Technology can enhance an I-Search Unit in the following ways:
- It keeps students on track as they carry out the inquiry process.
For example, use of the Search Organizer software program helps
students organize information as they proceed with their I-Search.
- It provides access to information in varied formats (important for
Phase I and Phase III).
For example in Phase I, a computer simulation
allows students to participate in a life-like situation, make decisions,
and see the impact of their decisions. Simulations present abstract
concepts in concrete terms. Through participating in simulations,
students enhance their understanding of concepts, begin to pose more
meaningful questions, and express their ideas to classmates. The focused
and spontaneous conversation that occurs during a simulation can support
students who are highly verbal but who might have difficulties in
other areas, such as writing.
- It helps students process information and construct meaning by recording,
analyzing, manipulating, and organizing (important for Phase III).
For example in Phase III, a database
program is a tool that allows users to store information in an
organized way and to retrieve information in response to queries.
Using a database encourages higher-level thinking skills as students
go beyond the facts to search for trends and relationships, make and
test hypotheses, and explore the meaning of data. Database programs
are helpful to students who need a tool to organize or categorize
information. Database programs provide a concrete context for discussing
relationships, hypotheses, and conclusions.
- It helps students represent, convey, and communicate what they have
learned (important for Phase IV).
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Technology Can Support Students with Disabilities
In addition to the ways technology can enhance an I-Search Unit for students
with learning disabilities, technology can also support students with sensory,
physical, and cognitive disabilities through assistive
technology and instructional technology.
The National Center to Improve
Practice (NCIP) is housed at EDC. The mission of this center is to
gather, synthesize, disseminate, and support the utilization of knowledge
about the use of technology for students with a range of mild to severe
disabilities in grades K12.
||This student is using the Search Organizer software on a
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