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Part 4: Facilitating Inquiry in the Classroom… Questions and Search Engines

Inquiry4

Welcome to this fourth post in a series that promotes student inquiry in the classroom. In this post, I wish to emphasize the idea of knowing what search engines to use for student questions.  You will discover multiple resources in this series along with some great ideas for finding student success in student owned inquiry.  Before reading, please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter  at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way in the posts that follow…So sign up now and please pass this on with a retweet.    – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now booked through November.  In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

Part 4: Facilitating Inquiry in the Classroom… Questions and Search Engines

It is important that students know how to search on the internet. This not only includes the basics of “how to”, but also what search engine to use. In this post, I wish to point out five different types of search engines. They include:

  • The Informational Search Engine
  • The Human Reviewed Search Engine
  • The Computational Search Engine
  • The Individualized Search Engine
  • The Social Media SeachEngine

While there are more categories and of course more search engines, it is important to become familiar with these five. It is also imperative that students understand that there is still more information available in the somewhat closed web environment. These include reference services and databases. Your school librarian will be happy to introduce you and your students to some of these highly academic resources. Let’s take a moment to look at these five categories and a search engine from each one. After looking them over take a moment to experiment and try each one out. I know you will also enjoy the sites that follow the five categories encouraging your students to work on their search strategies. I am certain you and your students will enjoy the search and the inquiry just as much as the getting the answer. Also, remember that the answer just might lead to new questions and inquiry!

Five Categories of Search Engines with an Example for Each

Google Advanced Search – Informational Search Engine –   It may be best  to direct students towards the Google Advanced Search Engine even before using the Google Basic Search. In fact, Advanced Search should be used until students understand how to use these advanced techniques in a Basic Search.  When  educators ask students to search and find information on the internet… it is not to just get the answer. It is to learn an important process that will serve them through future schooling and eventual careers. Take a look at the Google Advanced Search Engine and see why it really should be a basic prerequisite! For those who have been long time users of the advanced search you are probably aware that it is no longer next to the search box in its once prominent location. Instead… it was moved a while ago to the upper right-hand corner appearing as a gear icon and sometimes may not appear until you perform a basic search. The link above takes you directly to the Google Advanced Search Engine. Read more about using the Advanced Search at 21centuryedtech.


Sweet Search – Human Reviewed – It is owned by Dulcinea Media, a company committed to supplying students with a search engine that returns results that are accurate, reliable, safe, and understandable. Instead of having students sift through millions of websites, the research experts, educators, and librarians at Dulcinea have created a database of tens of thousands of sites that students have access to in their searches. As a result, SweetSearch excludes results from unreliable sites that might rank high in other search engines.  This allows  students to choose the most relevant result from a list of credible returns, rather than having  educational time wasted on unreliable sites. Since Sweetsearch is powered by Google, it does allow the ability to toggle results between Google and Sweetsearch. Read more about using the Advanced Search at 21centuryedtech.

WolframAlpha – Computational – Google is best termed an informational search engine… its strength is looking for facts and information. There are also data based search engines, by now you may know that I am referring to Wolfram Alpha.  This search engine claims, “to bring broad, deep, expert knowledge to everyone… anytime, anywhere!”. They further state, “We aim to collect and curate all objective data; implement every known model, method, and algorithm; and make it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything. Our goal is to build on the achievements of science and other systematization of knowledge to provide a single source that can be relied on by everyone for definitive answers to factual queries.”

Google Custom Search – Individualized – This  is a unique way to curate and archive sites for students and still require them to practice good searching techniques. Many times as teachers we find our students trying to maneuver their way through  the internet jungle often finding sites they cannot understand, are not reliable/credible, or do not apply. As educators, we must help teach our students how to both search and evaluate resources they find.  Many times it seems more efficient to just hand out the links. What might it be like if we still controlled the links, but students still had to search? This is the whole idea behind a Google Custom Search!  It is also easy to learn, takes very little time,  and best of all… free. It also allows the teacher to have a listing of those very best websites in designated areas. You can make as many Custom Search Engines as you wish. All you need is a Google account.
To get started visit the Google Custom Search Engine  Page. Here you can either sign in or if you do not have a Google account… sign up. After doing this you are ready. To create a custom search engine from scratch, you’ll need to define a name and description, and add some sites to search. Make sure you have thought this out and have those sites in mind.



Twitter Advanced Search – Social Media Search – This Twitter Search Page is valuable when showing teachers great ways to collect learning resources.  Many times after using, they are excited to sign up for their own Twitter account.  Using Twitter can have its challenges. With the Twitter Search Page, it may now be possible because no log in or account set up is required. It could be great in finding facts and information. It can also be used with current events or an unraveling news story. Most of all, it can show students the power and educational benefits of social media. As always… before using with students consult your district AUP, Terms Of Use, and check with district administration.  As in using any web application, students should be trained on proper digital citizenship and monitoring of students is essential. Read more about the Twitter Advanced Search at  21centuryedtech.

Some sites help with student inquiry and searching skills

Thank you for joining me and I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and useful to share with other educators.  As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit. To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st-century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the Websites! – Mike (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now  almost booked through October and the rest of the 2016 calendar is filling fast. In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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Part 3: Facilitating Inquiry in the Classroom… Questions, Metacognition, and 15 Pre-search Tools

inquire3

Welcome to this third post in a series that promotes student inquiry in the classroom. This post is dedicated to reflecting on that important topic of metacognition and reflection with questions before the search. You will discover multiple resources in this series along with some great ideas for finding student success in student owned inquiry.  Before reading, please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter  at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way in the posts that follow…So sign up now and please pass this on with a retweet.    – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now booked through November.  In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

Part 3: Facilitating Inquiry in the Classroom… Questions, Metacognition, and 15 Pre=search Tools

The internet is an amazing place filled with a wealth of information.  In fact, there is so much information, students must be given the skills on how to search and evaluate in order to utilize the amazing treasures that can be found in an ever running faucet of information.   While skilled researchers have developed metacognitive skills in order  to prepare for their encounter with their favorite search engine, this is not always the case of students in the classroom. Instead, I wish to discuss the strategies that are important to research before a student enters that first keyword in the research portion.

