• Week 1-Inquiry and student entered pedagogy
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Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the concept of inquiry and its implication on practice with regards to lesson design, types of learning activities, teacher's role, and students' roles
  • Understand the importance of wider school communit



video 1 script - week 1 minor changes, indicated below

[portuguese translation]

Rosemaryvideo 2 script - week 1no changeNo 
JennyWISE/Thermodynamics WISE technology for Inquiryno changeNo 


Discussion prompts

  • Lets talk about the challenging topics for instruction in our focus group area subject matter/grade level. In your experience, what topics seem to be the most challenging for students, and why?
  • What are some of the things that you have come to understand about how students learn various topics within our SIG focus areas


Reflections (assessment)


We'll add a rubric for deep reflection and ask learners to check their own answers. Implemented as self-assessment.

  • What was Jennifer’s role, during the WISE lesson?  
  • What new opportunities came a result of using WISE? 


Inquiry activity (Assessment)

  • Resource submission with a template 
    • In Week Zero, we included a link to a Resource Collective, which is a collection of annotated technology tools that can be integrated in inquiry teaching. In this activity, you will annotate a new technology resource by filling in the template below. 

        Name of resource (text box)

        URL if applicable 

        Suggested subject matter grade level

        Description * What does the resource do, how could it be used for inquiry teaching? Have you used it yourself?



Further reading/watching


Video 1 transcript

JIM SLOTTA: Hi, everyone, and welcome to Week One
of Teaching with Technology and Inquiry.
In this video, I'll start by introducing the main topics of inquiry, including
a definition that might differ a bit from other versions,
but will offer us a wide basis for discussion throughout the course.
I'll describe the role of technology not as an end in itself,
but as a means of engaging students in certain kinds of creative activities,
allowing them to build ideas autonomously, interact with peers,
and provide their teacher with insights to support formative assessment
and differentiated instruction.
Formative assessment is where the teacher
learns something about what the student knows,
not as a way of evaluating the outcome of the instruction,
but as a means of further tailoring instruction that responds
to the student as an individual.
This allows for differentiated instruction
where the teacher can essentially provide a unique learning
experience for every student in response to their specific needs and abilities.
Without technology, these methods could be out of reach for many teachers,
and even with technology, they could be challenging.
But the rewards are well worth the effort, so let's get started.
To begin I want to say few words about the important history of research
about inquiry learning and why it's increasingly relevant to today's
climate of schooling.
This is a history in which I myself have participated for the past 20 years
or so, and that's one that goes back many years before that.
In 1938, John Dewey published an important book
called Experience and Education, which is listed
as one of the resources for this week.
He argued that in traditional education, the teacher
is seen by students as a source of authoritative information, an umpire,
or a judge, a keeper of order.
He advocated instead for the teacher to promote student social exchanges
and to include forms of learning that connected with their experience
and provided a context for deep learning in the desired directions.
This notion of teacher was a profound shift from one of lecturer and one
that asked the teacher to become deeply engaged
as a learning partner or a coach in each student's experience.
Dewey's work inspired a generation of educational researchers,
particular in science education, where researchers
explored new ways of engaging students in active forms of experimentation,
reflection, and collaboration.

