I have know about Scootle since its beginning, and I have browsed it a little but I had not thought to consider evaluating the value of the learning objects being curated and shared in Scootle before. Tonight I did a bit of browsing and one of the first resources I looked at after searching in Creative Arts > Music was a highly useful resource for visual arts and music lessons. I have been teaching both of these subjects this term to a number of special needs students and the resource I came across is perfect for them. I have evaluated the resource based on an checklist in Haughey. Margaret and Muirhead, B. (2005). Evaluating learning objects for schools. Retrieved 25 March, 2015 from http://www.usq.edu.au/electpub/e-jist/docs/vol8_no1/fullpapers/Haughey_Muirhead.pdf. The resource I am looking at is Visual Art Starters: Painting the Music.
The resource is aimed at F-2 years in primary schools, however, being that my classes in this instance are special needs and doing lifeskills, this is a suitable resource. The resource addresses appropriate outcomes and content descriptors and it also says in the teacher guide section that:
“The resource has pedagogical value for the Visual Arts curriculum. The activities provide a framework for students to explore drawing and painting through different elements including colour, shape, texture and pattern, while drawing and painting to music; they offer opportunities for students to work both independently and as a class.”
“The resource can also contribute to students developing the general capability Personal and social capability, particularly in relation to self-awareness and recognising emotions.”
What I loved straight away with this resource was the way the activities were scaffolded under the headings of learn, apply, respond and extend. These headings are tabs down the left hand side and really support ease of navigation for the users. Downloadable objects are also very obvious, however, as an advocate for Open Education Resources, I am disappointed that the worksheets are not Creative Commons and available in a format that can be edited for customised usage.
The learning intentions and objectives are very clear in the introductory video for students and the teacher section offers substantial explanation of curriculum links and learning intentions. It is great to find resources that do this for educators.
Pedagogically I believe the resource does a fantastic job of scaffolding the learning experience by introducing the topic and activities with a video that explains the whole process in really easy to follow, simple detail. The video also helps to make connections with students’ background knowledge and make good learning connections. The addition of extension activities and a glossary of terms supports the whole activity by catering for differentiation in learning abilities as well.
This activity is great for making connections with students’ personal culture, backgrounds and values. It is a very open and subjective task that facilitates student expression.
I’ve experienced a digital sharing space where there was the ability for others to comment on how they used learning objects in their own context and I feel that Scootle would be enhanced if there was a more open discussion thread allowed, not just a one-post-only review system. It is great thought that we can rate and like the resources, and include tags.