5.21.2008

Grappling For Resources?

Jr. High Grapple, a new resource from Group Publishing has me really, really interested. Much more than merely curriculum it is an online community, gives students a chance to vote for upcoming program elements and more.

I'll be really interested to see how this resource is received and used....I love the idea, but it also feels really different and risky, which is why I love it so much!

If you try it, I would love to hear your reports.

3 comments:

Ryan said...

We tried the Pre-Teen Grapple this last quarter with our 5th and 6th grade students . . . it was difficult for our teacher to take full advantage of the medium.

I am excited to see a revised version coming out with updated "teacher controls," but I am sort of waiting to find some reviews of the newer version before we plop down the cash. The price felt good for the possibility, but ran a little steep for what our teacher was able to get out of it.

Matthew McNutt said...

I actually got a hold of a copy last fall to check out and play with. I thought the idea was great, the curriculum was solid, the online games and community a lot of fun (I loved that kids could vote on what the next activity/illustration would be), but I had a couple things that kind of kept me from actually wanting to use it. I do feel like the cost is steep. I also didn't like that the curriculum expires; you lose your online presence and resources if you don't use it within a certain time frame (if I remember right). I also thought they were overly careful in protecting kids identities; even though it was a closed system with only teachers and students being able to gain access to the message board portion of the online component, they couldn't use their names or unique nicknames for screennames; each participant is assigned a number. In such an online world, I just don't see that flying with kids who are used to creating an online identity, not having one assigned to them. All that to say, I thought it was a fantastic idea that just needed a few more tweaks to make it really work.

Kurt Johnston said...

Matthew,
I saw an early copy, too, and thought it was really sweet. I'm excited to see some innovative JH material on the market! I'm sure the first edition will have some tweaks discovered.