of puzzle piecesI know about and can find out about lots of great web tools that will allow my students to create the individual pieces (some which can be embedded elsewhere, some would have to be links out). And, there are more being created every minute. What I don’t know is what the base site should be. At the moment, I’m imagining that my options are wiki or google site, but I’d love some advice.

What do you think?

Anyone else interested in being involved in the project?

(Photo by Horia Varlan used under Creative Commons license.)

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