Wednesday, 14 January 2009
Futurelab, who are promoting an alternative to the national curriculum at key stage 3 entitled Enquiring Minds, have produced an online thinking tool cleverly entitled Exploratree (exploratory, get it?!) Having registered, the user is able to create thinking guides (a bit like animated mind maps) which can be saved, printed, sent or shared with others. The site offers ready made structures for thinking that reflect the methodology of Enquiring Minds. Alternatively, users may wish to create their own guides from scratch. The real value of the site is the ability to work collaboratively on any given project and to set up groups. This means that a teacher or student could create a group, begin a thinking process and encourage others to collaborate on completing the process. In order to test whether or not this is an interesting and/or useful exercise, I have begun a reverse thinking investigation, using one of the pre-designed guides, and invited the members of this blog to have a go at helping me complete it. You should all have received an email asking you to get involved. Perhaps you could leave a message on this post to ley me know if it's working (or not) and how you're getting on following the instructions and adding to the project. The idea is to work backwards from an "ideal" future in order to work out what steps need to be put in place in order to achieve it. This kind of structured thinking exercise might be a very useful feature of the new KS3 curriculum and sites like this, given appropriate access to ICT, could provide learners with opportunities to strengthen their thinking muscles.