Year 3 are finishing their unit of work on ‘Minibeasts’ this week and their final report summaries were made using Voki software. These have been published in the Guided Inquiry tab above. Unfortunately Voki cannot be viewed on iPads. We hope this software will be upgraded soon.
This infographic by ‘graphite’ shows how the use of educational technology is favoured yet also how many teachers and institutions have difficulty in making its use a reality in the classroom. Educators have perceived barriers that are discussed here – budget restraints, time for teachers to learn to use and to implement technology into their practice.
The use of Guided Inquiry or any Inquiry learning framework can be integrated with the use of web-based tools that extend creativity or assist in the organisation and documentation of the shared learning experience.
This post by Med Kharbach, the founder and author of Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, introduces web-based tools for each level of Blooms Taxonomy. These tools can be selected strategically to support learning in each step of Guided Inquiry.
Last Friday afternoon two classes of excited Year 3 students came to the IRC with their parents to show them their work. After the teachers spoke of how the Guided Inquiry process had worked for them in practice, some of the students’ Vokis were demonstrated on the whiteboard. The parents then spent time with their child looking at their bookwork, their PowerPoints and their Vokis.
The students had used the Guided Inquiry process, with Teacher Librarian support, to investigate their personally selected aspect of the human body. Besides learning about the Human Body they also learned a lot of reading skills, writing skills, thinking skills and ICT skills.
Books were the main source of information as our IRC collection has so many good books suitable for this age group. The students read a lot about the human body before selecting their favourite aspect to study. Writing their own questions was a lot of fun and some fabulous ideas emerged!
The practical science experiments for this unit were also suggested and created by the students!
Finally after they had investigated and written answers to their questions, they made a PowerPoint to teach the other students about their work. Then, for fun, they made a Voki summary. This also incidentally taught them a lot about spelling and punctuation as they tried to make their computer generated avatars ‘speak’ their presentations.
Cardboard projects of the past cannot be compared to this exciting learning process!
Last Friday all 51 year 3 students and their teachers shared a summary of their ‘reports’ on a selected aspect of The Human Body via personally created Voki avatars. We all enjoyed the variety of information and also the reflection of each child’s creativity in their selection of avatar, background and voice. A lot of laughter and peer learning took place! All Vokis are available from the 2013 Guided Inquiry page
The sheer number of tools available can be overwhelming. Learning a new tool can be a steep learning curve but usually only for a short time before its use becomes indispensable. Every tool has a different purpose and every user has immediate and personal needs. Matching these is what can be difficult.
TeachThought has listed 9 Digital Learning Tools every 21st Century teacher should be able to use. Useful tools come… and are then superseded by something better whilst others stand the test of time. This list is a good place to start – to find readily accessible and practical ways to implement technology and become fluent in its application.
It’s that time of year – end of term evaluation is taking place; evaluation of the products of students’ work, of outcomes achieved, of teaching methodologies…
As we move into the use of technology in the classroom using Apps on hand held devices, how should we be evaluating Apps when we purchase them and before we use and recommend them? This rubric from a post by Tony Vincent on LearningHand is valuable.
Here is yet another way to present information. Students at Broughton have been learning to present information using Glogster, Prezi and Voki and here is yet another idea.
Easel.ly provides visual themes ready for data insertion. It is in early design stages so try this out – and give them feedback.
A few years ago I heard Will Richardson speak at a conference in Sydney. He was inspirational in how he challenged us to use the available technologies to make changes in education. In particular he showed us how to use technology to encourage a global perspective for learning. We were encouraged to blog our own learning and share widely.
In the following video clip, recorded at the ISTE 2012 conference, he says that teachers should allow students to be learners who are able to pursue personal interests and passions, “Don’t do work that just exists within your classroom and gets pushed onto classroom walls, do work that changes the world… Kids can create things that impact people around the world…Why wouldn’t we do that…Why wouldn’t we publish their work…”
This term, Year 10 Commerce students begin a Guided Inquiry unit of work. They have the choice to follow their passions in researching Issues in Australian Society. The culmination of their study is to propose ways that they could initiate change. This is the third year that Guided Inquiry has been used for this unit of work – with a team teaching approach by the class teacher and the Teacher Librarian. The 2010 Action Research project, looking into Year 10 Commerce and their use of Guided Inquiry, can be found in the top bar of this blog. The students were keen to share their work.
This video was found at:
Social Media tools are becoming the main means of communication even overtaking that of email. The problem lies with the blurring of boundaries between work and home. The Victorian Government has launched a Social Media Policy which could be adapted for any environment – business or school. This clip outlines all the precautions needed to ‘post’ and ‘like’ within ethical boundaries.