Technology & Culture

An Inquiry Based Project

Inquiry Based Learning

For the next couple of weeks we will be exploring the impact of technology use on culture through the use of the inquiry model or process. This process requires you, the student, to formulate a question that will drive your research and the eventual product that is produced to communicate your work.

Learning Goals

By the time we finish this project we will be able to:


  • formulate effective questions to guide our research and inquiry
  • locate & select information relevant to our investigations from a variety sources
  • create a research plan, assess and analyse information, synthesize findings, and communicate results effectively
  • identify how technological changes affect individuals
  • identify how new technologies affect social structures
  • explain how technological advances lead to cultural adaptations

So what is this project about?

The short answer: I don't know yet. The idea behind an inquiry based approach to learning is that the students will identify a problem or question that needs to be answered. Once the question has been determined the students must follow the inquiry model (see below) to investigate the topic, process the research, and communicate the results.
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The area of focus: Technology & Culture

For this project you will have a area of focus that will help guide your inquiry. Your inquiry based project will focus on ONE of the following curriculum expectations:


Identify some recent technological changes & describe how they affect individuals.

For example: impact of internet access, impact of mobile technologies.


Explain how various new technologies can affect social structures and interactions For example: impact of BYOD and technology use on student learning, positive and negative impact of technology on medicine.


Explain how technological advances lead to cultural adaptations.

For example: rapid introduction of new technologies creates a cultural lag that leads to social problems and conflict.

FORMULATE A QUESTION

What makes a great inquiry question?

A great inquiry question is open-ended and typically does not have a correct or final answer. It invites further investigation and often leads to more good questions.


As a guideline, a good question:


  • is an invitation to think (not recall, summarize, or detail)
  • comes from genuine curiosity and confusion about the world
  • makes you think about something in a way you never considered before
  • invites both deep thinking and deep feelings
  • asks you to think critically, creatively, ethically, productively, and reflectively

GATHER AND ANALYSE SOURCES

Where do I find the information to answer my question?

This all depends on the question that you have formulated. Regardless, your goal for this project is to locate and analyse PRIMARY data. If the primary data doesn't exist for your chosen question/topic - then you need to create it! This may mean creating a survey that you will distribute to collect the data necessary for answering your question. If the primary data does exist, then it is your task to gather the information that applies to your questions, properly source it, and effectively apply it to your question.

The Product

Your research will culminate in the creation of a 20+ minute podcast in which all group members actively engage in an academic discussion of your topic. The podcast will be recorded and edited by your group prior to being uploaded to the Social Sciences Department Spreaker account (http://www.spreaker.com/user/studio203). Once uploaded, the podcast will be shared (locally, nationally, internationally).


Your podcast should contain:

  • at least 5 minutes of talk time PER group member
  • additional media (audio from Ted Talks, videos, interviews, etc)
  • analysis of primary research that you conducted
  • a discussion or dialogue about your research and NOT a pre-scripted presentation of ideas
  • podcast elements that you feel would enhance your podcast (music, guest speakers, etc)


What should you try to avoid:


  • acting, creating characters, or pretending to be persons other than yourself
  • content that is not relevant to your topic (i.e. commercials, ads, full songs)
  • using your full name or the full name of other students
  • making light of the subject matter, unnecessary jokes, or trying too hard to make it entertaining