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March 30, 2009

The Construction Zone at the YMCA Academy

by Peter Skillen

Recently, we have created The Construction Zone at the YMCA Academy – an independent high school in Toronto. This will give you an idea of my interests in opening up this blog.

The Construction Zone is a technologically rich environment that is deeply rooted in many aspects of Lev Vygotsky’s social-constructivist paradigm – including engaging students in the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) – the zone between what the learner can do alone and what he/she can do with assistance.

Activities in the Zone focus on the highest level of the revised Bloom’s taxonomy – that of creating. Students are intentionally engaged in constructing artifacts resulting from research into their own curriculum-based questions. This artifact may take many forms – multimedia presentation, artwork, drama, video, essay, website, blog, wiki, etc.

The Construction Zone happens in real time and space in the classroom but, for classes, we also make everything explicit and available in project blogs or wikis – now using Diigo for reflective conversation about our work.
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