How BYOD Programs Can Fuel Inquiry Learning Digital Tools Erin Scott Launching a Bring Your Own Device program can be both exhilarating and scary. The opportunity to extend access to technology in the classroom and at home is enticing, but school districts can get hung up on important details like providing a strong network, making sure each child has a device, and questions around distraction. Of course, no one answer will work for all teachers or students, but one guiding principle that’s shown to work is for schools to focus on how mobile technology will help shift instruction to be more collaborative, learner-driven and inquiry-based. “Instead of this just being a technology initiative, it really is an instructional initiative, so all of us from different departments can get on the same page,” said Tim Clark, coordinator of instructional technology for Forsyth County Schools in Georgia. Forsyth started out by creating a learner profile, a set of criteria the school district wanted students to learn while in school. Related
20 Questions To Guide Inquiry-Based Learning 20 Questions To Guide Inquiry-Based Learning Recently we took at look at the phases of inquiry-based learning through a framework, and even apps that were conducive to inquiry-based learning on the iPad. During our research for the phases framework, we stumbled across the following breakdown of the inquiry process for learning on 21stcenturyhsie.weebly.com (who offer the references that appear below the graphic). What do I want to know about this topic? These stages have some overlap with self-directed learning. References Cross, M. (1996). Kuhlthau, C., Maniotes, L., & Caspari, A. (2007).
JIBLM.org - Journal of Inquiry-Based Learning in Mathematics - IBL Course Notes in Mathematics 36 Core Teacher Apps For Inquiry Learning With iPads 36 Core Teacher Apps For Inquiry Learning With iPads The interest in inquiry-based learning seems to ebb and flow based on–well, it’s not clear why it ever ebbs. In short, it is a student-centered, Constructivist approach to learning that requires critical thinking, and benefits from technology, collaboration, resourcefulness, and other modern learning skills that never seem to fall out of favor themselves. Regardless, St Oliver Plunkett Primary School has put together two very useful images that can help you populate your iPad–or classroom of iPads–with apps that support both inquiry-based learning (the second image below), and a more general approach to pedagogy based on Apple’s uber-popular tablet (the top image). The original pdf for the first file can be downloaded here. 36 Core Teacher Apps For Inquiry Learning With iPads; image attribution St.
Digital Storytelling in the Classroom: New Media Pathways to Literacy, Learning, and Creativity: Jason B. Ohler: 9781452268255: Amazon.com: Books The Challenges and Realities of Inquiry-Based Learning Inquiry Learning Teaching Strategies Getty By Thom Markham Teachers in a rural southeast Michigan high school were recently discussing the odd behavior of the senior class. The teachers’ explanation: Project-based learning. Here’s the back story. Stories like this are about to become more important to educators. This is a steep challenge because it forces education to cross a philosophic divide. Standardizing Valuable Skills To put a new system in place, a first key step is to disseminate and train every teacher on a clear set of performance standards to assess skills required for effective inquiry, such as communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. The challenge: Right now, a standards-based environment forces teachers to straddle the inquiry process. Assessing Collaborative Learning The iconic model of the individual scholar has been replaced by team-based inquiry. Making Depth of Thinking Evident The challenge: In inquiry, process is as critical as the product.
Curious Homework: An Inquiry Project for Students and Parents Photo credit: iStockphoto International educator Scot Hoffman is a big believer in the power of curiosity to drive learning. After nearly two decades of teaching around the globe, he also realizes that school isn't always so hospitable to inquiring minds. (As Einstein said, "It's a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.") That's why Hoffman has developed The Curiosity Project, a self-directed learning experience that engages students, parents, and teachers as collaborators in inquiry. I first met Hoffman a couple years ago during a visit to the American School of Bombay in Mumbai, India. Here are highlights of our recent conversations about The Curiosity Project. What was the inspiration for this idea? Scot Hoffman: In about my third year of teaching -- this was back in the 1990s -- there were a couple students I just wasn't reaching. Another inspiration was a set of questions that a former professor, Dr. What is curiosity? What did you notice? How has the project evolved?
