Students at Ashburton Netherby School used digital technologies to support an inquiry focused approach to learning.
"Our school regularly reviews the way technology is embedded in effective learning and teaching."
The class was undertaking a social studies unit titled, “Proud of who we are”, which celebrated New Zealand culture, and other national cultures, through the lens of the Rugby World Cup.
The classroom teacher wanted to extend her students’ knowledge, confidence, and skills in digital technologies and online tools so that they could research, organise, and present information.
Students accessed information about different cultures on the Internet and then recorded information using MimioStudio Notebook.
Before starting the unit, students were prompted to say what they knew about other countries and cultures and what they wanted to know. This was captured into a KWL graphic organiser on the interactive whiteboard.
After identifying what the students needed to learn, the teacher established a collection of suitable junior websites through the intranet "user bookmarks". These bookmarks could be accessed from any computer, and contained collections of information about other cultures in written, picture, and video format. The teacher ensured that age appropriate sites were bookmarked so that students could engage in the Internet-based research. She also used mixed ability grouping to make sure that students with strong literacy skills were spread across groups to assist the younger students.
In their groups, the students used laptops to access the bookmarks and research the various countries participating in the Rugby World Cup.
When the groups had explored the bookmarked websites, a group representative reported back to the whole class about what they had learned about New Zealand. This was recorded in MimioStudio
Notebook (part of a suite of software the school used with their Mimios).
Then students were put into groups and each group was given a different country to find out about.
The groups set up a page for their country in MimioStudio Notebook to record what they had discovered about their chosen country and its culture.
Every student was given the opportunity to share something they had learnt throughout their investigations, as well as recording something in MimioStudio Notebook on their group’s page.
Students created a drawing and added some key words to share the information they had discovered through the group research on the Internet.
Finally all of the information on each group’s page was shared with the whole class.
They copied the information they had gathered into a PowerPoint presentation and shared it with the rest of the school at a "Celebration of Learning" day.
The main focus of this inquiry was to establish strong foundation skills in the use of digital technologies. The teacher felt that the following aspects of her teaching helped students’ confidence in using digital technologies:
Aspects of the inquiry the teacher would change in future: