This page last changed on Apr 10, 2007 by cmcintyre.

[I started taking notes during one of the open sessions, but I was in and out a bit getting food and such, so the notes are not comprehensive...  Cynthia]

Jerry Valadez suggested that the storylines are crucial.  Kids are exposed to more expository text, for instance. Talked about assumptions about reading ability.  We don't allow kids who are really curious about frogs, for instance, to read more.  But offline, if kids are interested, they'll read all the way to the 12th grade level.  Sidebars shouldn't be optional - it's part of the whole set of resources available to the students.  Another sidebar for teacher resources to help them feel competent to teach this to students.
Brad described possible options - e.g., you must do 5 of the 10 available sidebars.  Jerry said that's limiting, too.

Scott described possibility of students or teachers adding their own sidebars.

Accessibility pieces re: transcript for videos (Ray Rose).

Ray described the kids - in the demo, they're all white.

Brad described backpack content.  Picking up icons or something for having done parts of the activity.  At the end of the day, you'll have a backpack of 10 things. 

Can you do anything with those things you collect?  Ray asked.

Carolyn said the visual representation of getting marbles or other icon (rubber ducks).  Kids get a sense of completion, but it also allows the teacher to walk around the room.  Provides reinforcement.

Jerry - incentifying things for kids.  Important for kids and adults, too.  Quick glance for teachers to quantify students or at least time on task.  Teachers get a sense of engagement.  Could be important assessment tool. 

Backpack could also include sample student work. 

Jerry - Not so much about covering material, but about getting material that's really interesting.  Allowing kids to get their own doctorates.

Chris - models or games that have sidebars that are important for moving on.  Separate skill sets or learnings.  Sidebar can be the metacognitive piece.  They discovered something along the way that becomes a piece in their backpack.  Can be a scaffolding piece along the way - use what you got earlier to solve this.  Prize becomes a piece of knowledge that can be applied.

Brad said it could be like an adventure game. 

Joe Suchan - off the wall idea!  Ducks in a row - at each level, students are assessed.  Are all your ducks in a row?  Question to show that they do understand. 

David Rose - you want to be careful about seeing the storyline as the main skeleton.  You can get into the main limitations for adventure games as well.  What was the question - clouds!  You want something that is clearly measuring have they understood clouds - that's the journey we really care about.  The graphic we want kids to understand - where am I in relation to the goal of where I am in understanding clouds.  What are we trying to answer here?  We do have all the relevant info, but you haven't put it together.  Careful in design that it's not taking trips. 

Carolyn - thinking about the question and thinking about it throughout the activity.

David - what a scaffold would do - help you know you don't have all the info you need yet.  Makes explicit that there are things you are going to need.  Kids who are advanced don't need scaffolding, they know they need to ask questions.  Mapping out the problem space.  Kids need to explore the kinds of info they will need.  How to put it back together to make an answer.  A lot of game stuff goes in the opposite direction - how to get to home base.  Getting around the trip in five minutes is NOT a good answer.

Wayne - games don't make you feel you're being remediated. 

David Rose - likes backpack analogy.

Stephen - you don't just get items in your pack.  You might need to categorize the things in your pack, to classify which are evidence, opinion, models, data.  An advanced student might be able to that herself.  Another student might need to see the categories.  Putting them in order helps you to accomplish some part of your story.

David - have the kids rate how useful this was to answer the question.  What is this info?  Is it helpful?  This is part of science.  Hopefully, there is info on that.

Wayne - Collect an advisor.  You've got an object, but you may not know everything about it.  An advisor could help you apply that in a new way.

Brad - described advisory character that goes with you, that you could create.  Avatar maker.  Serves as personal docent.  Carolyn said Thinking Reader allows you to pick between available avatars. 

Brad asked David about offering several types of avatars.  There are several mentors, said David - you need to show that there are more.  Different approaches you might take.  Model thinking aloud. 

Jerry - Role models of careers. 

Bob Tinker - some of the characters could have careers.  How did you get to be an engineer? 

Ray - what are you trying to get the kids to come out with? You need to think about that from the beginning - work backwards.  Ray says he doesn't hear backwards design in the description.  Brad said that's the main reason for the sidebar - to wrap objectives in one story.

