Wow, found this missive has been sitting in the ‘Drafts’ section for some time and thought I should get it out there!
The process of creating a pathfinder was challenging yet satisfying. The task really brought relevancy to the kinds of collaborative teaching and planning that a TL can do with classroom teachers. Ideally, the TL and the teacher together would identify the inquiry topic and assessment tasks, then research the types of resources that would be needed for these specific tasks and the level of language literacy ability within the student group. Agreement will have been reached about the content of the site and which pages might be interactive for the students. The ‘editing’ ability for the T and TL would need to be agreed too. The focused selection of appropriate resources and task-specific information saves countless fruitless hours of ‘Google’ searching. More time will be spent assessing and using the resources that have been evaluated by a TL as being uselful, relevant and authoritative. Access to a pathfinder or learning website would be a great reference for students and staff as they progress through the unit and whole research process. The interactive features allow ‘feedback’ information the be considered for evaluation of the learning and effectiveness of the tool.
Although on this occassion, I didn’t produce this pathfinder in collaboration with a colleague, the process of planning and creating the site was a valuable learning experience for future use. Creating a template for the pathfinder has now given me a format to use as an example for future reference.