One of the things in education that makes little sense to me, is that in general, students have to prove their knowledge by writing things down. If it's not proven on a test or written assignment, it doesn't count. When this 'proof' of learning is only seen by the teacher, I'm doubly dismayed.
What if students could highlight their knowledge digitally, and then communicate their learning with a global audience. If you'd like to test the motivating factor of the 'real world', you now have access to an on-going ready-made project:Google Map Maker has just launched in Canada.
What if students:
1] plotted bus routes;
2] mapped local playgrounds;
3] charted neighbourhood hangouts;
4] added historic event markers;
5] posted photos of the area;
6] showed the best places to park your car;
7] plotted fire hydrants;
8] highlighted the best places to experience nature;
9] identified the stores, churches, public spaces;
10] thought about what others would appreciate having on a map...
Contributions will be reviewed by map experts at Google, and maybe, just maybe, the work of students will become a permanent fixture on the world map. Now that's something that might engage a learner a bit more fully than sharing knowledge by way of exam or essay.