Inquiry-based learning is not a new pedagogy, but it has come back into fashion in progressive education circles recently because of new emphasis on the power of students’ innate curiosity to drive learning. Inquiry-based learning asks students to discover knowledge on their own with guidance from their teachers. Rather than receiving information up front through lectures, students research guiding questions, ask their own follow-ups and get help along the way.
"Incorporating student choice and project-based learning into the curriculum better engages students and helps them take ownership of their learning, middle-grades educator Karla Duff writes. In this commentary, she shares six tips for developing student-driven projects, as well as online resources and ideas from her zombie-based geography unit."
Development Impact and You — Practical tools to trigger & support social innovation
The tools are not coming out of thin air. It draws on a study of many hundreds of tools currently being used – here we have included only the ones which practitioners found most useful. Many of them are well documented and have been widely used in other sectors. In that sense this toolkit is standing on the shoulders of giants, and we are happy to acknowledge that. All the tool descriptions include a key reference, so it is easy to trace back their origins and dive deeper into other publications about their application.
Kim Flintoff's insight:
The tools on this site can easily be applied to challenge-based learning contexts, collaborative learning, and other active learning contexts.
"The rise of the Maker has been one of the most exciting educational trends of the past few years. A Maker is an individual who communicates, collaborates, tinkers, fixes, breaks, rebuilds, and constructs projects for the world around him or her. A Maker, re-cast into a classroom, has a name that we all love: a learner. A Maker, just like a true learner, values the process of making as much as the product. In the classroom, the act of Making is an avenue for a teacher to unlock the learning potential of her or his students in a way that represents many of the best practices of educational pedagogy. A Makerspace classroom has the potential to create life-long learners through exciting, real-world projects."
The future of higher education is more than a digital replica of yesterday's campus or even today's classroom. The building blocks of our future higher education institutions are physical and virtual; they are human and technological. By combining these capabilities—the best of both the traditional (the campus) and the digital (computing), we can build colleges and universities that are designed to engage, thus bringing us closer to achieving the mission and goals of higher education.
Over the next twenty years the earth is predicted to add another two billion people. Having nearly exhausted nature’s ability to feed the planet, we now need to discover a new food system. The global climate will continue to change. To save our coastlines, and maintain acceptable living conditions for more than a billion people, we need to discover new science, engineering, design, and architectural methods, and pioneer economic models that sustain their implementation and maintenance. Microbiological threats will increase as our traditional techniques of anti-microbial defense lead to greater and greater resistances, and to thwart these we must discover new approaches to medical treatment, which we can afford, and implement in ways that incite compliance and good health. The many rich and varied human cultures of the earth will continue to mix, more rapidly than they ever have, through mass population movements and unprecedented information exchange, and to preserve social harmony we need to discover new cultural referents, practices, and environments of cultural exchange. In such conditions the futures of law, medicine, philosophy, engineering, and agriculture – with just about every other field – are to be rediscovered.
Being dumb in the existing educational system is bad enough. Failing to create a new way of learning adapted to contemporary circumstances might be a national disaster. The good news is, some people are working on it.
Kim Flintoff's insight:
This ceraiinly seems to be a rationale for investigating more effective ways of fostering learning. It could be suggested that the only core skills we all need are:
- the capacity to learn and relearn,
- the capacity to determine what learning is required,
- the ability to assist others with learning and
- resilience to see that through the inevitable challenges that arise when we breach the limits of our comfort zone.
One wonders if national education policies and national curricula are fully supportive of this requisite shift in focus?
Free tools or websites that teachers can create or share quizzes and polls. Please add your recommendations. | Interact | Create A Quiz, Learningpod, ExamTime Quizzes, Socrative | Student Response System, Google Forms + Flubaroo, Joomla Quiz Deluxe, Learning Management System (LMS), course management software for e-Learning, web-based online training platform, Moodle, Testmoz, and PollEverywhere
Jacqui Kelly's insight:
A useful list of free tools available for polling activities.
The sideways classroom utilizes online interactive teacher resources like a flipped classroom, but melds group tutoring and typical classroom discussion with after-school learning. Since it is a less radical departure from what students and parents expect, there’s less stress and uncertainty. If you fear that students may not have access to video lectures or get distracted from learning while on their own time, then teacher resources and equipment available in most schools solve this logistics problem. Wealth and home situation do not become a barrier to learning.
"Dr. Mazur's teaching method has a large national and international following, and has been adapted to teaching many disciplines. He is author or co-author of over 200 publications and 12 patents, and helped produce the award-winning DVD Interactive Teaching.
"Almost 20 years ago, Harvard physicist Eric Mazur had an "aha" moment about his teaching practice that forced him to rethink the traditional unidirectional teaching model. He described his early approach to courses as "not how you teach it, but what you cover. [Then] I realized education was not merely a transfer of information. It was about how well students could assimilate information and transfer it to their own experience." So Dr. Mazur radically changed his approach. He developed a strategy that incorporates "just-in-time" teaching with short lectures punctuated by conceptual questions posed to the students, using classroom response technology. Dr. Mazur asks his students to think about and respond to these questions, and to attempt to convince each other of their positions.
"This is the basis of what he calls the Peer Instruction method, which engages students, provides continuous assessment and feedback, and allows students to learn from each other."
Journalism students know that what they do is important. But according to Jim Streisel, the 2013 National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year, a student newspaper is really just a byproduct of the learning process.
"While gathering resources to share with campus teachers, I stumbled upon thePhoto Mapo app and quickly added it to my list of tools for summer archival. The intent was to provide a repository of tools and applications that educators could utilize in the midst of their staycations and vacations that could also be extended to the classroom. Photo Mapo is a FREE app that does just that. "
Very useful for fieldtrips and site -based learning activities - the app allows you to record the location, a map, a photo and notes about the location in a single "postcard" style image. Geological survey, environmental outings, etc could all be recorded with this innovative, yet very simple application.