This is a twist on the traditional subject project; it is suitable for creating projects on almost any subject e.g. animals, history or Geography or any specific area within these broader subjects e.g. horses, The Romans or India. In this example, learners were investigating beetles.
The learners or the teacher picks a relevant subject – in this case beetles – and learners are given the task of collecting as much information as possible regarding the topic. It will help if you start by drawing a list of subheadings so as to aid learners in organising their research and findings. This works well as a group activity where the group is sub-divided and given specific roles e.g. Editor, Graphic designer, copy writer etc. You may also find it beneficial to discuss with them what types/sources of information are available e.g. text, pictures, photos, audio, video.
When the learners have collected all the information they’ll require, they’ll need to organise, abridge and disseminate their information. The goal is to create an online-encyclopaedia with all their findings, so they’ll need to create content (images, texts, videos, audio etc.). In this example an extra homepage was created: http://kaeferatlas.de/~ka9/index.htm but the results could also be documented in a wiki. A wiki is a website which allows its users to add, modify, or delete its content via a web browser. We used www.wikispaces.com just go to the homepage and follow the instructions. You’ll be offered an interactive tutorial/tour of the site – take it! This is one we created in about 20mins: http://taccle2e-encyclopaedia.wikispaces.com/
What do I need?
- Internet access
- (digital camera, audio recorder etc.)
- http://www.wikispaces.com/ (or similar)
Children are confronted with a multi-faceted task. They not only have to gather relevant information but also present it effectively by creating online content. They learn that sharing information is an important part of communicating ideas and knowledge.
Hints and tips:
The pupils should not only get information from books and online search engines, but also gather information in the field. Provide them with digital devices and let them record sounds, take pictures and record themselves discussing topics and ideas.
Initially, if you’re not too confident, don’t worry about adding widgets etc.
You should make sure that the information presented online is licence free
Other opportunities to use the same software:
- You can create a Wiki on absolutely anything – give it a try!
- Particularly good for pupils transitioning from primary to secondary school – they can start it in primary school (list their hopes, fears etc) and continue it in secondary school. They can also upload “My favourite piece of work” or “Photos of us on our school-leavers trip.
- URL of a similar project in Romania http://clasa1simonapetran.blogspot.com/