1. Design the Question – As a teacher, it is important to understand the purpose of the research activity. This helps in designing the research question that is to be used. Is it a question with a definite answer …or is it one that is open ended? There is a big difference between the two as students are facilitated through the process. A simple research question (What elements make up water?) may be easily answered through a search engine. In this case, there may be minimal time spent on pre-search, with an emphasis  more on web page evaluation and search strategies. On the other hand, it may be the question is more open-ended… (Is there enough safe drinking water in the world?). In this case, there may be a need for pre-search strategies , although even simple questions can also be served by some pre-search activities.

2. Emphasize The Need To Know – To begin we must understand that research really does involve student inquiry. Perhaps before answering a question… we ask students to ask more questions.  Often this is called the “Need To Know”.  A good open ended question that drives research does not always have a clear and precise answer. In other words, it may not be Google-able. Instead, students might ask “Need To Know” questions that can be answered through a simple search. It may also lead to more questions, allowing for divergent learning. Teaching students to first ask great questions might be more important than starting the task by finding answers. Even in a closed question, (What elements make up water?), students may have to answer the question (What is an element?). This emphasizes the related topic below.

3. Clarifying the Question –  Often students do not even understand the question being asked. In this case, the question needs to be simplified. There may also be a discussion needed allowing students to clarify the question. This may involve the ” Need to Know” described above. It may also necessitate that students break down the question and get definitions to words being used in the question. This might facilitate the need for students to find synonyms, antonyms, and associations… before diving into the search. It could involve a mini search, where definitions are found for word meaning. In this manner, students find success at researching manageable tasks. This can be especially powerful when students are allowed to collaborate together seeking the answers.

4. Creating Student Journals – Educators must encourage students to keep a road map of their pres=earch journey. It might include wonders, words, definitions, reflections, and  “Need To Know” questions, This can be done using a reflective journal.  One might ask students to write entries to reflect on their research journey activity. The teacher might develop a rubric that uses components of critical thinking. These components of critical thinking can be discussion prompts in the student journal.

5. Defining the learning goal/target – Please remember that asking questions, pre-search, and research is a process. While the end goal is to try to find an answer, remind students they may run into more questions first. It is only through this process that real learning takes place. The focus must be on the process and not the answer. This has its formation in the pre-search and questioning time period. If there is no pre-search time or time of questioning given… possibly the end product has become more important than the process.

15 Great Pre-search and Question Tools

I wish to build on  the steps outlined in this post with practical ideas. I would like to introduce some tools that can be used to help facilitate the pre-search and question asking period of time with students. By understanding the need for pre-search and inquiry one can see how these tools, some of which you may already know, can be used in a different way to help students as they get ready to research.  Please enjoy the tools and let me know of other that I can include in a future post.

1. Visuwords™ online graphical dictionary —An amazing web tool allowing students to  look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts. Students will learn how words associate and will come up with new possible search terms. It is easy to enter words into the search box. Students can then look them up or double-click a node to expand the tree. When the mouse hovers over a node, one can see the definition. You can even click and drag individual nodes to move them around to help clarify connections.  Note from developer: “Visuwords™ uses Princeton University’s WordNet, an opensource database built by University students and language researchers. Combined with a visualization tool and user interface built from a combination of modern web technologies, Visuwords™ is available as a free resource to all patrons of the web.”

  • It’s a dictionary! It’s a thesaurus!
  • Great for writers, journalists, students, teachers, and artists.
  • The online dictionary is available wherever there’s an internet connection.
  • No membership required

2. Wikipedia – As you may know, this is a multilingual, web-based, free content encyclopedia project operated by the Wikimedia Foundation. The name “Wikipedia” is a portmanteau of the words wiki (a technology for creating collaborative websites, from the Hawaiian word wiki, meaning “quick”) and encyclopedia. Of course, Wikipedia is not the only source of research, and as in all sources should be confirmed with other resources. Wikipedia can be a great place to start because:

  • Wikipedia’s articles provide links to guide the user to related pages with additional information. These links can be powerful at providing insight into the search and possible information.
  • There are words in a Wikipedia article can be recorded as possible keywords for a future search. As students record these  words they may also wish to figure out meanings with a simple Google (define:) search.
  • Wikipedia can give some beginning information that can help define and set the pathway for research
  • The Wikipedia end of article sources can be invaluable in the research and search process.

 3. Wordle – This website   allows for the generation of “word clouds” from the text that is provided to it. These clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text that was input. Students can tweak these word clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. One pre-search strategy would involve placing an article on a topic into Wordle… perhaps from Wikipedia. Once the common words are eliminated the word cloud is made. This is now a great time to discuss and investigate words that are more prominent. Could these words be valuable in the research that will take place?

4. AnswerGarden – This site is best described as a minimalist feedback tool that is easy to use in the classroom. A teacher can create an Answer Garden by entering a topic on the Create New Answer Garden-Page. From there you will be redirected to your newly created Answer Garden Website. Since no-one has posted an answer yet, your Answer Garden will still be empty. The next step is to share your Answer Garden URL. Use it live in the classroom, to pose a question, or place (embed) your Answer Garden on your classroom website. A Driving Question could be posted with a request that students post their Need to Knows. There are countless possibilities. All student feedback  is then represented in your Answer Garden. One neat feature is to be able to export the feedback into a Word Cloud using Wordle or Tagxedo! Imagine the possible reflection and discussion that can spark great research.

5. Text 2 Mindmap -This website allows for a wonderful way to organize thoughts before performing a search. In order to encourage the use of mind mapping, Text 2 Mind Map has provided a free and simple mind mapping tool online.  The easiest way to learn Text2MindMap is to play with it and you will see that your students understand it fast.  Some tips:

Write some text in the text area, use the TAB key to indent text lines, and click the “Draw Mind Map”-button to see what happens. Each text line in the text area will become a separate node in the mind map. Indenting the text (using the TAB key) starts a new branch of nodes in the mind map. Also, have a look at the Options to style your mind map.

How might your students mind map their pre-search strategies? This is a wonderful way to get students to see the pre-search and research process and all of the possible connections. It could be a part of their blueprint for that eventual encounter with the search engine.

6. Diffen – A very interesting tool that lets the user compare anything. What is the difference between DVD+R and DVD-R? What is the difference between an apple and an orange, or  an alligator and a crocodile?  How does the work environment at IBM compare with working at Microsoft? How does living in Seattle compare with living in Amsterdam? What is the difference between a Plasma TV and an LCD TV? How about Cal Tech and UCLA or the Yankees and the Red Sox? These comparisons might clarify some Need To Know question and also provide words that will be valuable in the research process.

