This one is all about scale. By now, you are no stranger to writing your way through an understanding of scientific concepts. I think we have all agreed that this is a fantastic way to kick off a lesson. Tonight, we will conduct what I like to call a "windowpane" activity in order to examine, explore, study and write about a topic. We will be making observations observations and inferences, recording feelings, and asking probing questions. The image we will use is below (heavily scaled down):
The protocol we will follow tonight will use this very simple "windowpane" form also attached below in PDF format. Open this form in Notability in order to record your thinking. This will allow a wide range of feedback (text, handwriting, etc.) to happen on one screen.
In the space below, please reflect on both the process of tonight's activity... and the content of the lesson. In other words: How did this go? What about the way we conducted this protocol helped your understanding? Did you find this to be an effective way to uncover your thinking? What specifically did you learn from this? What was your background knowledge to begin? Did you come into tonight's session knowing a great deal about the size and scale of the world's oceans? If you did know some things coming in, can you pinpoint where you learned them?
What sorts of observations seemed significant to you? Did you make any inferences that either you or your classmates thought were especially keen? What about questions? What sorts of this did this make you wonder? Are there real answers for these questions? How might you find these answers? Were your questions on the shallow... or the deep end? In other words, can you easily find the answers to them... or might those answers require a significant amount of uncovering and/or research?
*Please feel free to share a screenshot or .pdf of your page if you'd like.
**Tonight's image owes many thanks to XKCD.
The process of analyzing the picture on our own and then comparing our observations and feelings about it with one person, then another, and then a larger group was very effective in my opinion. It gave every person an opportunity, and in a way forced each of us, to share all of their own ideas about it and also get one-on-one feedback and new opinions and ideas from multiple people. This led to a wider variety of discussion and less of a feeling of intimidation. If we had gone straight into a group discussion some people would have felt uncomfortable about sharing some of their observations and it would have quickly become dominated by one or two central points instead of a lot of the smaller aspects of the picture. Based on my individual discussion with others I was able to expand my thinking to include the limits of technology which is something that I had not considered yet. There were other things that I heard through the discussion that got me thinking more about how little we know about the ocean and how much there really is to the ocean, yes we all know that water covers most of the surface of the earth but I had never thought about the sheer depth of the ocean and how different the depths are. This activity really was great because we all had something unique to add to the subject and it gave us the opportunity to all share our thoughts which helped expand my thinking.
I also agree with you. If we were to just have jumped in i would have been lost, i really am glad he did class this way.
The format we used was new to me, and in my opinion limited my thinking because I only focused on one of the boxes as opposed to three or more of them. As a result I feel that I didn’t make very keen inferences. If we continued using this format, I would learn time management because I’d have to pace myself on how much time I take on each box. A mix of the organization of the windowpane and the jumbled mess of just writing down your every thought would be perfect. The group discussion let me think about things that my peers came up with but I didn’t even think about or consider. It also allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and actually talk to people. The picture we looked at actually showed me how big the ocean really is. Before seeing that picture I had thought that it was only a few hundred meters deep, easily reached by a submarine. Now I realize that its 12,000 meters. That’s 7,200 Marias all standing on each other’s heads. The picture showed me that though we have come very far in technology, we still have very far to go. What we discussed as a large group about how we only use science to make money and get rich instead of for the purpose of learning, it really opened up my eyes about how close minded our society has become.