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
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.
I came across this TED talk today – more inspirational aspects of teaching to the needs and relevancy of today’s children.
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.
The following link to the blog post from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning provides access to various tools for 33 different skills. It is wonderful to have such a varied and pertinent list including the tools needed to succeed in each skill all in one place. Both teachers and students shoud be aware of skills they need to keep up with digital learning in the 21Century. Here is a great place to start!
Early in March the new video channel TED-Ed was introduced. The platform is now more than just a repository.
Within the growing TED-Ed video library, you will find carefully curated educational videos, many of which represent collaborations between talented educators and animators nominated through the TED-Ed platform. This platform also allows users to take any useful educational video, not just TED’s, and easily create a customized lesson around the video.
This facilitates a new trend called “Flip Teaching” where students watch a prepared video lesson at home and class time is devoted to discussion, building ideas and creative responses.
TED-Ed enables shared lessons via Twitter, Facebook or email with the ability to check who has viewed your lesson and how they progressed in any activities within the lesson – with their permission.
Traditionally schools have collected student work samples to store physical examples of accomplishment and compare individual achievement over a period of time. E-Portfolios have so much more potential. They can be used to “help students find purpose and passion through reflection and goal-setting” as they develop their own record of learning. Dr Helen Barrett explains how it is possible to incorporate the use of digital tools in learning to achieve this goal.
This morning one of our teachers used an iPad App to teach her PDHPE class about the human heart. The IRC’s new SMART Board attached to an iPad had the students enthralled – as of course did the teacher’s excellent demonstrations,manipulation of the App and her questioning techniques! It was a wonderful example of quality teaching and switched on learning!