Personal Inquiry


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

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Personal Inquiry

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