Intro - Module 2 - Module 3 - Module 4 - Module 5 - Module 6


OWL (Other Worldly Learning)

Expected Outcomes

Experience first hand the challenge of learning about other cultures, countries, cities and regions with some degree of veracity when relying upon disneyfied information sources.

  • Learn how to plan classroom investigations with a blend of print, digital and human sources so as to minimize the distortions and limitations often encountered when relying solely upon digital resources - the Veracity Model.
  • Witness how we may provide structure and scaffolding to maintain quality and focus.
  • Explore how students can learn to assess the quality, accuracy, veracity and reliability of information they encounter.
  • Begin to develop a repertoire of strategies to use with students in order to build their commitment independent thought.
  • Identify opportunities to teach to curriculum standards by emphasizing discernment, analysis and evaluation.
  • Taste the power of Inspiration™ to support this kind of thinking, investigating and inventing.
  • Consider the benefits of teams sharing wireless laptops.

In addition to an opportunity to enjoy demonstrations and an explanation of the Veracity Model by Jamie McKenzie, participants will work in pairs sharing Internet computers (Wintel) to attempt research about the character and culture of a major foreign city. While such challenges normally deserve many days of careful consideration, the workshop will simulate a more prolonged research experience.

Content: information literacy, cultural literacy, synthesis, cross cultural studies, mind-mapping, demonstration of idea-building, hands-on challenge, bias


Module One - the Veracity Model (brief lecture presentation)

PowerPoint slides. Word version of the Model (click here)

The Six Questions (click here)

Module Two - The Facts - Just the Facts - Go to the lesson.

What do students miss when they study just the basic facts about a city or a country?

Module Three - Verity - the Difficult Truth - Go to the lesson.

What are the important questions to ask about life in a city? How do we capture the spirit, the soul, the character of a city or a village or a community? How do we cut past the marketing claims, the spin, the propaganda and the promotion to something more authentic, reliable and honest?

Module Four - Types of Bias - Go to the lesson.

What are the main filters that might block students from a truthful view of a place? How can students learn to look beyond these filters?

Module Five - Mainstream Sources - Go to the lesson

When students first turn to the Net to learn about cities and nations, what kinds of information, images and conceptions predominate?

Module Six - Alternative Sources -Triangulation - Go to the lesson

What are the best ways to equip students with the predisposition and the skills to challenge conventional wisdom and marketing claims - an informed but constructive skepticism? How can multiple sources protect against propaganda and distortion?

© 2002, Jamie McKenzie, all rights reserved.
Photographs also © 2002, Jamie McKenzie.

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