weSPOT aims at promoting scientific inquiry in the classroom by relating scientific concepts to personal curiosity, experiences, and reasoning.
weSPOT, a project supported by the European Commission, addresses several challenges to building personal knowledge, specifically in the area of science. It focuses on inquiry-based learning, in which the learner takes the role of a self-motivated explorer, and provides support for building these skills.
The main problem areas weSPOT tackles are the general lack of inquiry skills in students from ages 12 to 25, the dearth of technological support to bolster students’ curiosity, linking everyday world experiences to the classroom, streamlining e-learning with inquiry-based approaches, and measuring the impact of inquiry projects.
weSPOT’s main objectives are: (a) defining a reference model for inquiry-based learning skills, (b) creating a diagnostic instrument for measuring inquiry skills, and (c) implementing a working environment that allows the easy linking of inquiry activities with school curricula and legacy systems.
EC-TEL is a unique setting for researchers, practitioners, and policy makers in Technology Enhanced Learning from Europe and other continents to meet together and exchange on the current challenges and advances in the field. At EC-TEL, experts and young researchers in Computer Science, Education, Psychology, Cognitive Science, and Social Science, as well as entrepreneurs have the opportunity to establish collaborations, strengthen their links and cross-fertilize their core disciplines.
EC-TEL 2011 will push further the Ubiquitous Learning paradigm by not only tackling the challenges of exploiting new trendy devices in various contexts, but also by investigating ways to meet and support formally and informally the learners in their learning playgrounds and social environments thanks to innovative scenarios.
- Chris Dede (Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, USA): “Emerging Technologies, Ubiquitous Learning, and Educational Transformation”.
- Carlo Perrotta (Futurelab, UK): Ubiquitous learning vs. the value of boundaries: reflections on five years of “innovation in education”.
From both research and experience perspective the following topics of interest to the conference include, but are not limited to:
- Large scale sharing and interoperability
- Personalization, user modeling and adaptation
- Context-aware systems
- Social computing
- Social media
- Semantic Web
- Mobile technologies
- Serious games and 3D virtual worlds
- Network infrastructures and architectures for TEL
- Sensors and sensor networks
- Augmented reaility
- Roomware and ubiquitous learning
- Data mining and information retrieval
- Recommender systems for TEL
- Natural language processing and latent semantic analysis
- eLearning specifications and standards
- Learning analytics
- Problem- and project-based learning / Inquiry based learning
- Computer supported collaborative learning
- Collaborative knowledge building
- Game-based and simulation-based learning
- Story-telling and reflection-based learning
- Instructional design and Design approaches
- Communities of learners and communities of practice
- Teaching techniques and strategies for online learning
- Learner motivation and engagement
- Evaluation methods for TEL
Individual, social & organisational learning processes
- Cognitive mechanisms in knowledge acquisition and construction
- Self-regulated and self-directed learning
- Reflective learning
- Social processes in teams and communities
- Social awareness
- Knowledge management and organizational learning
- Sustainability and TEL business models and cases
- Business-learning models
- Trust and reputation in TEL
- Fitness and evolvability of learning environments
Learning contexts and domains
- Applications of TEL in various domains
- Formal education: initial (K-12, higher education), post-initial (continuing education)
- Workplace learning in small, medium and large companies
- Aggregated learning at the workplace Distance and online learning
- Lifelong learning (cradle to grave)
- Vocational training
- Informal learning
- Non-formal learning
- Ubiquitous learning
TEL in developing countries
- ICT Inclusion for learning
- Digital divide and learning
- Generation divide and learning
- Education policies
- Rural learning
TEL, functional diversity and users with special needs
- Accessible learning for all
- Visual, hearing and physical impairments
- Psycho-pedagogic support for users
- Educational guidance for tutors
- Adapted learning flow, content and monitoring process
- Standards about accessibility and learning
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.