Wayne - reminded about Anne Browne and Pallan Starr stuff - metacognitve stuff about probes.  Demonstrated to be pretty effective.  David said that's what Thinking Reader modeled their stuff after.

Brad - What's the thread? If you're reading the novel, it's the novel itself. 

Ed - the equivalent of the story is the puzzle - why does something work?  That's what drives the scientist.  It turned out to be an awkward structure.  Magic Schoolbus - trip.  The story is just a trip.  Anybody can take a trip on any level.  Different questions will have different approaches. 

Rick Abrams - described Science Court.  One student is an astronomer, another a scientist - important to collaborate.

Carolyn - said each question will be approached differently.  Clouds is in the form of a trip.

David - caution: danger is that the story starts to dominate. 

Wayne suggests dropping kids into an environment with rich objects. You have to think like a scientist. David says the major deficit in science teaching - they're reading about science, rather than doing it.  Kids think they're doing stories and the science is a sidebar.

Brad says we could eliminate the story in order just to answer the question. 

David - think about the historical evidence.  Since Lincoln believed in emancipation, why didn't he free all the slaves?  Original documents - painting, political cartoons letters, lots of sources.  There's no story - but a question. Scaffold the documents - do you want to see how a historian would look at this document.  Who wrote this and why?  What was their purpose?  They can answer the question, but the whole time, they were historians.  Help them categorize or organize (chart) - pro-slavery/anti.  Now, make your argument.  We want sense of kids doing science rather than reading a story.  Make everything a story where the science or the history is incidental. 

Brad is in favor of eliminating story if we can answer the questions.
Jerry V. - concerned about grade levels, and looking at this to establish a performance level.  Concerned we not try to put all kids in terms of grade levels (which are manufactured by politicians!).  Look at this as true performance levels.  It's the application we should pursue.  Brad completely agrees.  His question is about initial representation.  Say there's no story.  And there's x number of diff. paths.  Can go to a deeper level on this path or jump to another path.  Brad's reference to grade levels is a reference to standards.  Carolyn said we'll have further investigations. How much do we show from the start?  How much do we let it unfold?

Ray - suggests dropping kids into Second Life.  They're a scientist with a problem.  All the resources are somewhere on their island.  Everything.  So the kid who loves clouds can go wherever they want.  Playing off that model. 

Paul B - would questions be just the ones from the proposal?  Would you want to know about flames for some other reason?   David Rose thinks we have good questions.  David said he realized something he hadn't thought about - backwards design is not a good model for science.  We want some blind alleys.  We don't want a clear path.  There are five things you could try now.  Which experiment would you try is the key thing.  Scaffold so they use their time well.  Good questions/Not good questions.  Rather than trying to find the path. 

Stephen B - you want kids to deal with a difficult domain and persevere.  We need to construct lots of paths. 

Wayne - immersive gaming devices do that superbly. 

Scott - most games have a story, a framework.

Gail - what's the role of the teacher?  What's the difference between giving this to the kid? 

David - the live teacher!

Bonnie - teacher says this is just the computer. 

David - teacher becomes better teacher because they're focused.

Gail - provide professional development! 

David - need just-in-time PD

Chris - we've hit on lots of problems of science education.  We need to think of this as a web not a line, as connections kids make in order to learn something.  Standard needs to be a 7th grader understanding of what it takes to have a cloud.  Scaffolding - what would it be to get a lower cognitive level to get to that understanding.  If we turned on every support.  Chris loves the scientist plunked into a lab.  Teacher runs experiments in the classroom, outside reading, whatever it is that good teachers do, and tying it into this experience. "Remember when we did this in class... this might help you." 

Ray - ties to probes

Sherry Hsi - rich and interesting discussion... Observations: if we're designing for kids, we need to get feedback early and often, get feedback from kids.  Assumptions are being made about what works and what doesn't with kids.  Second: audiences at different levels at the Exploratorium - all over, from height (being able to reach things) to age.  Trying something first getting into an activity. Try this, then go back with "what's going on?"  Provide ways for kids to go further.  Pick your own adventure or pick.  Research on zoombinis - there should be puzzle connection (girls).  It's not necessarily the narrative.  Exploratorium launched an island in Second Life.  Might be platform for us.  Leverage technology like Retriever (pick a color).  Using media like other kids are using. 

