Sunday, 2 March 2008

Some things I've seen on the way

It occurred to me the other day that the start of the school year is a bit like starting a triathlon. The swim leg in the triathlons (short ones) that I have been in are generally a triangular swim - out to a buoy across to another buoy and then back to shore. Once you start, you know where you are headed and frantically try to get there whilst avoiding being kicked or punched (accidentally of course) by everyone else trying to do the same thing (see picture). A couple of minutes into it the field spreads out and you then try to find your own space and a bit of rhythm. The fact that you are swimming in open water, without the benefit of the black line at the bottom of the pool to help you go straight ahead, means that after a while you become a little unsure and have to look up to make sure you're going the right way. I've done that a few times this term. After a bit of a look, without breaking your rhythm too much, you put your head back in the water and keep on going.

I have now reached the first buoy! I have swum around it and looked up to judge my course to the next buoy. It's assessment writing time between here and that buoy. Then it's back towards the shoreline - mind you I'm not quite sure where the end of term and holidays fits into this analogy. Perhaps the holidays is the transition area - where you lose the wetsuit and jump onto the bike. ??? Plenty to do before then.

Anyway, I have seen a few interesting things on my way towards buoy #1. For example, check out Quizlet. It calls itself a tool for learning vocabulary and that it is; but it is more than just flashcards. Once you have registered you can create word lists (it also works for Japanese script - so I assume other East Asian scripts as well) and it will then generate various activities and tests to help you remember them. Again, I have not delved too deeply into it but it looks very good and well worth it. The ability to share and access others lists is also there. There is one activity called 'scatter' that you can actually embed - see below. I've already added this one to my Year 11 ning page.

Give it a go!

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