Outcome 1

Describe and model different ways technology can be used to support student driven curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

Technology tools play an important role in the Inquiry-Based Learning process.  Students can use technology to research information, organize their thoughts, and share with others.  Digital writing tools allow them to document and reflect on new learning in creative, engaging new ways.  I think that technology is indispensable for meaningful IBL because it frees teachers from having to be at the center of all knowledge and learning.  When equipped with the right skills, students can use computers and the Internet to explore beyond the four walls of the classroom and learn things that even the teacher may not know.

Outlined below are the 6 steps of the IBL process.  Alongside each step, I outline a few technology tools that help facilitate that step, and examples of how those tools can be used.  Some of these tools are new to me, but most of them are not; I tend not to be someone who tries to know about everything under the sun.  When I attended a conference about using iPads a few years ago, one of the major lessons was that a few multi-purpose apps will prove more useful than a bunch of single-purpose ones.  At a time where I was putting almost any app I could find on them, that was a powerful message that I continue to try to heed.  So, I'm going to try to focus below on tools that I've used or plan to use in the future, with a focus on how they can be used in an IBL setting.

Ask Padlet

Padlet can help with the process of recording questions that students have.  The teacher can create a new Padlet, and students can post their inquiries directly to the Padlet itself.
  Today's Meet
Similar application as Padlet, but more text-based.  Teacher creates a backchannel, and students can post their questions as responses in the backchannel.

Shadow Puppet EDU
Shadow Puppet is an iOS app that allows you to create narrated photo slideshows.  For a more multimedia-based activity, you could have students capture or import photos that correspond to each question that they have, and then record audio of themselves saying their questions.

Discover Google Drawings
Students can use Google Drawings as a concept-mapping tool, and the ability to edit synchronously means that the teacher has flexibility in working with students on categorizing the questions that they came up with.  Mapping can be done as a whole group on one drawing, in small groups working on multiple drawings, or even small groups working on the same drawing.

Popplet is better suited for creating concept maps than Google Drawings, but lacks the ability for users editing simultaneously.

Integrate LucidChart

LucidChart is another concept-mapping tool.  While slightly less user-friendly and inviting as Popplet, is does integrate with Google Drive and allow for users to edit simultaneously.

Google Docs/Sheets

Use of either one of these tools might make the curriculum mapping process easier for students who think more linearly (you know, like me).

Negotiate Google Forms

I could use Google Forms to create a survey poll for when students are ready to vote on themes.

Strawpoll is an alternative poll-creation service that is quick and easy.  No account setup necessary.  Whenever a decision needs to be made, I could use Strawpoll to get a consensus about what direction to go in.


One of the features of iMovie for the iPad that I'd like to play around with a little more is the trailer creator, which features a bunch of templates that you can customize to make epic movie trailer-style videos.  Add your own text overlays over thematic graphics, and add your own pictures and videos in between.  I'm interested in seeing what kinds of persuasive videos the students could make if they made them into movie trailers!

Design Google Calendar

Students could use Google Calendar to help schedule and plan out their research projects.  Students could share their calendars with me, and I could also schedule them for appointments if I wanted to create a formal "Check In" schedule with them.

Do SeeSaw

SeeSaw is such a flexible tool that I could use it in a number of places during an IBL project.  When students reach the "Do" phase, the journaling/portfolio component of SeeSaw could be used to have students document and share their learning with each other.  I could require students to share a minimum of one thing that they learned in their group during a class period with the rest of the class, and then ask the class to find one new thing that they learned from what everyone shared.  Students could also use selected artifacts captured in SeeSaw and add them to the class blog, which we could use to share our collective story of how we are learning together.

Evernote is a great tool for organizing and synthesizing new information.  Because we have Chromebooks in my school and the GAfE Admin Panel, I could install the "Clip to Evernote" browser extension and teach students to clip web pages to their Evernote accounts when they find new and useful information.  Pages clipped to Evernote can be annotated, and students can write notes about what new information they gathered, and what new questions they have.  Notebooks can also be shared with the teacher, so I could even clip a page or two that I found useful in a shared class notebook.  Exploring the use of tags in Evernote will be useful in helping students to group notes by topic, and also serves as a useful for lesson on the use of tags in blogs and other place on the Internet.  Evernote has also recently added Google Drive integration, but I haven't explored that yet.