Pathfinders and The Hibees

My students in one of my subjects are currently thinking about doing a pathfinder for their next assignment. Pathfinders are guides for students who are learning about a topic or doing an assignment. In the past, pathfinders used to be printed lists in the library for students to use – but these were very static and often book-only. Pathfinders can be done electronically and can come in various guises e.g. pages on the school intranet or on accessible websites. They can also take the form of Hotlists or even Webquests, although the latter tend to contain more than just lists of learning resources. With the advent of Web 2.0, pathfinders can also be created on wikis and Joyce Valenza has an excellent argument about why pathfinders should be on wikis. Some pathfinders have been very poorly done in the past e.g. giving students a list of unannotated weblinks or book titles is unlikely to stimulate student interests. Pathfinders should be relatively short (e.g. no more than 15 itesm) and very specific. For example if year 7 are doing an assignment on ecology in the local environment, a pathfinder entitled ‘Local ecology’ is not going to light the students’ candles. However, if it was called, for example, ‘Looking after the Murrumbidgeee River in Wagga Wagga’, it would be much more meaningful to students. Also, annotations in pathfinders should not just be content driven but should encourage students to go to particular sections of a website or book and perhaps pose a questions or encourage students to use keywords.

OK – I have resisted long enough. I need to mention my football (don’t call it soccer!) team which is Hibernian Football Club or Hibs or The Hibees. I normall sign off my emails with “it’s hard tae be a Hibee” because following this club, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, normally is hard as the team would win any competition for inconsistency over the years. However, on Sunday we beat Celtic 3-2, so for this week anyway – and I know it can’t last – it’s good to be a Hibee!


One Response to “Pathfinders and The Hibees”

  1. Dot Says:

    I thought (presumed) it translated to ‘good to be a hippy’ – why ? i don’t know, memories of woodstock maybe. It’s to do with football (phewwww didn’t call it soccer). Oh James!

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