Week 10 – Technology and Inquiry with Joanna Lake

Joanna Lake portrait photo
Photo credit: Joanna Lake

This week we are fortunate that Joanna Lake, who is a K-12 educator in Victoria, BC, has taken the time out of their busy schedule to engage talk to us about her inquiry-based learning practice and assessment in her middle school classes. Joanna is interested in using technology to provide authentic learning experiences and incorporating Indigenous pedagogy in both face-to-face and online learning environments. 

When we move to the hands-on lab portion of our class time, we will explore how the SmartPhone and the Open Source Arduino Science Journal software can be used by learners to further their science-based inquiries.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe how the inquiry process can be implemented in your elementary or middle school classroom using a scaffolded approach using technology where appropriate.
  • Describe how the “See 👀, Think 💭, Wonder❓” technique could be used to facilitate guided inquiries as early as kindergarten. 
  • Use Android Science Journal on a smartphone or iPad to conduct an experiment using a provided lesson plan.
  • Describe two or more scenarios where the Android Science Journal could support learner inquiries.

Pre-class Activities:

As you watch the following videos, please do the following:

  • Prepare at least one question to ask Joanna during our class time this week.
  • Make note of the inquiry-based learning suggestions and tips that you think might be helpful to you in your grade level and in particular your practice as a teacher.

Technology & Inquiry

The Habits of the Inquiry Teacher (2 min)

Four Pillars of Inquiry Based Learning - Explore a passion - Aim for a goal - Delve into your curiosities - Take on a new challange

The Four Pillars of Inquiry (2 min)

Inquiry in Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt’s Kindergarten Class

See - Think - Wonder worksheet
Photo: The Curious Kindergarten

Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt, who is a kindergarten teacher at George Jay Elementry School in Victoria, BC often uses “See 👀, Think 💭, Wonder❓” exercises with her kindergarten learners to help them think more critically about the world around them. Rebecca typically does this by asking her learners to look closely at an object or an idea and then encourages them to ask themselves:

  • What do you see?
  • What do you think about that?
  • What does it make you wonder?

Rebecca typically uses paper worksheets and clipboards for her young learners so that they can easily go outside to conduct inquiries in nature as well as in the classroom. As most of her learners are not yet writing, she encourages them to draw on their worksheets, and then Rebecca assists by writing a summary of the learners’ stated thoughts on the form.

The video below uses the “See, Think, Wonder” technique with Google Slides rather than paper and clipboard, but the concept is the same no matter what media you choose to use as an instructor.

“See, Think, Wonder”: A Visual Thinking Strategy using Google Slides (2 min)

Inspirational Inquiry-Based Learning Sketchnotes

Please skim through Trevor’s wonderful Inquiry-Based learning Sketchnotes. Trevor uses them to help scaffold the inquiry process for both learners and their parents. As you review the sketchnotes, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which sketchnotes do you think would be most helpful for your future learners given the grade level you hope to teach?
  • At which points in their inquiry process would they be most helpful?

Introduction to Arduino Science Journal

Watch this Arduino Science Journal introductory video (1 min). As you watch the video, think of ways you could possibly use the Arduino Science Journal to facilitate learner inquiries with a science component.

Install Arduino Science Journal on your phone. The install links are at the bottom of the web page.

Class Time

Guest lecture and Q&A by Joanna Lake (follow her great Twitter feed)!

Joanna graciously shared the slides from her presentation with us, which I hope will be particularly useful to you as you prepare for your practicums:

Checkin scale with 9 guinea pigs
Joanna Lake’s Guinea Pick check-in scale

Rich will do a show and tell his experience with FreshGrade from a parent’s perspective. If you’d like to you can create your own “instructors” account to try it out.

Hands-on Lab Time

Arduino Science Journal

Arduino Science Journal app icon“The Science Journal transforms your device into a pocket-size science tool that encourages students to explore their world. As they conduct eye-opening experiments, they’ll record observations and make new, exciting discoveries.”

Work through at least one Android Science Journal module on Light, Motion, or Sound, and then:

  • Reflect on how the Science Journal might be a useful tool in your grade level. 
  • What questions might you need answers to before using (or not) Science Journal in your class?

Learning Pod Time & Homework

  • Register for a 1-1 end-of-semester interview with Rich (link will be in this week’s class email).
  • Learning Pod Time:
    • Share one of your blog posts with at least one member of your learning pod, and provide feedback on a different peer’s post either verbally or via a comment on their blog post.
    • Discuss today’s topic.
    • Work on Assignment 2 with your partner.
  • Weekly blog post to document your learning in class:
    • Review the 336 Blog Post Rubrics to make sure you’re including all the minimally required elements for your weekly blog posts.
    • Here is a sample high-quality weekly blog post on the topic and/or technology of the week.
    • Please do the following:
      • Critically reflect on Joanna’s presentation in your post.
      • Critically reflect on the Fresh Grades app and Android Science Journal.
    • Use the category, “weekly-reflection“.
  • Weekly Free Inquiry blog post:
    • Document your free inquiry progress, reflecting on your progress, as well as identifying and evaluating helpful resources you found. Provide details on your learning progress (through success or failure).
    •  Employ a multimedia strategy in your post to help document your inquiry by using text and one or more other media to help make it more engaging (e.g., image, screencast, video, or other formats).
    • Utilize social writing strategies such as hyperlinks to blog posts (e.g., trackbacks) or to articles/resources consulted, including web pages, images, videos, etc.
    • Use the category, “free-inquiry”.
    • Share your post with your learning pod at your next meeting (usually at the end of class time).

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