As a London 2017 Google Certified Innovator I wanted to find a way to encourage students to collaborate and take Action in the IB PYP inquiry cycle. PYP Action – Making Connections is a site which encourages students to:
SHARE the Action they want to take
EXPLORE the Action others are taking
CONNECT to take Action
Over the past 12 months I have collected data, created prototypes and trialled this site in my own school. Whilst we are in the early stages of implementation, already we can see a boost in student initiated Action.
Human migration and the associated risks, challenges and opportunities has been the Unit of Inquiry for our Year 5s this half term. With great empathy and concern they have reflected on the current refugee crisis and have also explored their own family migration stories.
At the beginning of the unit we tuned students in by sharing migration stories of teachers across the school. In order to give children an understanding of the journey length and settings of each destination, we asked willing staff to create a Tour Builder to share their migration story. See Figure 1 for a screenshot of my migration story.
Tour Builder is an online tool that allows you to create interactive journeys that enrich student understanding. With the use of Maps; locations and travel routes can be plotted across the world with the opportunity for the viewer to zoom in and explore each of those locations. To weave the story together; photos, videos and text can be added giving detailed descriptions of the destinations. An introduction video on how to use this tool can be found here.
Once students had a taste of Tour Builder, they were very keen to create there own. Very quickly they picked up the skills and were adding details to each of their migration locations. Some students were absolutely captivated by the power of Street View and expertly used this element to gain an understanding of unknown locations or to revisit fond childhood memories. One particular student was recording the migration of his Grandfather and noted that towns in which he had lived in Ukraine had changed name and were no longer on the modern map. The sharing of these connections sparked great enthusiasm within the class and led to further action with Tour Builder at home.