7. Thesaurus – Every month more than 50 million users across the globe visit this online English dictionary and thesaurus. That makes it the world’s largest and most authoritative free online dictionary and mobile reference resource.  A thesaurus is invaluable at finding words that might just lend themselves to the research process. It can open up a whole new line up of search word terms.

8. Wordsift – This is a wonderful tool for classroom use. Students can  enter a word into the WordSift “box” and a semantic map appears with different synonyms for the word. It is great for those looking to find research keyword possibilities. When a user hovers over the word or its synonyms, a  definition is produced. Clicking on a synonym brings up a semantic map for that specific word. Each word is accompanied by Google images that illustrate different aspects of the word. Another great way to get students brainstorming and thinking about research possibilities.  A user can link from a word on the list to the same WordSift features.  With  just one click on a word in the list, students will get the same features, as if they had entered it into WordSift.

9. InstaGrok – This tool allows students to research a topic with an interactive map. They can customize it with facts, links, and videos. It is also possible for them to share it to show what they have learned. A wonderful way to journal the research process.

10. Interactive Webbing Tool – Students can use this  interactive from Read-Write-Think to create free-form graphic organizers, They can drag  ideas around in the organizer to arrange any layout and relationship that they want. They can use circle or box (rectangle) shapes to appear on the chart and each layer on the chart will have a different color border for the shapes chosen. Imagine how this can be used to show the path and process in research.

11. Fishbone Diagram This incredible digital tool from Classtools allows students to break down their  per-search ideas and thoughts while providing details and definitions. A Fishbone Diagram has always been a wonderful graphic organizer on paper, and now it can be part of your digital toolkit.

12. Google Image Search – It has often been said that a picture paints a thousand words. Your students can locate images and brainstorm possible search terms that these images provide. Not only will this be powerful as students begin to get ready to search, it is also a wonderful meta-cognitive activity

13. Dictionary – Not much explanation is needed as to why the dictionary can be an important tool in the pre-search time period. Perhaps students need to look up a word in order to understand a question or an answer. This is just one example of many dictionaries online.

14. Google Drive (Docs) – The ability to collaborate together in the brainstorming portion of the pre-search strategy can be amplified by the ability to share digital documents. Your students can share documents, and also use Google’s drawing tools to collaborate, record, and journal their research journey.

15. K-W-L Creator –  Discover another great digital tool from Read-Write-Think. K-W-L charts have been widely used to help students prepare for research by organizing what students know (K) and want to learn before they research, and then reflecting on what they learned (L). This helpful interactive tool is equipped with the work-saver functionality so that students can save their work at different stages in the K-W-L process. Users also have the ability to embed text links, giving an extra level of interaction and explanation.

Next Post … Questions and Search Engines

Thank you for joining me and I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and useful to share with other educators.  As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit. To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st-century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the Websites! – Mike (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now  almost booked through October and the rest of the 2016 calendar is filling fast. In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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Part 2: Facilitating Inquiry in the Classroom… Student Owned Questions… 10 Resources

inquiry2

Welcome to this second post in a series that promotes student inquiry in the classroom. This post is dedicated to promoting student owned inquiry in the classroom. You will discover multiple resources in this series along with some great ideas for finding student success in student owned inquiry.  Before reading, please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter  at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way in the posts that follow…So sign up now and please pass this on with a retweet.    – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now booked through November.  In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

Part 2: Facilitating Inquiry in the Classroom…Student Owned Questions… 10 Resources

As a teacher, it is very hard to not answer student questions. Yet, if we want students to own the inquiry, it is important to practice “answer restraint” in order to promote not just student answers… but more great student questions. As we all know, children are born with a natural inquiry  and those first five years are a gold mine of inquiry, questions, and wonderment! As children enter school they soon learn to stop asking questions, and instead look to the teacher for answers!

In a world filled with so much instant information, it is important  to teach students to ask even more questions as they seek possible answers. So many times we talk about “lifelong learning” and its importance to personal adaptability in a rapidly changing society and workplace. It is developing student skills to ask good questions while seeking out more questions, and eventual answers, that are at the foundation of “life-long learning”! It is only when students own the inquiry that they also begin to own, direct, and self-regulate their own learning. At this point, learning becomes both passionate and authentic. The question remains, how do we as educators make it happen? Please take a moment to reflect on some of the major ideas and resources I have listed below. I am sure as you find answers, you will also begin to have even more questions. Embrace this idea, as it will lead to even more answers and even deeper understanding.  Enjoy the journey!

Ten Amazing Resources and Ideas To Promote Student Owned Inquiry

1. Discover QFT at The Right Question Institute -QFT, known as Question Formation Protocol is a simple way of promoting inquiring through collaborative groups of students. It incorporates the simple steps below and will allow your students to own the inquiry process while reflecting on their questions.

  • Brainstorm Questions
  • Identify questions (open and closed)
  • Advantages of open and closed questions
  • Rewrite an open to closed and a closed to open
  • Prioritize
  • Investigate

Visit the Right Question Institute to learn more and discover some wonderful educational material.

2. Explore Habits of the Mind – It is really is time to promote metacognition at get your students to think about thinking. It is only when this takes place that real learning happens. At the Habits of the Mind Institute, you can take a moment to become familiar with these important “Habits of the Mind” that will encourage the important thinking and metacognition to support “genuine learning”.

3. Read Driving and Investigative Questions -A unit of learning should start with a question that promotes more questions while also uncovering the standards. You can learn more about constructing Driving and Investigative Questions at this prior 21centuryedtech Post. Just remember that these are constructed for your students to answer.

4. Establish a Classroom Wonderwall – How about constructing a class Wonderwall where students can post their wonders? These can be tied to the curriculum or provide the foundation for student owned inquiry research. Take a look at this Edutopia article providing ways to incorporate the idea in the classroom.  It really can help build a culture of wonder.

5. Practice the 5 E’s – This is a model that allows for some teacher explanation, only after some student exploration and inquiry. After-all some concepts do need an engaging teacher lecture to encourage understanding. You will find the 5 E’s below in this included link from NASA along with further explaination.

6. Include a Genious Hour – Teachers across the country are finding ways to put that Google 20% in their classroom, while still supporting standards and 21st-century skills. This Genious Hour site might just help you get started in providing students the opportunity to learn how to learn, while practicing self-regulation. Best of all, it supports that important voice and choice along with spiraling inquiry!  It really encourages that important Maker’s Culture.

