Monday, May 14, 2007

ICT Infused Inquiry

A lot has been happening of late and I feel we are moving into a new zone. Coming to terms with Web 2.0 tools was one of our cluster goals this year and yep, I know that there are so many tools out there that we haven’t explored yet, but! We are getting into new territory and it is like landing in a new world.

Classroom blogs are progressing well and I take no responsibility for staff meetings that don’t want to stop. Isn’t it is great to leave before everyone else does or wants to!

ICT Infused Inquiry” kicked off with a great workshop last Friday with 15 of us combining our talents and sharing our thinking and practice. The day began with an Inquiry Trail and participants then shared their best or worst experiences with inquiry or technology. Definitions of Information Literacy were explored with key components being identified and new definitions formed by each group.

Information Literacy and Inquiry – Are they the same? How are they related? This provided some great discussion and with it, there seems no right answer. We would love more feedback on this.

What does a "rich inquiry" classroom look like, feel like and sound like?

Participants then used a rubric to reflect on their own classroom practice. And all this before lunch!!

After lunch a quick foraging activity provided an informative energizer before the hands-on computer activities. Short sharp research with key questions began investigations into inquiry models and Web 2.0 tools. We all learnt from the feedback sessions following these investigations. The cluster’s ICT Infused Wiki provided a good source of information and people are looking forward to collaborating through this, as well as the Moodle online environment. The benefit of the wiki is that it will still be there after the course is completed and can be continually added to etc. Feedback showed this to be a valuable day for everyone who attended.

ICT Infused Inquiry” aims to integrate Web 2.0 tools with Inquiries at a primary level. We initiated this online paper to serve the needs of our cluster and suggested ICT Infused Inquiry as a special topic towards the Graduate Diploma in IT in Education. Our small beginnings have grown and there is a keen interest by other clusters to be involved. We have decided to trial it with our smallish group this year and already it looks like Wintec will be offering it as a regular paper from next year onwards. We have a small but very special and powerful learning team. Gail and Vicki from National Library are there as advisors. Jan Marie and a group from the Coromandel cluster are learning alongside us. Pauline, a new cluster facilitator from the Waikato also asked to be involved and we are delighted to have so many people willing to share their own special talents and experiences to benefit us all.

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