We have begun using Knowledge Forum as a collaborative space for building community knowledge. My classes are intrigued and excited by the tool, which I see as natural support to the work we’ve been doing in inquiry, integrative and design thinking. It is very different from any other tool we have used because of the way it causes students to think, contribute and connect with the ideas of others in a collaborative space. With the goal of community improvement of ideas, students are required to identify their thinking processes as they contribute. They must consider in what way their ideas add to collective knowledge. They must have metacognitive awareness in order to work in the community. To do this, students scaffold their contributions in ways that build their own as well as the ideas of others. Are they adding a theory? Information to improve someone’s idea? A new question? … They can’t contribute before identifying how their contribution fits in.
Below is an anchor chart of some of the scaffolds, which come directly from Knowledge Forum, that students use to construct their contributions to the community.
It should be noted that none of these require the use of technology.
More about Knowledge Creation Classrooms can be learned here.
More about integrative thinking in K-12 can be learned here.