Inquiry Based Learning

One of the key terms used in the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) model of learning WICOR strategy is inquiry. Why include inquiry in this learning model? As we have learned throughout the entirety of this course, questioning opens the pathway to many different doors within student learning. To prepare learners to have curiosity and a questioning disposition, you must awaken the inner inquire within them. That desire to question everything around them and even within them still lays dormant within a learner it simply needs to be brought out. Gaming is a powerful way to facilitate this change. Because gaming has all the unique questioning systems that young learners resonate with today. 

Doctor H has taught us that digital learning is much deeper than simply technology in a classroom. Digital learning is purposeful implementation of technology to facilitate learning. Just having the iPads in a classroom does not mean that I am encouraging digital learning. It just means that I am using an iPad to accomplish a task. But showing a learner what they can do with an iPad, and how they can integrate that skill into their daily life; That is digital learning. To inspire digital learning, you must see digital learning as part of the holistic picture of learning. How does a picture interact with the program? What can you do with this software that will instill value into your life? These are all questions that an educator must answer as they incorporate these digital based skills into their classroom. digital learning, in addition to being purposeful, must also be used at the appropriate times and with the correct diversified number of platforms. Going back to the example of the iPad, that is only one piece of technology. While it has multiple functions, it would be best to incorporate the iPad with a MacBook and other forms of software and media. The overarching point is digital learning is a comprehensive approach to learning where the focus should be not on the technology but on the learner and their respective goals. 

Not all learning is formal. Most learning is in fact informal and done via life experience. Opportunities for informal learning within the school system is often overlooked. Most people think, that giving homework is informal learning, but that is formal learning just at home. Teaching through alternative methods, like play can often lead to impressive results. It allows the students to bridge the gap between formal and informal learning and create a greater understanding of the concepts. 

20th century education had a greater focus on the teacher as the primary source of empowerment within students. The old research suggests that this model worked and produced many of the great people that we have in society today. However, the 21st century learner is more student centered then its 20th century counterpart. My mother who is a retired mathematics educator has even said that she cannot teach the kids that I teach. Because the dynamic of the students is dramatically different from the students that she taught. Students today have access to a greater array of resources than the 20th century student ever did. The biggest key is how to access those resources. While we are in the 21st century, we at times still teach as if we are in the 20th century. Curriculum and standards still reflect an older and antiquated model of learning. That is not to blame the teacher, it is just that certain advancements have not been fully implemented and realized yet. The new age learner is capable of so many different things, that makes their potential almost limitless. Our jobs within the new age of learning are not to be a student’s teacher in the traditional sense but more of their facilitator, role model and mentor.  

Innovation is necessary to bring about change. However, not everyone is ready for innovative change in their environment. The school system wants to believe that they are innovative. However, this is not the case. With so many restrictions on what you can and cannot do in the classroom, innovation becomes scary to people who are not ready for it. Innovation also defies standards. The 60 schools video touched on this ideological viewpoint very well. Depending on the risk, students and teachers are prepared to accept that risk. Even if the risk has the highest chance of yielding the best results, fear of what could happen holds us back from taking that risk and leading innovative change in our environment. A notable example is the creation of charter schools which have their own unique focus in education as opposed to a state standard based educational system. Another good example is certain initiatives that align with district goals. While these initiatives are more focused on enrichment activities, these activities have proven to give students value and increase their altitude for learning and motivation to move forward with their life goals. 

References 

21stEducator. (2009, April 2). 21st Century education vs. 20th century education Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiD1UqLPrOg 

ADL/EDLD 5313 Tips & Perspectives. (2021, January 09). Retrieved from http://www.harapnuik.org/?page_id=8558 

macfound. (2010, December 1). Rethinking learning: The 21st century learner | MacArthur foundation Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0xa98cy-Rw 

TEDx Talks. (2013b, March 21). What 60 schools can tell us about teaching 21st century skills: Grant Lichtman at TEDxDenverTeachers [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZEZTyxSl3g 

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