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Created By: Kienna Knowles

Course: EDUC 6663-T1002 Integrating Technology In The Curriculum (Part 1)

Course Instructor: Dr. Ashraf Esmail

Technology Standard 2: Planning and Designing Learning Environments and Experiences

Program Outcome: S2.5: Plan strategies to manage student learning in a technology-enhanced environment.

Rationale:

An Internet Inquiry helps students to develop independent research skills, important literacy strategies, and allows them to pursue questions via brainstorming activities. An Internet Inquiry unit usually begin by brainstorming questions related to a current curricular unit. The questions may be very specific or more open, but most importantly the Internet Inquiry enables students to conduct research-which fosters technology-enhanced learning environments. The following Internet Inquiry was planned and develop during Integrating Technology In the Curriculum (Part 1) and it focuses on protein synthesis. Internet Inquires allow educators to engage students in exploring real-world issues and problem solving using digital tools and resources.

Title: Internet Inquiry Plan

In Biotechnology, students spend a considerable amount of time studying protein synthesis and protein related mutations that lead to genetic disorders. As a part of the protein synthesis unit, this learner’s students construct models of protein synthesis to better understand the processes involved. With the push and need for technology integration in curriculum, this learner developed an Internet inquiry plan surrounding the study of protein synthesis and protein related mutations. Specifically, the Internet Inquiry allows students to research specific proteins and their unique functions, structure and epidemiology.

Question phase:

In the Internet inquiry students will be provided with a specific protein to locate general information about the protein’s function, structure, purpose, and possible defects. The purpose of the Internet inquiry is to model the processes of transcription, translation and protein synthesis using specific proteins. Also, to determine the function and purpose of specific proteins and research the various genetic alterations (that occur during protein formation) that development into protein related disorders. Furthermore, students will organize their information into a presentation using models, diagrams, graphs and other valuable information.

To effectively complete this Internet inquiry each student will need to employ his or her exploratory nature. According to Wolk (2001), students learn best when given time to explore and foster their inquisitive nature. Questioning and inquisitiveness should play an important role in every classroom. In the learning process, questioning strategies are a vital tool for stimulating critical thinking skills (Swartz & Perkins, 1989).

With each lessons/activity, this educator considers the instructional goal and generates questions that reinforce those goals. However, for this Internet inquiry, students will generate questions to assist them research and understand proteins. Encouraging students to develop questions (related to their protein) will allow them to elicit intellectual responses on various learning levels (Costa and Kallick, 2000). These learning levels will assist students in generating questions that follow higher ordered thinking as indicated by the three-story intellect and Blooms taxonomy. Typically, students will move from low-level informative questions to high-level application and exploration questions.

Low order thinking or recall questions are geared to allow students to gather information read or accessed via prior knowledge (Fogarty & McTighe, 1993). Middle level or processing questions tend to require students to process information. These questions are designed to draw relationships the student has acquired or observed (Fogarty & McTighe, 1993). Higher order thinking or application questions are generated to allow students to think beyond the concept developed. The third level questions invites students to creatively or hypothetically use imagination, to expose a value system, or to make a judgment (Fogarty & McTighe, 1993).

Search phase:

To complete this inquiry students will be provided with useful and effective search strategies. As well, they will be granted access to the GALE and Science Reference Center databases. To assist students with their Internet searches they will be required to use NoodleTools by visiting the following site: http://www.noodletools.com/debbie/literacies/information/5locate/adviceengine.html (NoodleTools, 2007). NoodleTools will assist learners with using proper words and phrases to make effective Internet searches. As well NoodleTools provides innovative software that teaches students and supports teachers throughout the entire research process (NoodleTools, 2007).

The Gale and Science Reference Center databases (assessable via the school’s media center web site) will also be used to located valuable information. From these databases students can access several other databases and sites geared towards science, health care, medical sciences, biotechnology, biology, and other content related current events. With this information, students will use gain understanding of the disorders associated with protein synthesis and protein related mutations.

When planning an Internet inquiry, it is important that the educator provide methods for effective search strategies, useful databases and web sites for students (Leu, Leu, & Corio, 2004). In this inquiry, students will use familiar databases in which they have been properly trained to use by the instructor and the school’s media specialists. Additionally, students are required to document the specific search strategies they obtained by visiting the NoodleTools site. More importantly, NoodleTools and the databases provided supply ample information and options for students to choose relevant and efficient Internet resources to complete the inquiry.

However, if students require additional assistance they will follow the provided chain of command for this learner’s class, which includes asking a group member first, then seeking assistance from a class filter. Class filers are students that demonstrate they have a command and clear understanding of the assignment. Filters are selected by this learner to help other students. Lastly, if further assistance is required (that goes beyond the knowledge or understanding of the class filter) the filter then seeks assistance from the teacher.

