ThingLink: Mapping Campus Thinking

Admittedly short little post here as my thinking continues to evolve on this one — as does the project.  Brad Ovenell-Carter (@Braddo on the Twitterspace) re-calibrated my brain to the possibilities affords the world of education.  As did Amy Burvall (@amyburvall on the Twitterspace) and one particular student poem created in collaboration between her Hawaiians and my Mainers.  (More on the #AyuhAloha #Remash experience soon.)

As part of an assignment for a course in mass customized learning, I was asked to document public methods teachers in my school are using to document student progress.  Well, that is certainly not a common practice in our culture at Mt. Blue.  At least, not yet anyway.  In my travels, I was able to find but one public display.  After asking around and emailing, I was able to find a couple more — but even some of those were digital only so I never would have seen them no matter how hard I stalked my colleagues or how many ventilation shafts I snuck through John McClane-style.  (I’ve the hairline for it, too.)

Now I don’t think my colleagues have done anything wrong.  It just isn’t part of our culture yet — it isn’t an expectation –and we haven’t really received much professional development around the benefits of public displays of mapping student progress.

I used ThingLink to create the map of our school (screen shot of the PDF map students can download) and it got me wondering how else schools might use such interactive maps to capture data, convey information, identify various perspectives and points of view, trends and patterns.  It might be useful on micro scale as a way to map student thinking and behaviors in the classroom – a nice little quick and easy way to capture observable data, share it, embed it.  It will be interesting to see how this one evolves and even more interesting to try out some different uses of ThingLink.



About Dan Ryder

Dan Ryder & Jeff Bailey, co-founders of Wicked Decent Learning, a blog, podcast, Twitter feed and who-knows-what-all-else devoted to teaching and learning in Vacationland and beyond. Teachers, dads, actors, writers, geeks, buds.

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