7. Establish a Maker Culture – The idea behind the Maker Culture includes allowing students to question, imagine, envision, create, innovate, play, learn in a formative manner, experiment, collaborate, share, and most of all dream of possibilities. I have numerous posts in regards to the Maker Culture and suggest this four-part Maker Series at 21centuryedtech with background and a goldmine of resource links.

8. Examine Inquiry Based Learning -Learning through inquiry can be powerful when done correctly under proper constraints. The standards must be kept in mind, and when needed, a proper explanation must be provided.  (5 E approach above). Edutopia provides some wonderful ideas and possibilities.

9. Incorporate PBL – Project Based Learning is a wonderful approach providing students with ownership in their inquiry and learning. Not only that, their final answer after many questions provides authenticity and can make a real world difference. To learn more about Project Based Learning a visit to the BUCK Institute (BIE) is must journey. As a member of the BIE National Faculty, I am sure you will find a wealth of resources, research, and ideas!

10. Facilitate inquiry with Internet Resources –  You will find some amazing opportunities such as the ones below. Can you add to the list?

Next Post … Inquiry and the Presearch

Thank you for joining me and I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and useful to share with other educators.  As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit. To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st-century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the Websites! – Mike (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now  almost booked through October and the rest of the 2016 calendar is filling fast. In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

 

 

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Part 1: Facilitating Inquiry in the Classroom… Driving and Investigative Questions

inquiry1

Welcome to this first post in a series that promotes student inquiry in the classroom. This post is dedicated to writing that Driving or Investigative Question which is so important in STEM and PBL. You will discover multiple resources in this series along with some great ideas for finding student success in student owned inquiry.  Before reading, please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter  at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way in the posts that follow…So sign up now and please pass this on with a retweet.    – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now booked through November.  In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

Part 1: Facilitating Inquiry in the Classroom… Driving and Investigative Questions

I really like Diving and Investigative Questions. In fact, I like them so much more than Essential Questions. You might ask why? I think it just might be my affection for the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy. You may remember that in the revision the different levels were changed into action. In fact, I strongly believe that learning is a verb and is based on action. Take away the word “Question” and both Driving and Investigating are wonderful verbs loaded with action. The word “Essential” standing alone is only a word devoted to describing… a colorful but inactive adjective.

Another reason I am fond of “Driving and Investigative Questions” is that they allow students to work together in the amazing process of divergent thinking. As students bring this process around to identify answers and ideas that finally converge, they are suddenly back on the path to even higher order divergent thinking. It is amazing to watch students become aware that answers can bring on even more questions. Seems to me that it is a lot as if they are moving up Bloom’s Taxonomy.

I believe that both DQ and IQ allow students to take part in real inquiry and research. If the question is Google-able then it probably is not deep inquiry. Now, using advanced Google skills to find answers that create more questions fits the bill for common core skills. Literacy that is built to comprehend, analyze, compare, contrast, and make meaning of nonfiction across the disciplines is essential. Take a look at portions of standards educators must facilitate with students. These really do sound like some great inquiry action that can be found on the super highway of Driving Questions.

Last,  I like “Driving and Investigative Questions  because there are  so simple, that they can be difficult to construct. Let me explain. The Driving Question or Investigative Question in Project Based learning and STEM can be often the hardest concept to get across to teachers. Even after a workshop devoted to PBL… questions will come across my email asking for help in constructing and refining the Driving  or InvestigativeQuestion.

Writing TheDQ and IQ’s For Student-centered Learning In PBL, STEM, and Inquiry

Why are driving and investigative questions so difficult? Perhaps it is the powerful and simple concept they ride upon in a world where teachers have been taught to use so much of their “educationese language” Educators must work at being aware of the important standards in their content area without blurting them out. It is at this point that educators come across that often talked about the idea of uncovering, not covering, the standards.  Educators are so often told to practice this methodology but are seldom told how to do it.

This is the power of the Driving and Investigative question and its importance in PBL and STEM. It must be simply stated so that students can uncover the content standards themselves. It should not give away the contents standards which students may not really care about. It should engage the students and create wonderment through relevance to their world. It should drive them to “uncover the standards” Through carefully planned PBL and STEM the teacher then facilitates this learning experience. The added bonus of building import21st-centurytury skills is a natural outcome. In order for students to “uncover the standards” they will need to communicate, collaborate, think critically, and provide creative thought.

Examples comparing an Essential Question to a Driving or Investigative Question:

  • EQ: Can you describe a typical food chain for the herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores in the deciduous forest biome.
  • DQ/IQ:How can we as authors write a restaurant storybook menu for animals that live in the forest ?

 

  • EQ: How are measurement skills and our knowledge of math and geometry related to building a dream park with a given set of dimensions and budget?
  • DQ/IQ: In what way can we design, plan, and pitch a needed park for our community ?

 

  • EQ: What are the characteristics of the planets in our solar system in regards to atmosphere, surface, and composition?
  • DQ/IQ: How can we, as NASA scientists, write a proposal that recommends which planet should be explored by the next space probe?

 

  • DQ/IQ: How can robots provide automation and use computer programs and code to deliver a given task?
  • DQ/IQ: Can we program a robot to …. ?

 

  • EQ: Can we name the various reasons that the American Colonies declared independence from England?
  • DQ/IQ: How might we write and produce a play that could be used today, or in our countries early history, to show why the colonies should declare independence?

Keep in mind that the Driving or Investigative Question may take on many names. The important point is that it drives an investigation based on student owned inquiry. It really is the very first step in providing students that opportunity to not just answer the question, but come up with their own.

Next Post … Facilitating Student Questions

Thank you for joining me and I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and useful to share with other educators.  As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit. To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st-century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the Websites! – Mike (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now  almost booked through October and the rest of the 2016 calendar is filling fast. In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

 

 

 

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Part 5: STEM, STEAM, Makers: 35 Resources For A Makerspace

maker5

Welcome to this fifth post in a series that brings STEM, STEAM, and Maker Space together with Project Based Learning and proper technology integration in the classroom. You will discover around one hundred resources in this series along with some great ideas for finding student success.  Before reading, please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter  at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way in the posts that follow…So sign up now and please pass this on with a retweet.    – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now booked through November.  In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

Part 5: STEM, STEAM, Makers: 35 Resources For A Makerspace

Take a moment to contemplate what it would be like if every school had a Maker Culture and it was part of the school curriculum. You may wish to dream of the possibilities for essential 21st-century skill development and significant content skill alignment. Think about the aura of engagement, flow, grit, perseverance, problem solving, revision, reflection, and satisfaction in that amazing space. Contemplate parents asking the question, “What did you make in school today?” Now sit back and imagine the answer, and further conversations it would bring!

