After school on Monday, April 22nd, we attended the Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach STEM Education lecture series talk given by Jim Slotta from the University of Toronto. His talk presented "a recent theoretical model of collective inquiry called Knowledge Community and Inquiry, developed by Jim Slotta to guide the designs of complex collaborative inquiry curriculum for secondary science. Typical KCI designs are several months in duration, with students engaged in developing a shared knowledge base that serves as a resource for carefully scripted inquiry projects. In the past several years, Slotta and his team have advanced a sophisticated technology architecture called SAIL (Scalable Architecture for Interactive Learning) to provide scaffolding and real time analytic support for the sequencing of interactions amongst people, materials, tools and activities." His talk explained KCI and SAIL, as well as a framework for smart classroom research called SAIL Smart Space. He then presented three curriculum designs from current research projects. One thing we connected with was the 5th and 6th grade science unit on life cycles using wallcology.
-Megan Haddadi and Jen Lavenberg