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The Importance of Inquiry in the Age of Technology. Bertram C. Bruce Library & Information Science U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Harold Kroto. What is Inquiry?. Creating opportunities to engage students in active learning based on their own backgrounds and interests

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the importance of inquiry in the age of technology

The Importance of Inquiry in the Age of Technology

Bertram C. Bruce

Library & Information Science

U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

what is inquiry
What is Inquiry?
  • Creating opportunities to engage students in active learning based on their own backgrounds and interests
  • A learner-centered process
  • A cycle of asking, investigating, creating, discussing, and reflecting
  • A process in which each question leads to further questions
how does inquiry work
Inquiry involves people as active learners. Students in inquiry classrooms may experience anything from running a business, to writing stories, to growing and hatching chickens.How does Inquiry work?
what is the inquiry page
What is the Inquiry Page?
  • Partner projects
  • Resources for inquiry teaching & learning
  • Lesson planning support and idea site
  • Collaborative teaching & learning community
how does the inquiry page fit
How does the Inquiry Page fit?
  • - Start here for an overview and introduction to Inquiry
  • See images and stories of students involved with Inquiry
  • Create your own curriculum units or adapt a unit someone else has designed
  • Explore other projects, articles, websites, or tools to facilitate your Inquiry journey
design through use collaboration
Design through use: Collaboration
  • Create and share a unit
  • Dialogue spaces: listservs, web forums
  • Spin-offs
  • Comment feature on units
  • Multiple authors with separate logins
  • Distributed IP: Style sheets
  • Synchronous editing support
participants design through use
Participants: Design through use
  • community members
  • teachers, librarians, museum educators
  • students at all levels
  • university faculty
  • scientists
  • others engaged in a variety of lifelong and informal learning activities
  • Quote of the Day: Writings on inquiry
  • Collaborative technologies
  • Inquiry in Action: What inquiry looks like
  • Evaluation/Assessment resources
  • Collaborative bibliography
  • Inquiry Units: Searchable database of Units
  • Inquiry Partners: projects, courses, libraries, museums, schools, community groups, …
types of inquiry units
Types of Inquiry Units
  • Lesson plan
  • Syllabus
  • Student work product
  • Locus for collaborative investigation
  • Policy discussion thread
  • Community action plan
  • Multimedia digital library document
  • Pathfinder or bibliography
curriculum units
Curriculum units
  • Graduate course:What are the processes and consequences of electronic publication?
  • Reflection on teaching:What directions do children's interests take in story reading as inquiry?
  • Activities to connect science and language: What does hatching chicks have to do with language arts?
  • Workshop on poetry writing: Poetry as play
library resources
Library resources
  • Multilingual needs:What library and information services are provided for librarians serving the Latino community? How can we present these in the form of a website to librarians and other information professionals?
  • Policy statement on a collection: What sort of selection policy would be appropriate for developing a 'zine collection?
independent inquiry
Independent inquiry
  • How can a former language arts teacher utilize his or her experience in a library science career?
  • How can one create an evaluation scheme for web sites focusing on books for junior high students?
  • How can one create a pathfinder to aid students in literary reports?
community action
Community action
  • Create Your Personal SisterNet Spiritual Health Plan
research questions
Research questions

How can we

  • connect learning & life?
  • support lifelong learning?
  • accommodate diversity & shared values?
one earth
One earth

Relate the school to life, and all studies are of necessity correlated.

John Dewey, School and Society

2 lifelong learning
2) Lifelong learning

technology => solves a problem

solution to a problem => technology

problem solving cycle
Problem-solving cycle

problem 1 => technology 1

technology 1 => problem 2

problem 2 => technology 2

technology 2 => problem 3 …

participatory inquiry
Participatory inquiry

Design through use or participatory inquiry aims to respond to human needs by democratic processes. Through creation of content, contributions to interactive elements, and incorporation into practice, users are not merely recipients of technology, but participate actively in its ongoing development.

3 accommodate difference and shared values
3) Accommodate difference and shared values
  • Distributed Knowledge Research Collaborative
  • East St. Louis Action Research Project
  • SisterNet Spiritual Health Plan
  • Latino Student Coalition
design through use techniques
Design through use techniques
  • Workshops
  • Inquiry group meetings
  • Retreats
  • Email/bboard discussion
  • Feedback forms
active participation
Active participation

every individual must be consulted in such a way, actively not passively, that he himself becomes a part of the process of authority.

Dewey, Democracy & Education

la propension des choses
La propension des choses

In the traditional configuration (shi)…, tension is expressed by the curve of a roof…

François Jullien

co evolution




meaning of technology
Meaning of technology

only by extracting at each present time the full meaning of each present experience are we prepared for doing the same thing in the future.

Dewey,Experience & Education

next steps collaboratory tools
Next steps: Collaboratory tools
  • Business & Technical Writing program
  • Bibliography tool
  • Profile management
  • Social agent system
  • Extended search: VisIT, VIBE, IKNOW
  • Distributed Inquiry Page
  • Inquiry in Action
next steps partner projects
Next steps: Partner projects
  • Living on the Prairie
  • National Science Digital Library
  • East St. Louis Action Research Project
  • Sisternet
  • U Chicago Lab School
  • Paseo Boricua
  • Ethnography of the University
  • K-12 and college courses
next steps research evaluation
Next steps: Research & evaluation
  • User and usability research
  • Online evaluation tools
  • Participatory design
  • Social network analysis
  • Situated evaluation
  • Weekly meetings: 5-6 pm Tue, at 131 LIS
  • Events:
  • Listservs: all, developers, DIME, research, technical, assessment, …
  • Participatory design
  • Inquiry Teaching & Learning class
  • Illinois Board of Higher Education, Chickscope Professional Development
  • Committee on Institutional Cooperation
  • NCSA staff, students at Purdue and UIUC
  • UI Research Board
  • Inquiry partners