As you are probably already aware, there is a growing Maker Movement across the nation. In fact, you can see Maker Spaces finding room to serve the surging Maker population in both small and large towns alike. The idea behind the Makers Movement includes allowing students to imagine, envision, create, innovate, play, formatively learn, experiment, collaborate, share, and most of all dream of possibilities.

Keep in mind that Maker’s is a way of thinking and not just a “space”. With this in mind, the Maker concept can occur anywhere and anytime. It can be in a dedicated space, or room, or in the library. It can be in the classroom, or possibly be a set of materials that can be brought out to students anytime.  The real idea is to promote a Maker thought process that facilitates innovation, creative thinking, and self-learning throughout the school day.

As you contemplate the integration of STEM, PBL and technology remember that Makers does not have to be a separate time, but instead can be integrated into the curriculum. While an after school program is wonderful, why not bring it into the classroom by carefully connecting the idea of Making with the STEM curricular material? Keep in mind that the final product should demonstrate learning. With this in mind, promote significant content and standards. A Maker culture must provide students with important learning targets that are connected to the content being learned. Allowing students to make, while also emphasizing important standards can be powerful and effective. The act of making allows students to do and sets the foundation for understanding. In fact, a collaborative effort with groups of students can allow for discussions that lead to deeper understanding and retention both in and outside of the STEM areas.

The idea of making is really not a new concept. In fact,the art of making is at the root and mixed into to the very fabric of our culture. I believe that the amazing innovation we have seen in this country is due to a Maker mentality. We have long been a culture set on dreaming up possibilities, and then taking the action to make it happen. The initial growth of technology has somewhat taken some of our creativity and produced  consumption based thinking. We are now past the initial way of thinking, and the Makers movement allows people to finally use the technology and STEM content to create and make in a wonderful PBL environment.