Andy Z - comment about product created 10-15 years ago, Science Sleuth, like what we're describing.  Carolyn has these.  The case of the exploding lawn mowers... Video Discovery.  Go into newspaper archives to pull out records, do a test in the lab, definitely could go down blind alleys.  Puzzle to solve.  Interesting questions about production costs, complexity of doing something like this - a web rather than linear. 

Scott - how would you know if they solved the puzzle? 

Joe Oliver - remembers the bicyclist story.  In the end, you're asked to talk about the crime or incident.  You go back and interview.  They see right away if they're right or not.  Another role for the teacher. 

Rebecca - need to assess in multiple ways; another role for teacher.  Allow 6 or 7 different ways for kids to answer.

Paul B - student creates answer based on what they did. 

Carolyn - we can ask lots of questions.  How much assistance do we provide?  We hope that kids change their level or they need less scaffolding (would be sign of improvement).

David - not a good idea to think this whole experience is on a computer.  Teacher wants to know what she's doing.  What you do want is to embed the right things, take a probe (survey kids), then do real lab.

Brainstorming Session

Gail - go back and do sidebar if necessary; assessment and feedback loop should drive what they're doing.

Jerry - we're providing guided inquiry; textbooks are terminal experiences (Bob said "terminally boring"); text structure supports children on two facing pages - very limited!  Here, we have an opportunity to let kids diagnosed as "limited learners" go without limitations.  This is the investigation that is setting the stage to learn more about a particular topic, all to improve comprehension. 

Stephen - we don't have to call them sidebars.

Chris - enhance neural connections.  Go back to web concept.  What are the different connections kids can make?  How are we going to embed supports for kids to make those connections?  Experiential supports and guides.  Kids need to be probed and questioned.  Software tries to trick them/trip them up.  Teacher has to be integral part as well.  Software shouldn't provide whole experience.

Bonnie - A lot of teachers are glued to their books. 

Chris - they should be able to enter wherever they are conceptually.

Bob - virtue of non-linearity of sidebar.  We're groping towards non-linearity.

Andy - sees inherent tension and asked school districts to comment on.  We have a huge set of standards.  People always talking about not enough time because constant demand for coverage.  How does this non-linearity impact "efficiency" or "coverage"?  What's the trade-off - between frogs being studied for days but not getting to clouds?

Jerry - CA standards would take kids 24 years.  Jerry says it's really up to each school.

Stephen B - legislators approach this with blunt instruments: tests

Ed - narrative was a trip (through a flame), not really a story---wants to clarify whether folks see that as a problem.  Is a trip an okay thing to hang your hat on if we can address the others points?  Can we address them?

Ray - the comment and rationale to throw it out - throw out the narrative.  Ray doesn't want design based on narrative. 

Stephen - design should come out of the goals, but may come back to a narrative

Joe - try to tie lots of science objectives together---because kids are spending a lot of time on the unit if there's a lot of freedom

Chris - concerned about narratives.  Oregon Trail or Tom Snyder software.  The narrative becomes going through the story.  We did it - that's it.  You should know it.  Classroom experiences that don't involve technology. A completely engaging question is enough!!  For example, why does a helium balloon float?  Can you ever have a full moon at sunrise?  Or at noon?  They took kids to places the teacher never thought they'd go. 

Bonnie - classroom management is the thing

Ray - Second Life - you can work with students collaboratively; that wasn't clear in the presentations today.  Opportunity for kids to share data and work collaboratively.   Important aspect of science. Maybe another environment. 

Carolyn wants to see group situations online even between classrooms, centers in classrooms.  We need to think about limitations (bandwidth). 

Scott - we want the collaboration we've had for authors to be available to students

Bob - you want to put all the best things into the pot!  Is it fair to say that what we've been sketching out today is that we would have a lot of diff. option and modules?  A single journey with sidebars or modular approach to solving problems.  Part of the attraction of the "sidebars" is that we can have diff. kinds of communicating, diff. goals, turn them on and off for diff. grade levels and diff. objectives?  Modular flexibility - is that where we are?

[Nodding heads in agreement.]

