Engaging students in their own learning and offering them choice as they learn to navigate digital tools and research skills is are to pedagogical strategies I strive to offer. Several students are choosing their own discovery quest topic, making research more student centered. I want students to be answering their own questions using digital tools. However some of them come asking to do things that can be answered in a list or doing a quick Google search, which is not the objective of these discovery quests. I want students to start thinking about the big questions. For example, when I asked them the other day how it felt like to be a drop of water. That was a big question, which needed an activity to figure out. Their discovery quests should be something they investigate, involve an audience, and become the expert on to teach us! They should not be about their soccer team, or things you do unless they are choosing one of the topics off the monthly list. I told students today when you come to tell me their topic be prepared, as I will ask you what question they are answering too. I want students to start with a question. They need to think about things that Google cannot answer but rather be used as a tool to help answer their questions. I also hope students know that Google is not a reference, but rather a search engine to get to a reference. Learning digital literacy skills is as important as learning reading skills using a book. It is a different kind of reading, but one that will prepare them for the future.
Today my question about what it take to be a meteorologist was answered. Bri Eggers, from the channel 7 weather team, treated students to a fabulous presentation on STEM learning in weather. Students learned about various tools meteorologists use, her road to becoming a meteorologist, and what the weather studio is like. They discovered more about green screen technology and digital literacy skills meteorologists need to use. Students also learned the importance of social media in her job! Our audience could tell Bri is really passionate about her work. I hope she inspired some future meteorologists in our audience!