35 Resources For Makerspace

  • Makezine – This might be a great place to start. I recommend checking out the projects area just to begin to get some ideas. While many of the projects are prescribed, you may wish to find some ways to open up ideas for thinking outside the box and providing for innovation. Explore the different areas including science, electronics, art, and design. How might something you discover allow your students to Make something that will connect to learning?
  • Instructables – Here you will find ideas to make so many things that could Make a great connection to learning. When first opening the program give the Search Engine a try. Put in keywords of some possible learning ideas. It might be planets, insects, civil war, or nutrition. You can even filter the results using multiple categories.  Give it a try… you will be amazed at what you find and what your students might Make!
  • The Exploratorium Tinkering Studio – Tinkering is at the very heart of formative learning, allowing for iterations that encourage revision and reflection.  Kids develop an understanding of how to learn from failure and setbacks in order to experience eventual success. The Tinkering Studio is primarily an R&D laboratory on the floor of the Exploratorium, but whenever possible they try to share their projects, activities and developing ideas following an “open source” model. Learn how you too can enjoy their activities in your classroom while allowing your kids to Tinker and Make!
  • The Exploratorium Tinkerer Collection – Speaking of Tinkering, you may wish to introduce your students to some amazing Tinkerers and the occupations that surround them. Perhaps this could be part of a Makers’ Unit of Study that focuses on College and Career Readiness and 21st Century Skills. It might be fun to see what your students can Make of it!
  • DIY – Do It Yourself is a platform for students to discover skills and share what they make and do with each other and the global community. You can explore skill-based learning and introduce collaboration into your classroom – during homeroom, Genius Hour, after school, and even regular classes. Discover ways to blend the DIY Skills platform into the core curriculum, or let students explore new subjects while practicing skills and Making.
  • How To Smile – This is an amazing collecting of some of the best educational materials, learning activities, tools, and services. They are all designed especially for those who teach school-aged kids in activity-based settings. This site is sponsored by a group of science museums dedicated to bringing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) out of the academic cloister and into the wider world. This is a great place to Make STEM happen!
  • HowToons – Take a moment and see what happens when you take a comic book artist, an inventor, and a toy designer and have them work together.  It seems you end up with HowToons, a place of engaging content that teaches kids how to build things, combining instructions with storytelling.  You will discover that Howtoons has a foundation of science and engineering education, inspiring creativity through art and imagination. Take a look at the library and get set to Make!
  • Science Toy Maker – This really is a site for people who like to roll up their sleeves and make science toys and projects. As the author states, “You won’t find slick, well-designed web pages here–more like the digital equivalent of a messy workshop. If you tinker around, though, you’ll find some good stuff.” Science Toy Maker is a resource for inspired kids and their teachers to really Make something out of it!
  • Global Cardboard Challenge – This is a project from the Imagination Foundation inspired from Caine’s Arcade. It is a great way to inspire kids with mostly cardboard. It is amazing and exciting to see cardboard innovation at its finest. In fact, how might your students think outside the box and Make!
  • Maker Camp – Here is an opportunity for students to join other young inventors and artists from around the world on Google+ to make awesome projects, go on epic virtual “field trips,” and meet the world’s coolest Makers. You will find that Maker Camp inspires kids ages 13-18 to embrace their inner maker, get their hands dirty, fix some things, break some things, and have a lot of fun doing it. Everything is archived so all lessons and projects will be available at Maker Camp even after the summer so you and your students can Make all year long.
  • Makey Makey – OK… it is not free but is also pretty amazing at less than fifty dollars a kit. Take a moment to explore this  invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It’s really is a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything in-between. It comes ready to use out of the box with everything you see above: MaKey MaKey, Alligator Clips, USB Cable. Four students can work with one kit. Make sure you look at the project possibilities on the website. It is here that you just might see curricular connections
  • High Low Tech – This site from MIT Media Lab really does have some tech for everyone. HLT’s work integrates high and low technological materials, processes, and cultures. Their primary aim is to engage diverse audiences in designing and building their own technologies. It is their belief that the future of technology will be largely determined by end-users who will design, build, and hack their own devices. Furthermore, their goal is to inspire, shape, support, and study these communities. Take a look at these projects that explore the intersection of computation, physical materials, manufacturing processes, traditional crafts, and design
  • Squishy Circuits – What kids don’t want to Make something with play dough… now add circuits and they have an even greater Making opportunity. Squishy circuits are a project from the Playful Learning Lab at the University of St. Thomas.  The goal of the project is to design tools and activities which allow kids of all ages to create circuits and explore electronics using play dough. Be sure to check out the Ted Talk, White House Maker Faire, and the Ready to Use Kits. As with any circuit activity… read any precautions.
  • Tinkercad –  Are you excited about 3D creating and printing? Explore Tinkercad, an easy-to-use tool for creating digital designs that are ready to be 3D printed into physical objects. Users are guided through the 3D design process through ‘Lessons’, which teach the basics before moving on to more complex modeling techniques. Tinkercad is a free tool from Autodesk, joining the 123D family of products in helping students, makers, and individuals from all walks of life to design and make the things they imagine. Be sure to watch videos and try the tutorials!
  • Scratch – This is a wonderful tool to support computational thinking. With Scratch, students can program their own interactive stories, games, and animations. Better yet, they can share their creations with others in the online community. Best of all,  it is free from MIT! Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. These certainly are essential skills for life in the 21st century. As in all sites designed to share… be sure to read the Terms of Use and Privacy.
  • Picoboards – This under fifty dollar tool allows students to create interactions with various sensors. It compliments the free Scratch programming language by allowing students to easily create simple interactive programs based on the input from sensors. The PicoBoard incorporates a light sensor, sound sensor, a button and a slider, as well as 4 additional inputs that can sense electrical resistance via included cables. Click here for ordering information.
  • Thingiverse – Are you or your students into 3D printing. Then take a moment and  browse the world’s largest 3D design community for discovering, printing, and sharing 3D models. You and your students can join over 130,000 community members in downloading, sharing, and remixing 3D designs. As in all sites designed to share… be sure to read the Terms of Use and Privacy.
  • SparkFun – The Education Department at SparkFun  uses electronics as a creative medium and hands-on learning tool, with products and curriculum designed to develop foundational skills.  It allows students to explore the world of electronics while increasing the investment and ownership in education. Most of all it plants the seeds of inventorship in today’s youth.
  • LittleBits – Discover this organization that believes it is important to create the next generation of problem-solvers in the very near future. The time is now to create the pipe cleaner and the craft stick of the 21st century.  LittleBits products are designed to break down the boundaries between the things we consume and the things we make. Most important LittleBits encourages all students  to be an inventor. Be sure to look at some of the tutorials and lessons found on the site.
  • Drawdio – Take a moment and imagine that your students could draw musical instruments on normal paper with any pencil (cheap circuit thumb-tacked on) and then play them with your finger. The Drawdio circuit-craft can take everyday objects and make them into musical instruments whether they be paintbrushes, macaroni, trees, a person, even the kitchen sink. Make one… or buy the kit.
  • Adafruit – You will want to explore this site and learn about all the different electronic items that can be built. It is amazing to just see all the possibilities. There maybe one that just might work for you. As you explore you might just come upon an idea for the Making!
  • Genius Hour – Teachers across the country are finding ways to put that Google 20% in their classroom while still supporting standards and 21st-century skills. This site might just help you get started in providing students the opportunity to learn how to learn while practicing self-regulation. Best of all, it supports that important voice and choice along with spiraling inquiry!  It really encourages that important Maker’s Culture.
  • How Stuff Works – As students make they may want to learn more and even have further questions, this is a great place to get information and explanations when Making. You are bound to find some curricular connections.
  • The Kids Should See This – Be sure to visit this amazing wonder-filled resource site. You will find ideas for making along with some great learning opportunities.
  • Activity Village – Not everything in the 21st century has to be digital. How about allowing students to create games in the non-digital world, like using cardboard and markers? Think of the learning standards their games could connect to.
  • Institute of Play – Take a look at this wonderful site providing resources and ideas that will allow you to facilitate real learning and your students play. You are bound to get some awesome Maker’s ideas
  • New York Hall of Science – Have you thought about STEM, play and the support of important standards. Take some time and play around on this site!
  • Department of Education and Child Development – This website from Canada provide some rich and playful ideas that can become a part of your Maker’s culture.
  • Chibitronics. Discover an interactive kit designed to introduce students to the world of paper circuits. Inside each Kit is everything students will need to set up simple LEDs, switches, and sensors with only a bit of knowledge on how electricity works and a little ingenuity! With these kits,  no soldering or sewing is required, simply peel each LED sticker and place them in specific areas designated in the included guide sketchbook  and watch each creation glow.
  • Sphero – Not only is this robotic ball a lot of fun, be sure to check out the included SPK Lab. The SPRK Lightning Lab app is your student’s hub to create, contribute and learn with Sphero Robots. The visual block-based building interface makes learning the basic principles of programming approachable and fun. Browse through activities, keep track of your class and collaborate with users around the world.
  • Ozobot – Using these unique little robots presents an innovative way to teach subjects like programming, math, and science in classrooms, after-school clubs or at home. See kids become engaged and inspired when topics come alive with the help of Ozobot. Check out the site for awesome resources and lessons.
  • Edutopia Makers Area – Take a moment to discuss, watch,and  browse through amazing topics and possibilities. Discover how educators are harnessing the energy of the maker movement to inspire student exploration across the STEM subjects.
  • Maker Ed – Take a moment to visit this non-profit organization that supports and empowers educators and communities — particularly, those in underserved areas — to facilitate meaningful making and learning experiences with youth.
  • Silvia’s Super Awesome Maker Show – Learn about innovation and Making from the eyes of an eleven-year-old student. Discover ways that kids love to Make and learn!
  • Make It @ Your Library – The school library is becoming a popular place to set up that Maker Space. Learn more and discover special resources here.

