Big6 Webinar

Am blogging live as we sit at the CO participating a webinar on Big6 Research model.

  • Valued skills   #1 Problem Solving  #2 Information Use (Fall 2001)

  • Big 6 - the six steps people go through to process information and solve problems

    • Task Definition - Define the information problem

    • Information Seeking Strategies - Brainstorm range of possible sources

    • Location and Access - Where are the sources?

    • Use of Information - Engage (read, hear, view, touch)

    • Synthesis - Organize information from multiple sources/present information

    • Evaluation - Judge the product effectiveness

  • Creators believe that implementing this model by teaching the steps one at a time while giving a real world problem in which to implement each step is best.

  • Big 6 is non-linear - can jump back and forth in the process

**Webinar is not going well...we're 35 minutes into a PAID webinar and the main speaker has yet to login and get started.  His cohorts are backpedaling quickly!  I think we will be asking for a refund...

Critical thinking skills embedded in Big6 and it is transferable across grade levels and subjects

  1. Task Definition:  Teaching students to ask good questions.   Rewriting problem in their own words.  Having student brainstorm key questions that accompany the problem.  Identify key words in the problem.  Clarifying what information they need.

  2. Information Seeking Strategies:  Brainstorm and prioritize list of sources.  Discussing criteria for selecting sources.  Learn differences between primary and secondary sources.

  3. Location and Access (Finding Stage):  Independent gathering of resources.  Online, library, knowing whom/how to ask for help.  Using various clues in the assignment or book to help locate helpful resources.

  4. Use of Information:  Engage.  Skim/scan, distinguish between fact/opinion, note taking skills, putting things in your own words, quoting correctly

  5. Synthesis: Production stage

  6. Evaluation:  Judging the product and the process that they have gone through to reach the end result.  The metacognitive portion of the process.

Must see instruction as a series of problems to solve with decisions for students to make.

* I really don't see how this is new information, or a new strategy for teachers.  I find it hard to believe that these people are "selling" this as a new model.  I think good teachers who assign any kind of research assignments/projects have been conducting their lessons using this framework for years...

* Moderator (Bob Berkowitz) just commented that he nor many others use Bloom's Taxonomy any more...  VERY DISAPPOINTING that an educator would make this comment.  After all, it seems that his model is based on Bloom's. ??

The conversation among our group members related to teachers still assigning research projects like, "Do a report on Adolph Hitler".  To me, these kinds of assignments lead to the frustration that was expressed by our librarians.  There is no substance, no ties to today's real world, and absolutely no applications for the great Web 2.0 tools that could enhance the child's learning. The kids don't know what they are supposed to be learning or why!  So when the media specialist asks questions of the students, the kids shrug their shoulders.  It is unnecessary in our schools today.   Our next example was a social studies class who had been assigned to read a biography and write a report.  "Why was this assignment given in the first place?" is my first reaction!!  What relevance does it have for the kids?  Where is the 'rigor and relevance'?

Photo:  Duh!