Whenever Internet based assignments are given, this learner supports that teachers should manage the timeline for the project and usage of computers (Leu, Leu & Corio, 2004). It is important that each person/group is provided with ample and equal time to research. Achieving digital equity can be difficult if schools lack quantity (Leu, Leu, & Corio, 2004). Fortunately, in this learner’s school several computer labs and wireless carts are available to teachers and this educator has two wireless carts assigned to the class. To manage the time that students spend searching on the Internet, the class will be given a timeline for the assignment that will include research days and project development days.

Analyze phase:

Throughout the Internet inquiry, students will use several literacies and intelligent behaviors to evaluate their Internet resources. To complete the Internet inquiry activities, students will asks questions about their sites, review valuable links of the site, locate important information regarding the creator and site management and review the references listed at the end of the site (Laureate Education, 2006). The activities in this Internet inquiry were created to build and enhance science skills by incorporating the use of technology for visual aids, collaborative group research, presentations, discussions and modeling.

According to Costa and Kallick, (2001) visual aids enable students to experience knowledge using their sensory pathways: gustatory, olfactory, tactile, kinesthetic, auditory and visual to process information into the brain. This provides students with Internet activities that encourage the interaction with content through a variety of senses facilitates understanding and retention and promotes memorable learning experiences (Laureate Education. 1996). Visuals aids also promote metacognition. “When students represent their cognitive strategies with visual tools they practice metacognition” (Costa and Kallick, 2000, p. 48). As well, collaborative grouping encourages students to work cooperatively and to efficaciously stick to a task until it is completed exhibiting persistence, empathy, and patience.

With the Internet as the primary resource, students will use various intelligent behaviors as they exercise various literacy skills. Literacy traditionally refers to ones ability to read and write. In this Internet inquiry students will use complete literacy, which involves textual, numerical and visual capabilities to analyze information. Research supports that complete literacy is the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute information, via printed and written materials associated various concepts and learning styles (Learning Point Associates, 2007). Evaluating each literacy independently, textual literacy involves reading and writing skills; numerical literacy involves the ability to create and analyze data via charts, tables, graphs and spreadsheets; and visual literacy incorporates the ability to generate, interpret and understand images (Learning Point Associates, 2007).

Compose phase:

After sufficient research, students will create a 3-dimensional model of protein synthesis (including transcription and translation). Each model must show specifically how transcription and translation occurs and the location in the cell that each process takes place. Furthermore, students will create an oral presentation (using visuals and statistical information) on the specific protein they were given at the start of the Internet inquiry. Each group will be allowed to select from several presentation options including (but not limited to) student created web sites, PowerPoint presentations or video programs.

Share phase:

At the close of the assignment, students can share their work using a variety of multimedia sources. Students will be encouraged to design web sites/web pages and/or develop podcast that can be posted to the class web site. Additionally students will have the opportunity to participate in the schools video-conferencing program with other schools in the district. Via video-conferencing, each group will be allowed to present their findings to other students in Biotechnology class in various schools. Furthermore, students will be encouraged to share their work through E-Pals.

An Internet inquiry is an excellent model for integrating technology into curriculum. Internet inquiries allow students to elicit intelligent behaviors and employ three story questioning as they research topics of personal interest or topics selected by the instructor (Laureate Education, 2006). Additionally, Internet inquiries are great collaboration projects and great means for students to practice exploration. Most importantly, Internet inquires offer an open-ended approach to research enables students to develop independent research skills as well as higher-level thinking skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of material (Laureate Education, 2006).

References:

Costa, A. L., & Kallick, B. (Eds.). (2000). Activating & engaging habits of mind. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Costa, A. L. & Kallick, B. (2001) Describing 16 Habits of Mind. The Habits of Mind Web site. Retrieved 01/12/08 from http://www.habits-of-mind.net/.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (1996). Helping students become self directed learners. [Video recording]. Los Angeles: Author.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2006). Integrating technology: The power of the Internet [Video recording]. Baltimore: Author.

Learning Point Associates. (2007). Literacy Research and Best Practice. Retrieved September 18, 2007, from www.ncrel.org

Leu, D. J.; Leu, D. D. & Coiro, J. (2004). Teaching with the Internet K–12: New literacies for new times (4th ed.). Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc.

NoodleTools. (2007). Choose the Best Search For Your Information. Retrieved 03-26 08 from www.noodletools.com/debbie/literacies/information/5locate/adviceengine.html

Swartz, R. & Perkins, D. N. (1989). Teaching Thinking: Issues and Approaches. Pacific Grove, Ca: Midwest Publications.

Wolk, S. (2001). The Benefits of Exploratory Time [Electronic version]. Educational Leadership, 59(2). Retrieved March 29, 2004, from https://www.newslettersonline.com/user/user.fas/s=543/fp=3/tp=39