Refocusing Students: How to Get Their Attention Back Did you know that when reading, one's mind will wander 20 to 40 percent of the time while perusing a text, regardless of whether it is a book, blog, email, narrative, essay, or anything else? This is one of many fascinating findings reported in Dan Goleman's new book, Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence and it calls us to remember that students can't learn what they are not paying attention to. As we enter the Common Core era, it's clear that students are going to have to read more deeply and carefully than ever if they are going to grasp the depth of meaning of the text. Reading experts will confirm that to get most out of reading, we need to immerse completely in the full context of the material -- we picture it, we integrate it with our experiences, and create a cognitive representation of the material that becomes a guide to how we understand and act in the world. Focusing Activity Ask them when it's important to them, in their lives, to pay careful attention. Refocusing Activity
Is Google Making Us Stupid? Illustration by Guy Billout "Dave, stop. Stop, will you? I can feel it, too. I think I know what’s going on. For me, as for others, the Net is becoming a universal medium, the conduit for most of the information that flows through my eyes and ears and into my mind. I’m not the only one. Bruce Friedman, who blogs regularly about the use of computers in medicine, also has described how the Internet has altered his mental habits. Anecdotes alone don’t prove much. It is clear that users are not reading online in the traditional sense; indeed there are signs that new forms of “reading” are emerging as users “power browse” horizontally through titles, contents pages and abstracts going for quick wins. Thanks to the ubiquity of text on the Internet, not to mention the popularity of text-messaging on cell phones, we may well be reading more today than we did in the 1970s or 1980s, when television was our medium of choice. Reading, explains Wolf, is not an instinctive skill for human beings.
Create a Culture of Questioning and Inquiry I have often suggested to teachers that when students have access to technology, whether it is provided by the school in a 1:1, BYOD, or simply the smart phone in their pocket, there should never be a question that goes unanswered –or un-followed. These are teachable moments for how to effectively search for information (information literacy & digital literacy) and allowing the time for students to explore connected ideas brings more depth to the learning, and allows students to make sense of things as they combine new information what they already know and understand, as well as to identify misunderstandings. Questioning leads to synthesis. It also makes the learning personal for students. What I discovered in the 300+ observations I have done for our 21 st Century Learning grant work was that the problem isn’t necessarily about allowing time for students to answer questions. Ask: “What do you wonder?” This seems like a simple thing to do – and it is! Question wall Question journal
Why we need more visual texts in our teaching and learning Found this fantastic infographic touting the success of infographics. Reading it ( or more correctly, viewing it) immediately focused my thoughts on the use of visual texts in classrooms today. Click on the screenshot above to view the animated, interactive info graphic that presents 13 reasons why we should use infographics ( or visual texts in general). If we take at face value the research this infographic is based on, human beings are, at heart, visual learners. I in no way want to devalue the importance of reading. Having said that, though, Literacy Education has been dominated by the written word, and to a lesser extent, spoken word in the form schooling has taken over the 100-200 years of formal education as we know it. If our brains are visually wired, then it makes sense that we visually present information, instructions, new learning, methods. I’m not saying teachers don’t use visuals – I’m saying we need to A LOT more.
9 Characteristics Of 21st Century Learning The label of “21st Century learning” is vague, and is an idea that we here at TeachThought like to take a swing at as often as possible, including: –weighing the magic of technology with its incredible cost and complexity –underscoring the potential for well thought-out instructional design –considering the considerable potential of social media platforms against its apparent divergence from academic learning Some educators seek out the ideal of a 21st century learning environment constantly, while others prefer that we lose the phrase altogether, insisting that learning hasn’t changed, and good learning looks the same whether it’s the 12th or 21st century. At TeachThought, we tend towards the tech-infused model, but do spend time exploring the limits and challenges of technology, the impact of rapid technology change, and carefully considering important questions before diving in head-first. The size of the circles on the map are intended to convey priority. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Inquiry-based Learning: Explanation What is inquiry-based learning? An old adage states: "Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand." The last part of this statement is the essence of inquiry-based learning, says our workshop author Joe Exline 1. Inquiry implies involvement that leads to understanding. Furthermore, involvement in learning implies possessing skills and attitudes that permit you to seek resolutions to questions and issues while you construct new knowledge. "Inquiry" is defined as "a seeking for truth, information, or knowledge -- seeking information by questioning." A Context for Inquiry Unfortunately, our traditional educational system has worked in a way that discourages the natural process of inquiry. Some of the discouragement of our natural inquiry process may come from a lack of understanding about the deeper nature of inquiry-based learning. Importance of Inquiry Memorizing facts and information is not the most important skill in today's world. The Application of Inquiry