ITM incorporates a cross-classroom/cross-project sharing space for each knowledge-building inquiry.
The teacher, in the Teacher Space, can add “buddy project connections” with other classrooms that are studying the same or related content areas, which may come from the same or a different school site.
Students can then interact with peers in the buddy classrooms in the follow ways:
(a) Visit the cross-project sharing space to see a buddy classroom’s wondering areas and idea threads. By clicking “Show wondering areas and idea threads”, you can view other classrooms’ wondering areas and idea threads. If you are interested in any idea thread topic, click on the idea thread, it will link to that thread directly, where you can see their online postings (in a read-only mode).
(b) Read the Journey of Thinking (JoT) syntheses generated by the buddy classrooms, and find the most relevant syntheses based on the keyword-based index or using the search tool. Each JoT synthesizes the progress in a thread of inquiry including the questions explored, “big ideas’ learned, and deeper research needed. By viewing other classrooms’ JoT syntheses, students can get a sense of their journey of inquiry and learn from their “big ideas” and deepening questions.
(c) Cross-classroom discussion, using the following two tools as appropriate:
- Cross-Classroom Shared Area in the project dashboard, which is for buddy classrooms at the same school/database): This Cross-Classroom Shared Area automatically shows in the wondering area visual organizer of each ITM project with buddy connections. The teachers can add idea threads under the Cross-Classroom Shared Area focusing on challenges/issues of common interest. Students from the different classrooms will all be able to participate in the discussion in these idea threads. To enter the Cross-Classroom Shared Area, click the Cross-Classroom Shared Area (see below), and click the idea thread under it. Student can read the notes posted by students from any of the buddy classrooms, and build on one another’s ideas to solve challenging problems together as collaborative communities.
- Super Talk in Cross-Project Sharing Space, which is for buddy classrooms from different schools/different KF databases: In cross-project sharing space, students can propose “Super Talk” topics for cross-classroom discussion for their teacher to approve (in Teacher Space–Message Center). Once approved, the Super Talk topic will be open to all the buddy classrooms.