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Personal Inquiry


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Presentation of the Personal Inquiry project: Supporting Inquiry Science Learning with Mobile Technology

Presentation of the Personal Inquiry project: Supporting Inquiry Science Learning with Mobile Technology

Published in: Education, Technology

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  • 1. Personal InquirySupporting Inquiry Science Learning with Mobile Technology
    Mike Sharples
    Learning Sciences Research Institute
    University of Nottingham
  • 2. Health warning: exercise makes you fat body fat is the key to weight loss, not working out
    Sunday Telegraph
    Social websites harm children's brains
    Chilling warning to parents from top neuroscientist
    Daily Mail
  • 3. How can we help children to think, talk, and act like scientists?
  • 4. Personal Inquiry project
    Three year project
    University of Nottingham/ Open University
    To help children to engage in effective science inquiries
  • 5. Inquiry learning
    “Inquiry-based learning involves learners asking questions about the natural or material world, collecting data to answer those questions, making discoveries and testing those discoveries rigorously”
    de Jong, 2006
  • 6. Elements of successful inquiry learning
    Motivation of learners
    Tools for data collection, discovery, testing
    Support for the inquiry process
    Sequencing activities
  • 7. Motivation
    • Taking science learning outside the classroom
    - school, playground, home, outdoors
    • Supported by personal technology
  • Tools
    Low cost science inquiry toolkit
  • 8. If we were starting now: iPhone?
  • Scripted inquiry learning
    ‘dynamic lesson plans’
    on a personal mobile computer
    Process support
  • 17.
  • 18. Sequencing activities
    my inquiry question or hypothesis
    my methods, equipment, actions
    my evidence
    and represent my evidence
    to my question or hypothesis
    and discuss my inquiry
    On my progress
    my topic
    Cycle of engagement and reflection
  • 19. Sequencing activities
    Inquiry Guide to provide flexible sequencing of activities
  • 20. Healthy Eating Inquiry
    Investigate daily eating
    “Is my diet healthy”?
    Compare with Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNI)
  • 21. Context
    Inner city school
    High levels of social deprivation
    School policy of no homework
    Flexible curriculum
    Year 9 class, 28 children
    Healthy eating topic
    Inquiry learning between school and home
  • 22. Technology
    Asus computer running the PI toolkit
    Camera to keep a food diary
  • 23. Food diary
    Photograph daily eating
    Tag with food content
    Create tables of data
    Reflect on data collected by their group
  • 24.
  • 25. Research Design
  • 26. Nov 2008: Data Collected
    70 sets of Questionnaires (pre-post)
    Log filesfrom 28 students of their use of the PI toolkit in class and at home (e.g. summaries, graphs, presentations)
    Video capture of the 9 lessons with three cameras (2 groups and 1 overall)
    11 interviews with Teacher, 7 with pupils
    during and post-intervention
    Researchers’ observation notesafter each lesson
  • 27. Critical incident analysis of video
    Observed events that indicate successful learning or conceptual change
    Observed events that indicate technical, social or learning difficulties
  • 28. Breakthroughs
    Seeing RNI graphs e.g. for crisps & cola
    Experiencing the problems of not having collected their own data
    Presenting their own investigation
  • 29. Breakdowns
    Some usability problems with the software
    Synchronization: Teacher showed a display on SmartBoard but pupils saw a different display on their computers
    Using the diary
    Categorisation of food
    Filling in the comment box of each graph
  • 30. Children’s challenges:Too personal inquiry
    Children see their own food on the classroom screen
    Too embarrassed to take photos
  • 31. Personal inquiry
    How can you design inquiry teaching that is personal, challenging and motivating,
    but not embarrassing or demeaning?
    Not personal enough
    Too personal
  • 32. New investigation
    Developed with students, teacher & expert
    Effect of noise pollution on birds
    Observations, naturalistic study, experiment
  • 33. Teacher’s challenges
    Managing the toolkit in class
    Confidence in supporting learning outside the classroom
  • 34. Conclusions
    Personal technology can support inquiry learning inside and outside the classroom
    Important that learners should own
    the inquiry question
    the technology
    the process of inquiry
    Balance of engagement and embarrassment
    Balance between understanding the inquiry topic and learning inquiry skills