Ray - different kinds, diff. shapes, diff. pieces.  This is difficult, even in our thinking.  We're used to linear world.

Stephen - smart graph can be used in all these diff. things.  In order to succeed in the larger districts, there are number of things we need to do well not having to do with UDL.  We need to make standards clear and how will they be able to tell students are making progress on things kids will be tested on.  In order to get buy-in, we need to give this info to teachers.  We need to take this seriously and maybe that means working with a fewer number of activities...

Joe Oliver - teachers need to trust us. 

Jerry V - we're not the only ones thinking about this. Publishers are thinking about "post-textbook."  In CA - they're thinking about what the textbook of the future looks like.  This is encouraging because we're looking at this from the lens of the teacher and child.  We also need to think about this curriculum in after-school or out-of-school context.  We wouldn't have the constraints of time.  Additional opportunities for kids to explore (Jerry says he learned about science outside the school and described his time in the library).  Curriculum in paraprofessional as opposed to teacher.

Bob - let's address this issue: as an advisory board, would you advise us to do less content and more flexibility?  There's nothing magic about the number 7.  Outside constraint - we need to have enough material in order to do research. 

Jerry - make sure the science deals with issues that are relevant to the kids.  For instance, global warming.  It has to be relevant. But don't be restricted by standards.

Carolyn - we held focus group with third graders to see which of those questions are most interesting to kids.

Jerry - Fresno - red flag days when the air pollution is so bad, kids can't play outside; these are real issues. 

Stephen - not a contrast with standards; should we come to Fresno to brainstorm activities to contextualize them?

Jerry - No, but environmental issues (global warming, in particular) is global!  Science content and knowledge - energy - is already being hit on in the themes we've identified. What will impact our kids best to improve their lives?  Contextualize, if possible (Joe Oliver).  We don't need more good stuff that's not going to be used.  Post-development issue is important.

Chris - if we're thinking of fewer modules, spend time with kids up front.

Jerry suggests middle and high school kids, kids who were recently products of the classrooms.

Chris - got to look at clientele we're designing for... See what it might take to get these kids farther.

Bob - let me be specific here... in the spirit of brainstorming... we chose one of these questions.  We had a really nice question with sub-components that really interested people (maybe clouds but maybe something else, air pollution and smog and language arts and math skills).  Suppose we invented 40 half-day activities to mix and match around the theme - a rich set of resources.  Is that salable?  Manageable?

Rebecca - 40 is too many.  There area grade-level expectations (GLEs) in Missouri.  Legislators decided at each grade level which objectives need to be covered; tests to test those objectives.  Water cycle is only at one grade.  What teachers like to do is take language arts and math, etc. and weave them into activities.  20 perhaps.

Andy - overwhelming cognitive ability to deal with 40...

Rebecca - 40 half-hour each activities

Scott - what if they were already categorized by grades?

Rebecca - great

Stephen - variations of them to go deeper and deeper...

Rebecca - cross-referenced to GLEs

Chris - disagree strongly with the model of 40 activities; you have to focus on concepts you want to teach and have to provide unbelievable scaffold to getting kids there, so it has to be specific.  Teacher and students need to be able to choose.  You're only talking about four or five choices at each point.  If you're in the clouds ... and one of the things you want students to understand is know diff. between states of matter... what is it going to take to get kids there?  One, molecular model. Within that, you'll have diff. levels of support.  Have you thought about this?  Says a guide.  Or a text box comes up and says something about it.  Students have to give some info at some point.  The guide would come back and say this ... you're thinking this way, you might also want to check out...  Students break down with metacogntive skills; they're used to cookbooks only.  We can get them to do amazing things if we scaffold.

Bob - you've described fairly linear with variations as opposed to web.

Chris - you have to understand how kids make connections and it must be supported at every point along the way.  They can only do one experience at a time. They can make connections. 

Paul doing demo of his whiteboard drawing...

Bob - next step: CC staff to put our heads together and get back to you with some designs.  We want to gather some data (look at textbook Jerry chose).  Look at standards.  Everybody has contributed.  Thank you!!

Barry - one more question - has there been given any thought to kids answering the questions verbally?  Provides better means for authentic assessment.  Yes!! 

Document generated by Confluence on Jan 27, 2014 16:49