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The Big6 tm and 3DWriter

The Big6 is the most widely use problem solving and research method in the K-12 world.  3DWriter is a great tool to use at various stages in the process.

Iím not just saying that because I created 3DWriter. Thatís only one reason.  The other reason is that I speak from experience as a certified Big6 trainer and author of Internet Power Research Using the Big6 Approach from Enslow Publishers.

Those of you who are not familiar with the Big6 can find out more about it through the Big6 web site.  Those of you who are familiar with it know that you can use word processors throughout the Big6 process, which means that you can use 3DWriter in the same way.  However, 3DWriter come into play in other ways, particularly in Step 4, Use of Information and Step 5, Synthesis. 

In Step 4, students engage the information and extract information. Using 3DWriter, students can extract information easily from web pages or other electronic sources while maintaining live hyperlinks that will function when they return to their notes.

Step 5, Synthesis, is where student create products that are the outcome of their learning.  Often those products are are in the for of compositions, other written formats, or web pages.

By using the Big6 method, the students have been focusing on learning the material that they will put into their product and are well on the way to creating quality content. However, this is the stage where time can be lost when technology gets in the way as much as it facilitates.

When students use powerful tools in this stage, they often spend a great deal of the time around the visual presentation and loose focus on the content.  This is where 3DWriter is the tool to use, especially in the creation of first drafts.

By using 3DWriter, even students who are not familiar with web publishing tools can create hypertext content quickly and easily while maintaining the focus that was established in the previous stages.

Once they have created quality content, student who are more comfortable with the technology can easily import anything created by 3DWriter into more powerful tools to make a more formal or fancy presentation.

Another reason for using 3DWriter is portability.  A student can put 3DWriter on a disk and take it from the school library, to the public library, to home and back to school, doing work at each location.  Thatís not something easily done with other tools.


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