Our third professional cluster group focused on the theme of "Team Work". After I put in a plug for Downplayer, we discussed the Creative Commons. I pointed to two rich sources of media that are licensed to the Commons:
1) Magnatune - we are not evil, a generous source of CC music if it is used for educational purposes. Our school now has a subscription and I am urging all teachers plumb its 10,000 songs.
2) Flickr CC photo searches. The Yahoo Advanced Image search in order to find cool images for use with attribution. It is my go-to source of content for images in s;ide presentations, photo/movies and blog art (like the photo featured on this post).
The "team work" portion of the PCG involved a discussion of classroom group activities. My memories of "group work" as a student were pretty negative, so I prefer to have my students work in "teams."
The discussions were interesting, because the five cluster groups took their conversations in very different directions. Teachers were generally eager to share positive group experiences. Also common concerns were raised about free-loaders, group chemistry, and fair assessment. I tried to be a good listener , so that I could address some of the concerns, later. After all, since we share the challenge of "design[ing] a challenge based learning project which develops [Tony Wagner's Seven] "Survival Skills" for at least 15% of [our] students we need to arrive at a sound comfort level with team work.
Coincidentally, for the "CBL Group Think" at Apple tomorrow, I've been asked to give a ten minute presentation on The importance of reflections and why we need to measure more than just the solution and implementation (learning is bigger than a grade). I think that this is one area where both the Apple and Mercy High School educators share considerable common ground.
Here are the slides from PCG #3 (licensed to Creative Commons of course).
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Paul Williams