The Strength of Weak Ties

Everyone participates. Everyone contributes. Leveraging the power of digital networks to connect people, resources and ideas to drive creativity and innovation forward...and actually accomplish something!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

But There is Good News!

Three science teachers in my district have set off on a 2 week mission to teach inquiry-based research skills to their kids. This process asks kids to attack an essential question, formulate foundation questions, develop a list of keywords from their foundation questions, develop a search strategy, learn how to locate, evaluate and distill information, and build an answer to the original essential question. Now, inquiry is nothing new to science education, but the systematic process that these teachers are using will provide their students with a methodical and effective process for problem solving.

Embedded within this instruction are learning activities designed to introduce students to the tools of the Read Write Web. Students will learn how to use these tools to drive the research process described above. The teachers will also ask students to demonstrate their problem solving using inquiry by moving their unit tests out of their classroom and down into the library for two days where students will be given an authentic, essential question and asked to use the research process, and the tools of the Read Write Web to develop an answer. Adults are not asked to solve problems isolated in a room with nothing but a scantron form and number 2 pencil, why should kids?

So, to get some baseline data, the teachers asked their kids to answer the following survey. The survey listed a particular tool or Website, and asked kids to respond in the following manner:

I don't know what it is
I know what it is but have not used it
I've used it

Here are the technologies:
Fagan Finder
Blogs (do you read them)
Blogs (have you written)

The results promise to shed some light where our kids are. The instruction promises to move kids forward, and to properly teach kids how to use the tools for lifelong learning. Here is an example of what should be happening, as opposed to my previous post, where I expressed absolutely no hope. Congrats on the fine job being done by these teachers!


  • At 10:36 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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