Changes between Version 2 and Version 3 of ToolboxManual

12/21/06 17:06:11 (13 years ago)

Added the first chapter.


  • ToolboxManual

    v2 v3  
    5454Describe the new skill that the teacher now has, with links to further information (other chapters and resources) and tips on using that skill in practice. 
     57== Chapter 1: You're all out of ideas and your pupils are bored == 
     59=== What will you learn in this chapter? === 
     61The Learning Toolbox is not just about learning content - there's also a rich collection of pedagogical activities, games, and other techniques that you can use in your own teaching. 
     62You're going to enjoy your classes yourself and it's going to be much more interesting for your pupils. If everything goes right, they'll be queueing to get into your classes, and you'll be the great teacher that's the talk of the whole school. 
     64=== Before we begin... === 
     66Right, glad you're with us. We're just about to start this chapter. But first, take a minute to set up your browser windows. Why, you ask? Because you'll need to read this chapter on one browser window and every now and then do something on another browser window. Ok? So start a new browser window (select File, New, Window, or click Ctrl-N, or Mac-N, or something...) and open the [ Toolbox front page] on it. Then adjust the two browser windows so that you can easily switch between them, and they're both wide enough so you don't need to scroll sideways to see the whole page. Ready? Buckle up... 
     68=== Where's the pedagogy? === 
     70OK, looking at the Toolbox front page it might not be immediately clear where the pedagogy is. Any ideas? Feel free to try a few links on your other browser window to see if you can find it. You can always get back to the front page by clicking on the logo at the top left of the page. (SCREEN SHOT HERE) 
     72Did you find it? It's the "Activities" section. All main sections of the Toolbox are always shown on the top of the page. The activities section is meant to be a repository for descriptions of various techniques, approaches, games, and other tricks that you can use to enrich your teaching. The repository is growing all the time as teachers are adding their own ideas into it, and you can too, but that'll have to wait for a bit. OK, go to the Activities section front page it you're not there already. 
     74=== Collaboration is a good thing, right? === 
     76You'll see a few thumbnails of some activities, and underneath them some links that you can use to browse the repository. But what should we try to look for? You might have some ideas already, but I'm going to be rude and just decide that we need to find a collaborative activity for now. I mean, the whole CALIBRATE project is about providing new ways to enhance collaborative learning. And it's all the rage in educational research. In short, it's cool. 
     78So the task is to find collaborative activities. Any ideas on how to find them? Go ahead and try. (SCREEN SHOT OF ACTIVITY SECTION FRONT PAGE) 
     80Any luck? There's no direct link that says "collaborative activities", so you need to try something else. Some other things that are cool are tags. Could they help you here? 
     82Right, there's a link "tags" in the lower half of the page, with a couple of example tags. These examples are the most commonly used tags for activities. I see "group work" there, which is sort of related to collaboration, but isn't really the same thing. To see all the tags, click on the "tags" link. (SCREEN SHOT OF ACTIVITY TAG CLOUD) 
     84Aha! In this "tag cloud" we see all kinds of interesting things. But let's not wander away from out main task. Click on the "collaboration" tag an let us see what kind of collaborative activities Toolbox has. Now, the list you see shows small images of the activities, and some descriptive information, like the name and tags. 
     86Now I know for a fact that one extremely good collaborative technique is the "Jigsaw". Locate that from the list of activities, click on it, and read through it. It's a concise recipe for doing a jigsaw group work, which can probably fit into a 1,5 hour lesson slot quite nicely, or if not, it can be completed during several lectures. If you want more information on Jigsaw, there should be an easy way to get to that information. 
     88=== Before you leave the computer === 
     90If you found the Jigsaw method to be interesting, you might want to make it easier to find in the future. Now, you could store it as a bookmark or favourite in your browser, but what I'd actually recommend is that you add it to your own Toolbox collection. Why? Because that way also others who might look at your profile will see that you've collected the Jigsaw method, and know that you're interested in collaborative learning techniques. Later on you might even get some advice and tips from other teachers with more experience in collaborative learning. Try to add Jigsaw to a collection now, you can always later remove it if you no longer need it. You'll need to create a new collection if you don't already have some. You can call it something like "Interesting activities" if you want. 
     92=== Your new skill === 
     94Hey, congratulations! In just this short time you've learned many essential skills about the Toolbox that allow you to improve your own teaching. Here's what I think you've learnt: 
     95 * You've learnt that tags are a powerful way of finding resources. From a tag cloud you can easily look for words that you're interested in, and see what's been tagged with those words. 
     96 * You've learnt that the Toolbox contains useful techniques and methods that you can use in your own teaching, to improve student motivation, improve learning results, and to generally have more fun. 
     97 * You've learnt to add interesting and useful resources into collections for easy retrieval. 
     99Using these skills you can now browse the activities repository of the Toolbox with ease, and find more ideas to try out in your lessons. But this is just the beginning of a great journey! In future chapters you'll learn how to create lesson plans, join communities of like-minded teachers, collaboratively improve learning material with other teachers, and much more. (LINKS TO FURTHER CHAPTERS) My suggestion for now is to spend 15 minutes to browse the activities and see what's there. And then go do something else, sleep well, and return to the Toolbox tomorrow when your brain has organized your new skills.