Thanks for following this Series on STEM, STEAM, and Makers. Join me in the next series including Designing Questions and Inquiry Education… Mike Gorman

Thank you for joining me and I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and useful to share with other educators.  As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit. To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st-century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the Websites! – Mike (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now  almost booked through October and the rest of the 2016 calendar is filling fast. In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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Part 4: STEM, STEAM, Makers: Turning STEM to STEAM… 24 Resources

stem4

Welcome to this fourth post in a series that brings STEM, STEAM, and Maker Space together with Project Based Learning and proper technology integration in the classroom. You will discover around one hundred resources in this series along with some great ideas for finding student success.  Before reading, please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter  at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way in the posts that follow…So sign up now and please pass this on with a retweet.    – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now booked through November.  In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

Part 4: STEM, STEAM, Makers: Turning STEM to STEAM… 24 Resources

It actually is quite obvious that the Arts should be included in STEM education. A look at the works of Leonardo da Vinci will attest to this! The very first time I heard the idea of integrating the Arts into STEM education was while watching a keynote made by Daniel Pink at the NECC  Conference in Washington DC… yes prior to ISTE Conferences!  Pink presented strong evidence that educators must include right brain lessons in addition to the inclusion of historical left brain activities. A reading of his book, A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule The Future, is a must for any educator, especially those interested in STEM education. It is evident that inserting the A (Arts) in STEM and creating STEAM allows for true innovation, and it is innovation that will allow students to be successful in a flat world. Bringing the Arts to STEM allows students to remember the creative juices that come with the smell of a Crayola Crayon, the engagement of Tinker Toys, and the creation and remixing of that first Easy Bake Oven. It is the STEAM that allows students to not just be technology consumers, but technology creators! Proper infusion of the Arts will create a STEAM culture that engages and promotes intrinsic learning. In the space below I have included some sites that may just allow educators to integrate the Arts, allowing STEM to become STEAM! While there is a lot of talk on STEAM Education, it is difficult to find a lot of material. I hope you enjoy what I have gathered and please let me know what I should include in an update post.

  • NPR Where Science Meets Art – Some exceptional Podcasts integrating Science and Art. Many of these titles will allow for student reflection and questions as they begin to see how the Arts and Science can be integrated.
  • Arts Edge – A fantastic resource from the Kennedy Center hosting numerous lessons that integrate Art into the curriculum.You will discover a focus  on ways to support innovative teaching with the arts, and meet changing trends in education and to accommodate the ever-evolving impact of technology in our lives. This amazing collection of free digital resources—including lesson plans, audio stories, video clips, and interactive online modules—has been streamlined for easier browsing and upgraded to leverage best practices in educational media and multimedia-supported
  • STEM to STEAM -The STEM to STEAM initiative, championed by the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), is supported by teachers, researchers, policy makers, students, and business people from RISD and beyond.
  • Why Scientific Innovation Needs The Arts – Explore this wonderful article from the Guardian that explains the connection between science and the arts. Great read to support STEAM thinking in any educational setting.
  • OER Commons – Take a look at these results from a search I did for  STEAM based activities. There are some powerful lessons that bring the arts into the classroom. Since it is OER (Open Education Resources) it is free.
  • Odyssey of the Mind – This  international educational program provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems.
  • Autodesk Digital Steam Workshop – Digital STEAM projects are designed by Autodesk’s network of expert educators, designers and student alumni as exciting complements to core Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Art (STEAM) curriculum. Each project aligns with common core and national standards and delivers measurable learning while using free software.
  • National Gallery of Art  – You will find organized into thematic units, each grade-level-specific lesson plan focuses on a single work of art and can be executed within one to two class periods. These lessons meet the National Art Education Association (NAEA) Visual Arts curriculum standards
  • Exploratorium – Take a look at the entire site, but especially explore the Art related material. You will find lessons that allow you to connect with other subject areas including the STEM disciplines. You will get a new definition of exploring through the Exploratorium,
  • The Art Institute of Chicago – Explore these wonderful lessons that cover Science and the Arts. It just might have you and your students look at Art in a whole different way. Best of all you will discover some STEAM possibilities.
  • Lesson Plans and resources for Art Integration – This Edutopia Article has a rich assortment of lessons and resources to integrate Art into curricular areas including Math, Science, and Design. A great read that will lead to some wonderful opportunities.
  • CIESE Online – CIESE  (Center for Innovation and Science Education) sponsors and designs interdisciplinary projects that teachers throughout the world can use to enhance their curriculum through compelling use of the Internet.  Each project has a brief description and links to the National Science Standards and NCTM math standards it supports
  • Masterpieces to Math – A wonderful article that focuses on how to incorporate art in math. Learn how to use Art to teach fractions, decimals, and percent equivalents. You will look at Math in a whole new STEAMie way.
  • Space School Musical – Your students will enjoy joining teenager Hannah on a trip through the solar system in this ultra-cool edu-tainment “hip-hopera” that uses song and dance to introduce the planets, moons, asteroids and more. Educators can download the lyrics for students to learn and perform the routines for themselves or just play the videos in class. There are also links provided for more in-depth activities.
  • Cardboard Challenge – Not everything needs high tech and expensive resources. A lot can be done with a cardboard box and a lot of imagination. Check out this amazing challenge from the Imagine Foundation. Take a moment to watch the video. You and your students will want to be involved with this amazing low tech, high engagement possibility.
  • KinderArt – Discover Fine Art lessons as they apply to all different subject areas. Lessons are searchable by grade and subject. Some great ideas to integrate with.
  • ArtSTEM – Claims to be a site where the Arts and Humanities meet the STEM Disciplines. This is a wonderful collection of blog posts that contain both writing and multimedia to display the Art in Science.
  • Scratch –  With Scratch, kids can program their own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community. Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively . All of this is possible while essential skills for life in the 21st century are facilitated. Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. It is provided free of charge.
  • Teacher Vision Art and Math –Students will enjoy participating in math class with our art activities for teachers of any grade level, from elementary to high school.  You will find opportunities to mix numbers with creativity and art activities that your students will love. There are lessons for creating counting books, crafts that encourage measuring, geometry printables to color, sculpting activities, and much more!  Introduce new concepts or reinforce topics your students have already learned.
  • STEAM Not STEM – A visit to this STEAM advocate site will open your eyes to some great research and resources to bring the Arts into STEM education.
  • What is STEAM ? – This is an amazing resource site from the Education Closet. here you will find some great lessons that are aligned to the standards of STEM and Art curriculum. Be sure to read the blogs, links, news, and research. Be sure to check out all the possibilities on this site by clicking the menu. You will even find a STEAM-based magazine.
  • The Stanford Design School – Get ready for some innovative lessons that include the design process. You will find an abundance of material and resources to bring innovation to your STEAM program.
  • National Association For Music Education – Take some time at this site. Explore the curriculum along with awesome teacher resources. This is a great site that might tune up some of that important STEAM education.
  • STEAM Art Lessons – Take a look at these wonderful STEAM based art lessons from an amazing elementary Art teacher. There are some wonderful ideas for bringing the curriculum together.

