Picturing to Learn is a recently discovered website that I’m interested in seeing develop. For quite awhile now I have been hearing, and saying myself, that it is hard to perpetuate change in high school when we are attempting to prepare for a lecture driven post secondary system. Ultimately it is difficult to justify and create a secondary system that may not prepare students, to some degree, for the reality of post-secondary life.

If you visit the MIT opencourseware you will notice a great deal of traditional lecture style teaching. Of course that is ok. Much of it is really good explanatory level methodology by true experts in the field. If I was at MIT I don’t think I’d be complaining. However, from our secondary perspective, it becomes difficult to justify alternate teaching styles, rubrics, differentiated instruction, yada yada yada when our post secondary students may not see much of it.

Hrmmm, it may be changing a little. I happened to find the picturing to learn website that uses drawing as a manner to demonstrate comprehension of a concept. I LOVE it. i know many of us have used a variation of this at some time. There are the cartoon like assignments. I have used ‘cookbook’ cartoon lab prep and procedure drawings [still the best for labs that I have used], concept maps etc. They work!

The Picturing to Learn website is still in its infancy but seems to encourage drawing of science concepts to demonstrate knowledge. This is easy to make digital. Its just a step ot two to the creation of digital flash animations or movies. [NOT SLIDESHOWS!!]

I cannot help but highlight some of the images a student of mine created to explain the origins of the universe. This was an assignment I produced and she took the initiative to draw pictures. Here are three that demonstrate a few of the concepts they learned:

Can you interpret the drawings?

I love how simple and effective the pictures can be at demonstrating knowledge.

You may want to keep an eye open for the Picturing to Learn website’s continued development.


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