Digital Tools Supporting Inquiry
My research on Inquiry-based Learning in an ICT-rich Environment - the ICTs used in the research are a little outdated now but there are modern equivalents and the conclusions on ways that ICTs supported inquiry remain valid:
- Tools for obtaining, recording, sorting and presenting information – a variety of digital tools (email, websites and apps) are helpful at all stages of the inquiry process
- . Understanding complex concepts - a combination of internet tutorials (eg Youtube), information from websites, information in books and good old-fashioned discussions led to the year 6 & 7 students developing an understanding of the complex concepts surrounding the topic of cloning.
- Decision-making - information from books, websites, discussions and e-mailing people involved, aided the students in making decisions about questions they had asked.
- Providing prompt access to primary sources of information - by e-mailing the people involved the students were quickly able to gain answers to some of their questions. Websites were also a major source of information (which was cross-checked) and in some cases were primary sources of information where the sites were developed by the people involved, rather than by a third party
- Providing access to information on current topics – both topics, being very current, were hard to resource using traditional sources. Most information, other than background information, came from websites and e-mail.
- Developing a home-school partnership - various tools such as Seesaw, blogs school websites etc provide a link between home and school
- Communicating findings to a wider audience – the internet provides a medium for students to communicate their findings to an audience far wider than their school.