Next in the Series… Making in Education !

Thank you for joining me and I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and useful to share with other educators.  As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit. To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st-century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the Websites! – Mike (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now  almost booked through October and the rest of the 2016 calendar is filling fast. In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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Part 3: STEM, STEAM, Makers: Over 25 STEM and PBL Competitions

stem3

Welcome to this third post in a series that brings STEM, STEAM, and Maker Space together with Project Based Learning and proper technology integration in the classroom. You will discover around one hundred resources in this series along with some great ideas for finding student success.  Before reading, please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter  at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way in the posts that follow…So sign up now and please pass this on with a retweet.    – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now booked through November.  In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

Part 3: STEM, STEAM, Makers: Over 25 STEM and PBL Competitions

After the last post of over 40 STEM resources, I am sure you are ready for more engaging possibilities.resources. I do hope the past two posts have helped you build a foundation for both STEM and PBL ,and have provided some reflection. I am sure you are aware that there are some wonderful competitive opportunities to engage your students online in the STEM and PBL arena. The authenticity that a competition brings can be exciting while also providing your students with plenty of voice and choice. I decided to go through the internet and find what I feel are some of the very best and share them with you!

I often tell people you do not have to enter a competition to use the resources, although the completions are a lot of fun and can even provide some pretty cool prizes! In fact, many times a resource in a competition can be the perfect tool for a scaffolding activity. It can be used long after the competition is over. This is a perfect opportunity for some formative learning.

Remember that with the end of the school year usually wraps up the competition. This is a great time to learn about them and start putting possibilities on your calendar for next year. Also, remember many of these contain great resources that can be used anytime, not just during the competition   I really hope you enjoy the list and please let me know of something I should have included. I invite the opportunity to double the list with your help!

Challenges and Competitions

  • Kids Science Challenge – Awesome and inspiring challenges involving bio-designed scientific inventions, sports on Mars, and detective science. Be sure to check out the great podcasts listed in Pulse of the Planet.
  • Young Scientists Challenge – Great resource for students in  K-8. Lessons, multi-media, and other materials that can be incorporated into PBL units.
  • National Engineer Week: Future City – Great Project-Based Learning Activity incorporating STEAM along with Language Arts and Social Studies. Engage students with Sim City Software, model building, and a new curriculum designed to integrate disciplines.
  • Google Science Fair – The Google Science Fair challenges students aged 13-18 to carry out a scientific investigation on a real-world problem or issue that interests them. The competition asks them to carry the investigation forward through rigorous experimentation, recording, and conclusions.Students compete with peers in their age group from all over the world to win scholarships, internships, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
  • National STEM Video Game Challenge – Inspired by the Educate to Innovate Campaign, President Obama’s initiative to promote a renewed focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education, the National STEM Video Game Challenge is a multi-year competition whose goal is to motivate interest in STEM learning among America’s youth by tapping into students’ natural passion for playing and making video games.
  • CyberPatriots – Great PBL program based on code and cyber security from the US Air Force Association. Your students will enjoy the challenge brought about through learning to hack in a positive and productive manner.
  • Imagine Cup – A wonderful competition designed to push STEM and imagination. It is a global student technology program that provides opportunities for students across all disciplines to team up and use their creativity, passion, and knowledge of technology to create applications, games and integrate solutions that can change the way we live, work and play.
  • Dupont Challenge – A  STEM program promoting “What is Your Challenge?” Best of all writing will be involved for students at both the elementary and secondary level.
    Moody’s Mega Math Challenge – Program designed to go beyond the content and allow for math connections to the real world. Some wonderful opportunities can be found for those students interested in math.
  • Who Wants To Be a Mathematician – Great opportunity to explore   mathematical       knowledge. Take a moment to look at the sample questions and lessons for possibilities both in and outside of competition.
  • APP Challenge – Do your students have an idea for an APP? Then look at this competition from Verizon. When you visit the site be sure to look for past winners and future possibilities.
  • Biomimicry Design Challenge – What can living organisms contribute to STEM and engineering? Check it out for unique design challenges that can fit into your curriculum while giving students an authentic experience.
  • National Science Bowl – The National Department of Energy offers this unique experience. You will find possibilities for students in both high school and middle school.
  • Explorovision – A wonderful opportunity to have students explore what a current technology might be in 20 years. Great resources and lesson plans to use anytime.
  • Lego Contests -If you have some Legos, then look at these wonderful classroom possibilities.
  • Regeneron Science Talent Search – The Science Talent Search (STS) is the nation’s most prestigious science research competition for high school seniors. Come take a look at this amazing competition that has its roots going back to 1942.
  • United States Super STEM Competition – The first annual United States Super STEM Competition(USSSC) is a new educational competitive event happening in 2017 to challenge the creative mind of all middle school, high school, and college students. The main focus for the 2017 USSSC is to provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate their innovative knowledge and skills by competing towards one goal …success!
  • World of 7 Billion – Create a short video – up to 60 seconds – about human population growth that highlights one of the following global challenges. Check the challenges that are posted each year.
  • Mega Engineering – Participants create and submit a 1- to 2-minute video focused on Mega-Engineering. Mega-engineering projects typically address important needs of large populations and/or societies.
  • Future Engineers – Check out these unique design challenges that might just put that 3D printer to some wonderful capabilities.
  • Cardboard Challenge – No high tech required, all you need is cardboard and some other valuable scraps that can be found just about anywhere. The biggest need will be lots of imagination!
  • Science With Out Borders – This amazing STEAM program was created to get students and teachers interested in ocean conservation through various forms of art. This annual contest inspires students to be creative while learning about important ocean conservation issues.
  • K12 Game-a-thon – This contest challenges students to design, build and share a game that features creative and unusual solutions to mathematical problems.
  • First Robotics – This involves teams of professional and high school students to solve engineering problems. Students get a hands-on, inside look at the engineering profession by designing, assembling and testing a robot.
  • From the Bow Seat – A unique competition using poetry, art, writing, and visual media to highlight ocean awareness.
  • First Lego Leauge – Check out the amazing possibilities and design challenges that are a part of this robotic competition.

Next in the Series…Turning STEM into STEAM with Over 20 Resources !

Thank you for joining me and I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and useful to share with other educators.  As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit. To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st-century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the Websites! – Mike (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now  almost booked through October and the rest of the 2016 calendar is filling fast. In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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