I won't have time to review the wealth of educational research
that has happened in the last 50 years or so.
That could be a great topic for a MOOC in its own right.
But I wanted to make sure to point out just how much research has explored
this kind of teaching and learning.
There are entire journals and conferences
dedicated to inquiry-oriented designs.
Each year at the annual conference of American Educational Research
Association, a large number of sessions are dedicated to this topic.
The European Association for Learning and Instruction
has several special interest groups that are focused on inquiry.
Many of the research studies of inquiry have naturally
tended to use technology as a way to provide new forms of support
for students and teachers.
It's not easy to engage students in rich experiences,
close collaborations with peers, and individual mentoring.
Technology can help.
There have been hundreds of studies over the years
where technology supported students as they collected and analyzed
data, developed their own models, explored simulations, played games
for learning, used smartphones to capture their experiences,
and connected with peers online and face-to-face.
The results of these studies have been deeply digested
by the research community, and we continue
to make progress and reflect in our own right about the most effective
and engaging designs for technology-enhanced inquiry.
Meanwhile, educational policymakers and visionaries have described our movement
into a new technological age, sometimes called the 21st century knowledge
society, where citizens and members of the workforce
are increasingly challenged to solve new kinds of problems,
collaborative deeply with peers, develop their own arguments,
critically evaluate an ever-changing array of resources,
and learn to use new technologies on a regular basis.
It's been argued that schools must prepare students for this society,
emphasizing the need for 21st century skills and competencies.
In this new millennium, students need to be
prepared as lifelong learners and critical users of information,
including vital experience of using technology
for purposes of problem solving, resource gathering, social networking,
and collaboration.
All the while though, teachers remain responsible for addressing the required
content expectations so any design for inquiry with technology
must ideally help students to deepen their understandings of topics
and must fit within the traditional culture and context of schooling.
For this course, I'll define inquiry as a curricular activity or sequence
of activities where students are engaged as autonomous learners,
critical thinkers, problem solvers, or designers, ideally
in collaboration and exchange with peers and teachers.
The topics of the inquiry should be important or central, not peripheral,
to the broader course, and perhaps even topics
that are known to be challenging ones.
The activities within the inquiry lesson should engage students in reflection,
asking them to connect and build upon their existing ideas,
and should allow those ideas to emerge, to be made visible and accessible,
and to serve as the object of further work within the inquiry lesson.
Students will typically develop some artifact,
whether it's a design, an argument, a model, or a wiki page
that they coauthor with friends, and this artifact
will serve as an important assessment of student progress.
This definition is broad, but it's consistent
with the constructivist perspective about learning
where the role of the teacher and any instructional materials
is to help students work with their existing ideas,
reveal inconsistencies, build on their personal experiences,
and connect ideas into more coherent understanding.
A role for technology in such learning is to scaffold or support students.
For reflections, a computer-presented notebook
could pop up a carefully worded reflection
prompt, supporting students to extend and apply their ideas,
and sending those ideas to the teacher or logging them
into an online portfolio.
Technology could help students to make their ideas more
visible through drawing tools, concept maps, or other forms of visualization.
It could serve to collect and aggregate student ideas
within a wider social network using Web 2.0 technologies like Twitter, Wiki,
Pinterest, Google Docs, or any other form of social knowledge building.
Finally, technology can help students to learn
wherever they are and connect learning across contexts like home, school,
field trip, or the playground.
Teachers can ideally add inquiry in reasonable or realistic doses,
picking specific lesson topics where an inquiry and technology approach could
engage students in productive interactions, reflections,
and knowledge building.
The technology can allow new opportunities
for assessment and new supports for classroom discourse.
In one example of inquiry that we'll see next week,
a UTS Physics teacher is using an off-the-shelf technology
called Nearpod where students share their drawings
of electric circuits and open responses to qualitative physics problems.
Nearpod allows the teacher to collect all student responses
into a visible classroom set so he can show specific examples,
engage the students in discussions, and develop
his own sense of what understanding students are
bringing with them into the lesson.
In another design, three UTS teachers asked their students
to collaborate across five class sections of a high school biology
course during a physiology unit to create
a wiki about human diseases, organized into three sections about respiratory,
circulatory, and digestive diseases.
The kids had fun collaborating and developing these pages,
and the teacher added headers into the pages
is to make sure students covered important aspects of disease
like causes, symptoms, interactions with other body systems,
and social connections.
After just one class period of editing where the wiki passed from one section
to the next, the result was a wonderfully rich set
of disease pages for which the students felt practical ownership
and then used as a resource in an ensuing inquiry challenge
that the teachers designed.
This course will be about designing such activities for your own classes using
existing technologies with the aim of promoting
deep learning and social interactions.
Technology will play a role in supporting student activities,
collecting ideas together, disseminating materials or resources,
and enabling teacher-led discourse in the classroom.
Only by carefully designing such lessons or adopting those of another teacher
and adapting them to your own context, can you
hope to succeed in such a risky business.
There are many challenges, and we'll do our best to help you understand those
and to reflect on how you can respond to them.
First and foremost, there is an issue of depth versus breadth.
Most teachers are asked to cover a very large amount of curriculum content,
leaving them very little free time within the curriculum.
But inquiry projects are time-intensive, usually asking students
to apply an investigative topic, develop their own designs or ideas,
and exchange with peers.
This can take several class periods at minimum,
and teachers need to understand the value or trade-off of such a depth
approach while dealing with the pressure of covering a breadth of topics.
Another important challenge is the need to manage the classroom
and support all students during such activities.
This process can be much more complex than traditional lecture or lab
activities, with much more that could go wrong,
opportunities for students to get distracted,
or even risk exposing them to harmful content for persons on the internet.
This course will address such concerns and help you be ready for them.
It is important to point out that there are many different versions
or interpretations of inquiry.
Well, we're not going to get into the whole range of those definitions here,
but we have collected some supplementary resources that
discuss some of the cross-cutting themes and common features
of inquiry-based approaches.
We also recognize that inquiry varies a lot from one instructional topic
or domain to another.
In science, inquiry entails working with conceptual problems,
designing experiments, and critiquing arguments.
But in mathematics, it may be more focused
on finding connections to the real world, patterns across problems,
or applications of problem-solving techniques.
In the arts and humanities, inquiry will look quite different still.
But in all of these domains, I would emphasize the basic ideas
I described earlier in this video.
The inquiry should engage students in building on their prior experiences
and ideas, connecting ideas, reflecting, and collaborating.
We will emphasize the role of the teacher as an experimenter,
actively exploring curriculum and learning about their students.
This often means running an inquiry lesson several times,
making small changes and adjustments to really get it right.
We'll help you think about curriculum design
either by doing it yourself as part of a small team
or by critiquing others' projects. (Not in the self-paced mode)
We want you to learn how to think about inquiry as a means of developing
formative assessments.
And we hope you can learn to be a creative consumer of the technologies
that are out there in the world, taking them from off the shelf,
borrowing designs from your peers, and using even simple tools like Microsoft
Office in creative new ways.
Mostly, we hope you can learn how to transform
your classroom into an active learning environment
where students interact with peers, investigate problems, design solutions,
and transform their understandings with technology serving
as a means of support and productivity.
I'll end here and leave you to go to the next two videos.
Rosemary Evans from UTS school will introduce her own perspective
as a practitioner and school leader.
Then, Jennifer Howell, a new teacher at UTS,
will be highlighted in video case study where
she adopts an off-the-shelf inquiry lesson from the WISE platform
and adapts it to her own course.







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