Inquiry-based Space Travel

A session at Teaching and Learning in a Digital World 2014

  • Karen Slattery

Wednesday 20th August, 2014

2:15pm to 3:00pm (EST)

My class were travelers in the best reality show ever made: space. With never-ending episodes and the occasional dramatic Supernova, we used student-led inquiry to explore. We looked at lights coming from the sky that were between 1.25 seconds and 125 million years old! We watched Youtube videos of the moon’s phases and made speaking avatars to summarize our learning! We’ve debated the controversy of Plutos’ planetary status with research gained from the net; accessed various ancient and cultural stories about space and evaluated the sources we used; and developed a where-was this-moon-photo-taken game that used math and mapping to determine the photographer-poster's location on Earth.

Research, problem solving, and cooperative collaboration skills fostered an enthusiasm for science and technology students will carry forward. We even conducted our own blind-folded straight line text based on a web-conference with our adopted physicist, UCLA professor Dr Dave,  that theorized human beings can't walk in a straight line without benefit of the sun or the moon as a focal point. The inquiry-based nature of our space travel led to some great tangents in our work: students used their work on space with critical literacy skills when looking at stock photos used in newscasts. Best of all, through technology, our travels were free! I plan to demonstrate the technology, and curriculum areas, we accessed to travel through space this year. (blogger; voki; cel.ly; webquests; wordle; googlemaps; evernote; teaching channel; etc).

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Karen Slattery

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Time 2:15pm3:00pm EST

Date Wed 20th August 2014

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