Task

The task for this problem is quite extensive and in depth. It requires students to do a lot of researching, creating, collaborating, and real world working as well as questioning, debating, and meaningful us information to back up opinions, all of which is designed to give students a taste of working in the global 21st century. This unit does not have to be completed in three weeks but can be stretched or downsized depending on the students and school. It can also be used for high school grades if appropriately modified. The task may seem too extensive for a year 7 class. This is why throughout this unit heavy scaffolding will be needed. This unit should introduce students to a real life situation.

How will students respond to the problem?

This unit can be broken into five phases: 'the introduction', 'the communicating', 'the planning', 'the extending', and the 'implementing' phase. In order to learn effectively students need to identify their prior knowledge, intergrate new, knowledge, reflect on it, and use it meaningfully through higher order thinking. This unit constantly roles through these cycles in layers and phases. Some skills students will be acquiring, others they will be extending and other they will be using meaningfully, the three middle DoL's by Marzano and Pickering et al. (1997).

Introduction

Students read the problem and learn about Maasai culture. Online and in class they brainstorm what they already know about this culture and why they think that. They establish their blogs, wiki pages and profiles and get to know other students in the class. This includes orientation of what they will be doing at the end of the unit and what needs to be done now to prepare for the end result.

The communicating: Week 2

Students will now have a sound knowledge of Maasai culture. Next they will be contacting Rachael, the program director via email on the website. They will complete several thinking routines to define their knowledge and anticipated tasks. They will also learn about legal, safe and ethical when using the internet. With the help of the teacher they will contact the school in Irkeepusi. Here they will gain first hand knowledge of the tribe, the culture, and the issues. They will also be seeking other contacts and engaging in research. Extensive collaboration among students will be required.

The planning: Week 3, 4 & 5

Students have now contacted the charity organisation, gotten into the routine of ICT collaboration and started working on their Maasai resource collection. Now they will be required to plan what event they will be hosting and how this will be done. It is still early on the unit so much teacher assistance will be needed. Students will be given a budget and must work out how much all the resources will cost. Once a project has been decided upon students will form groups of: the cooks, artists, presenters, actors and organisers. Each student chooses a role in line with their interests and abilities. Thus this unit intergrates many of the arts. Each group must now design a project that their group will implement at the event. The organisers however have a slightly different role. They are the oversears of the other groups and must select the venue, organise and allot money, and be aware of the class progress. A detailed description of each group's role is available on The roles page.
Leading up to week 6 each group will develop their group page. This will consist of brainstorming, collaboration and research gathering, all of which must be evident. In week 6 each group puts their planning together into a presentation. Each student must also reflect in their blog and contribute to the 'class page' as part of this assignment. To read more about this assignment go to Assessment 1.
To understand the wiki structure and view examples go to 'wiki' page.

The extending and reflecting: week 7, 8, 9 & 10

After the student present their planning in week 6 they will engage in a learning process. This covers Maasai history, current issues, effective money raising strategies and authentic Maasai culture. Students must apply higher order thinking to these issues by debating, analysing, and suggesting how they could exhibit them in their event. Thus the plans presented in week 6 will be subject to modification. Throughout the learning of these issues students will be working on the event also. They will be communicating, reflecting in their blog, collecting more resources and occasionally keeping up their correspondence with Rachael.

The implementing: Week 11 & 12

This final phase in more about reflection than implementation. This unit focuses on the skills students demonstrate throughout the unit rather than the final product. The teacher will be giving feedback to each student on their collaborating, communication, reflections, research materials, and work/ideas. Thus if a student isn't demonstrating enough competence to pass the unit they will be notified right away. Ongoing reflection enables students to constantly improve and identify areas they need to work on whether this be ICT competence, online communication skills, group work, use of content knowledge, or creative skills.
In these final weeks students will synthensised their knowledge and make final preparations for the event. The teacher should give much support here. Throughout the unit the teacher may need to work with the organisers the most as they will have the heaviest task.
To read the task in the student's page go to task page.

References

http://www.qsa.qld.edu.au/downloads/early_middle/qcar_el_arts_yr7.pdf

http://www.qsa.qld.edu.au/downloads/early_middle/qcar_el_english_yr7.pdf

http://www.qsa.qld.edu.au/downloads/early_middle/qcar_el_sose_yr7.pdf

http://www.qsa.qld.edu.au/downloads/early_middle/qcar_ccp_ict_yr7.pdf

http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm

http://www.wellsfortanzania.org/

http://moodle.cqu.edu.au/mod/resource/view.php?id=156852

http://webquest.org/

Marzano, R., Pickering, D., Arredondo, D., Blackburn, G., Brandt, R., Moffett, C.,
Paynter, D., Pollock, J. & Whisler, J. (1997). Dimensions of learning:
Teacher’s manual 2nd edition. Colorado: Mid-continent Regional Educational
Laboratory.

http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/Bloom%27s+Digital+Taxonomy