I have been a keen user of David Riley’s wonderful suite of desktop IWB tools for quite some time, now… but the latest addition to the range (as I type, still in beta mode, but available to trial here) looks to me like a real game-changer in terms of the learning and teaching in my classroom and beyond its walls.
David calls it Think Link. It is founded upon the SOLO taxonomy, described here, and explored here by Tait Coles, and Damian Clark’s idea of using tesselating hexagons to show understanding, and to make and justify connections in learning. SOLO and its basis for Think Link has already been blogged about already by Kristian Still here, here and here.
I tried it out for the first time this morning, so as to be able to give David more informed feedback about the new tool before it goes “live” in the Triptico suite! I thought we should go straight to the source and involve the kids…
As a vehicle for exploring the tool, we chose the recently-covered topic of colours in French – complete with masculine v feminine and singular v plural, plus of course the colours which can be both masculine and feminine (e.g. rouge, jaune) and others which are invariable (e.g. orange, marron).
I filmed the class using the tool, and then recorded us discussing its use afterwards. I think they made good first use of it – I was really pleased with how they used the correct metalanguage to decide where to position the various hexagons – and I also think they explained really clearly what they though of it, and why! #proudteacher ;)
This is before the pupils started:
…and here is how it ended up a few minutes later (roughly! – I lost the saved file, so this doesn’t look like how it ends up in the video… ;)
Clearly, there is (and was!) discussion still to be have over whether there are better ways to arrange the tiles – but that is one of the beauties of this tool!
Once I have edited it for e-safety reasons, here will be the video of the class using Think Link, and here is an Audioboo of the subsequent discussion. I would be very interested in what you think!