My IB Theory of Knowledge students have been studying the debate regarding the safety of GMO foods. The purpose of this unit isn’t actually for them to become experts on GMOs, or for me to convince them that GMOs are or are not safe. The GMO topic is just an entry point to discuss the ways in which the biological sciences (an “Area of Knowledge” or “AOK” in IB lingo) construct knowledge and establish facts.
Today I asked them to create digital posters that summarize their current opinion on GMOs and include a nod to the epistemological aspect of our coursework. (Some students fulfilled the second requirement a little better than others.) This is a fairly shallow assignment for a class such as TOK, but before you write it off completely, recall that summarizing and designing are verbs associated with the highest level of Bloom’s Taxonomy (“create”). Moreover, the posters satirically respond to the politically charged nature of the GMO debate using a medium popular in social media discourse.
You’ll note that most of the digital posters were made with either Adobe Spark or PowerPoint; I recommended those two options at the start of the activity. The posters made with Adobe Spark are automatically imbued with that slick, designed-by-a-social-media-pro feel due to their built in templates, but the students who chose PowerPoint did so because they are very proficient with it, and their posters are sometimes even better (from a design standpoint) than the ones made with Spark.
[Thanks, WordPress, for making it so easy to insert a slideshow in a blog post!]