PD Day: Collaborative Inquiry

Collaboration via Flickr, by bre pettis

We have several goals today:

  1. to use the process of collaborative inquiry to identify and address student areas of need
  2. to publish a digital document that outlines our findings
  3. to use our new netbooks in a way that helps us understand how to make the most of these devices

Admin will explain the first step to you; I will deal with items 2 and 3.  When dealing with item 3, how to make the most of the devices, I will present information in block quotes:

I wanted to use a blog entry for this process because so many teachers now use a blog or website to convey information/lessons to students.  Blogs work are particularly useful when using PEDs/labs because students can access the content, including any links you provide, in a matter of seconds.

The Digital Document

Our goal is to produce a single PDF based on the work of each group. We will do this by having each group work from a single template, collaborate on some ideas, and  submit the work.

  • Please begin by right-clicking on this template, and saving the file in your H drive, My Documents, or anywhere else that is easy for you to access.
  • Navigate to your file and open it.

Why right-click? If we open the file directly and simply hit save, the file will be saved in a folder for internet files. Finding a file saved in these folders can be really difficult and, if you log off, the network will clear out the folder. Thus, you will lose all of your work.

Students often make this mistake with files they have downloaded from their email or the internet.

  • Begin by changing the title in the top-right corner (currently set to English). The title can be anything that best describes your group (Science? Arts and Moderns? Tech and Business?)
  • Follow Admin’s instructions to discuss Student Needs, Evidence, and Strategies. Add your points to the appropriate part of the template.

Resize Your Group’s Image

This process will help you prepare for a few potential issues students will encounter when inserting images in their work. Bigger images can really bog down programs like Word, so we need to resize our images.

  • Insert your SD card into the netbook
  • We need to shrink your image for use in our document. We will do this by using a small program called Paint. You can find Paint by clicking on Start, Programs, and  Accessories.
  • Open your image in Paint. To do this, you need to click on  a small, dark blue button in the top left-hand corner. This will open a drop-down menu which features the Open command.
  • Once you have opened your file, we can resize it. Look for  the resize button on the left-hand side.
  • Clicking on the resize button will bring up a small menu. Use this menu to resize the image to 50% of its original size.
  • Save your file somewhere convenient (prehaps in the same location as your template file?)

Adding Your Image to the Template

  • In Word, click on the image of Shakespeare.
  • Go to Insert, and then Picture. Using the browser menu that pops up, navigate to your image and choose it. This should replace Shakespeare with your image.
  • Save your file according to your group name (ex: Science.docx)

Submitting Your Work

We will use a simple feature of Word to merge our documents. You can use this feature to merge any content from a number of Word docs, such as brainstorming, research, or analysis. If you wish to do this with a number of files, simply open Word, choose Insert, Object (far right side of the menu), and Text from File. Next, choose all the files in wish to include.

This works best when the files are all in the same folder.

  • Navigate to My Documents (or wherever you saved your template folder). Right-click on the file, and choose Copy.
  • Open the Hand In folder on your desktop, and navigate to the folder called 19th Sept PD. Right-click and choose Paste.
  • I will take care of the rest….

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