An inquiry-oriented approach for making the best use of ICT in the classroom
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Many decades after the introduction of ICTs into science classrooms, there are still many unanswered questions about the impact technology has in students’ learning. This article addresses the general question: “What ICTs are the most useful, and how can they contribute to better learning in the science classroom?”
We conceive ICTs as tools that can enhance particular learning situations or environments, and in this sense, this article elaborates on the most appropriate technologies for particular learning environments and discusses in what order, and with what purpose, these technologies should be used.
The first part of this article highlights the most commonly used technologies in science classrooms, reviewing the unique opportunities they offer that would not be possible otherwise. After discussing the potential (or lack thereof) of these technologies, the second part of the article presents a proposal for using some of them in a specific pedagogical context: an inquiry-based learning cycle for laboratory work. The main aim of the proposal presented here is to discuss how a certain teaching and learning approach, such as inquiry-based learning, and a certain teaching and learning situation, such as school laboratory work, can be enriched by the use of ICTs. Finally, a detailed example of how specific ICTs are used in laboratory work sessions with an inquiry approach is also explained. This practical case comes from a research-based activity sequence on kinematics and dynamics developed for secondary school students within the framework of the local project REVIR.