Today was the beginning of my pathfinder mission. Not the journey – that started earlier in the semester when I first discovered what a pathfinder was and checked some out on the web. A pathfinder is a guide for students (or any learner) on a particular topic, which covers key words and information literacy skills and suggests both print and digital resources. What a great concept! How have I never seen these before either in my role as a teacher or as a (fake) teacher librarian? James Herring writes more about pathfinders in his blog this week.
Anyway, as my understanding grew, I felt ready to tackle creating my own. I’ve signed up with PBworks and had a little look around. I think I’ll look at Wikispaces just in case, but I’m keeping in mind our lecturer’s advice to focus on the content, not the fanciness of the layout and design of the site.
So today I visited the library at the school where I used to work with a plan to “do” the print resources section of my pathfinder. I am interested in the Solar System topic undertaken by Year 4 at the school, and my own four year old is heavily into space, so we can all win here!
As the focus has been so heavily on the website part of the resource list, I was a bit blase about the print resources. Easy, I thought, good ol’ books, I can handle them. But after five minutes I recognised that of course they would take as much attention as the digital resources – the same evaluation as to their pertinence to the topic and suitability for the audience, the same reliability criteria to be met. And then, to write a five or six line annotation takes time and thought! It has to cover not just content but guide the student in their use of information literacy skills. Yikes, I think I need to block out some more time and get busy!