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Elliot Soloway 3 years, 9 months ago

Comments on Roadmap: Ancient Civilizations

Submitted by: Puja Mullins

Reviewed by: Cathie Norris & Elliot Soloway, 12/28/18

Wow! From “finding the roots of polynomials” to “comparing/contrasting ancient Egypt and ancient Aztec cultures” … WOW!

The “Ancient Civilizations” Roadmap really takes advantage of several key properties of Roadmaps:

1.       Graphical – This Roadmap provides a REAL roadmap for the learners – where they start, they are going, and where they end up.  A learner can just SEE the flow of the learning! Still further, the core theme of compare/contrast is mirrored in the graphical flow of the learning: learn about ancient Egypt and learn about ancient Aztec cultures – IN THE SAME WAY! And what about the ancient cultures of India? of China? One can learn about those cultures in the same way! Wouldn’t be interesting to ask student/students to create a Roadmap for studying ancient India? The student/students could indeed do that – just follow the model that is provided for studying ancient Egypt and Aztec culture. (Technically, today, a student can’t add nodes to a Roadmap; but we are working on that RIGHT NOW!) In other words, besides learning about two ancient cultures, students are learning about how to learn about ancient cultures – just follow the Roadmap!

2.       All the resources are in one place – In general, embarking on the study of two ancient cultures is a challenge. But, this Roadmap provides learners with all the resources they need in one place. The students can’t lose a resource. And the Roadmap provides teachers with a space to put all those resources – in one place! And, those resources are video, textual, student-created, teacher-created, etc., etc., etc.

3.       Collaboration – This Roadmap – as do others, we hasten to point out – has learners working with each other: talking and listening with each other, writing with each other.

4.       Arcs – The arcs are labeled with instructional strategies/instructional directions. Great use of the arc labels!

5.       Legend – Like making the graphical structure of the lesson visible, the “Legend” provides learners with clear instructions – the nodes are color-coded.

Now for the “technical” bad news: Currently, a Roadmap is “collabrified” or it is solo – that is, either all the nodes/learning activities are collaborative or they are solo. So, for example, it appears that students are working collaboratively the Pyramids Everywhere KWL and on completing the Egypt/Aztec Vocabulary activity – but working solo on the “Note Catcher” and the “Compare and Contrast Paragraphs.” Sigh. Those two nodes will need to be a separate Roadmap.

Other Roadmappers have appeared to want to have both collaborative activities and solo activities in the same Roadmap. We hear you – truly! But, for now, there will need to be 2 Roadmaps:

  • Ancient Civilizations – Collaborative Activities (the current Roadmap but the last two nodes/learning activities are deleted.)
  • Ancient Civilizations – Solo Activities  (includes the driving question plus the last two nodes)

Small issue: the video in compare/contrast clues asks the learners to pause the video and write various things in a notebook. That video could be embedded in a Collabrify Writer document so the learners could indeed pause the video, write things down, and then continue the video.