“Then use their questions to guide a process where students are tunneled into their misconceptions. Once that happens, the responsive instruction occurs,” Musallam says.
By creating information gaps to spark curiosity, this form of instruction boosts student engagement and motivation.
How Can Tech Solutions Facilitate Inquiry-Based Learning?
Musallam says he uses technology to strategically facilitate those sparks in curiosity.
He takes advantage of the ease of screen-sharing multimedia, often embedding YouTube videos into Google Slides. He then uses Google’s tools to edit the video to obscure or hide information in some way; for example, by trimming it to a shorter clip or removing the sound. Musallam also uses editing software to remove certain elements of a video or image to present only a part of the story. He shares Google Forms so students can ask questions anonymously.
The goal is to teach students in a way where enough information is withheld to make them curious but not demotivated.
Additional ed tech solutions can bolster these efforts. Educators can use Promethean interactive as a touch screen, or to show audio and video and share files from their devices. In many instances, students can wirelessly cast their screens to the panels too.
Promethean takes a device-agnostic approach to ed tech solutions, says Paul Naser, the company’s head of professional development projects. With its ClassFlow software, students can connect with each other across platforms, while teachers can run polls and quizzes, share their screens and set up virtual activities such as crossword puzzles and memory games.
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How Can Your District Adopt Inquiry-Based Learning?
When adopting inquiry-based learning practices, Musallam recommends that districts and their technology partners have workshops with educators to understand their teaching goals, uncover possible inefficiencies in lesson plans, and find out how inquiry-based learning and ed tech solutions may address the inefficiencies. It’s about presenting staff with solutions, not selling equipment.
“Ask, What is your mission statement for your use of technology, keeping in mind your personal pedagogy?” Musallam says. “Then you’re talking to teachers about their teaching practices, not selling them on technology.”