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BeyondTextbooks : Inquiry-based Teaching for Meaningful Learning. M. Ekdahl, TL Mentor Vancouver School Board UBC Faculty of Education June 2008. Points of Inquiry:.

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beyondtextbooks inquiry based teaching for meaningful learning

BeyondTextbooks: Inquiry-based Teaching for Meaningful Learning

M. Ekdahl, TL Mentor

Vancouver School Board

UBC Faculty of Education

June 2008

points of inquiry
Points of Inquiry:

No longer can it be assumed that the teacher is the expert as students actively construct their own personal understandings of information. This kind of learning is best accomplished within a model of inquiry .…

Points of Inquiry, A Framework for C21L

Developed by BCTLA using BC curriculum documents

many models same skills
Many Models, Same Skills …

Glogster: Inquiry Models

“Although the models may look different and use different vocabulary they all include the same basic processes and skills.”

From Nell Ududec - Educational Resources/Library Consultant, Pembina Trails, Manitoba

bctla s points of inquiry model
BCTLA’s Points of Inquiry Model
  • BC curriculum
  • Benchmarked
  • Developmental
  • Common language
  • Frame for school-wide

tech planning, AfL,

IL skill development in

all subject areas …

inquiring learners
Inquiring Learners:
  • Are actively involved in the learning process
  • Make connections and use prior knowledge
  • Ask good questions, investigate
  • Construct new understandings and communicate these
  • Think and reflect critically as they become independent as learners
c21 teachers
C21 Teachers
  • Move to the side, guide, scaffold learning
  • Provide feedback, empower deep learning
  • Encourage students to have more authority over their own knowledge and inquiry
  • Are actively engaged in learning, assessing, and teaching
  • Ensure new learning happens in active, collaborative, social contexts (real or virtual)
good questions are the key to inquiry
Good questions are the key to inquiry:

Langley Teacher Librarians’ Wiki:

Inquiry Questions

For Use with the Points of Inquiry Model

textbooks are not enough
Textbooks are not enough …

Textbooks, although they certainly have an important role in content area learning, have been scrutinized by educational critics who express concerns about their quality in terms of accuracy, readability, and appeal. These criticisms remind us that some textbooks may as well be made for furniture rather than learning ….

Vacca and Vacca (2005)

Content Area Reading: Literacy and Learning Across the Curriculum.

NY: Pearson Education, 154.


Is Technology the Answer?

Do we start with questions like these?

  • How long before the iPad2 expires?
  • Will everyone have one for home and school?
  • How will this tool be used by teachers and students today and in years to come?
  • Is there an App for that?Or are there more fundamental questions of educational philosophy?

More Fundamental Questions Like:

What knowledge has the most worth? Why?

What are the best ways of teaching and learning?

Or broader moral and political questions:

What is the ‘good’ life?

How does one live a useful and worthy life?

When these questions are asked and answered, then and only then can new technologies play their role in schools and classrooms.

  • Where are you and other teachers on The Continuum for Change in teaching and learning?
      • Just fine where I am, thanks.
      • No time to think about it. Just surviving here.
      • What was good enough for me is good enough for them.
      • Convince me.
      • I get bored doing the same old thing over and over.
      • I’m aware that students get bored with “read the chapter, do the questions.”
      • I’m always looking to try new ways to engage kids with learning.
      • I love to work with technology. Let’s go …
      • Want to work on a new unit together? Let’s try Blogging Mathematicians!
top ten alternatives to traditional textbooks 1 other educators
Top Ten Alternatives to Traditional Textbooks: #1: Other Educators

What are other teachers or educators doing?

Check out –

Springfield Township High School Virtual Library (Joyce Valenza)

Kathy Schrock`s Guide for Educators

PSAs, like Math Teachers

Twitter eg: YA Audiobooks, free for summer reading

Your recommendations?

1 twitter tweetdeck
#1, : Twitter / Tweetdeck

Hashtags: #bced #edtechbc #bctla #edchat

2 databases
#2 = Databases

Try ones like these from VSB’s Digital Library:

Global Issues in Context (SS and Science)

Biography in Context

Bookflix (ESL, SPED)

Newspapers (All)

Culturegrams (Home Ec, SPED, ESL)

3 ebooks
#3 = eBooks

Go to VSB Webcat, click onto Video and More:

Check out such online book sources as:

Books should be free

Librivox Audio Books

Open Library Accessible Books Online

Project Gutenberg

World Book EBook centre

Smart History Art web-text

Merlot eText Content Online

4 students need infosmarts teach search retrieval and ct strategies
#4 = Students Need “InfoSmarts” -- Teach search, retrieval, and CT strategies


Google / Beyond Google = Chrome, Scholar, Ninja

Wikipedia – “begin here but never end here”

CCRAP – #9: evaluate sources for currency, coverage, relevance, authority, perspective

Schrock’s Evaluating Websites page


Advanced Search features

Wolfram Alpha (For Math and stats and other data, see By Topic)

Corroboration – hoax sites

ME’s Plagiarism Website

5 authentic sources
#5 = Authentic Sources




National Geographic


TED Talks

Your recommendations?

6 product launches and trials
#6 = Product Launches and Trials

What do you want to see?

Ask District Resource Centre for product trials

Ask Teacher-librarians for product updates

7 digitization initiatives
#7 = Digitization Initiatives

Canada in the Making - Constitutional History

Canada in the Making - Aboriginals: Treaties & Relations

Canada in the Making – Pioneers and Immigrants

Where are the Children? Healing the legacy of the residential schools

Moving Here, Staying Here. The Canadian Immigrant Experience - LAC

Multicultural Canada


History by the Minute

Canadian Encyclopedia, The

Black History Canada from Historica

… and lots more

8 youtube nfb ted etc
#8 = youtube, NFB, TED, etc.

In Vancouver, Webcat links to Video and More by tab

Find a good short youtube clip, like -

Hans Rosling's200 Countries, 200 Years,

4 Minutes - The Joy of Stats - BBC Four

9 trade books and tls
#9 = Trade Books (and TLs)

Trade books are:

  • For use by general public
  • Informative, entertaining, appealing to range of readers
  • Picture books, fiction, non-fiction, poetry
  • Focused on a subject
  • Develop in-depth understanding
  • Opportunities for reading to learn and learning to read
  • Best when used in multimedia environment with curriculum integration in mind
  • An optimal way to extend and enrich learning

See more in Vacca and Vacca, Chapter 5 (circulating)

10 self created resources
#10 – Self-created Resources

Create your own resources with tools like:

  • Animoto, blogger, Prezi, etc.

Find out more about:

  • Merlot
  • Lulu