In this week’s learning resources we explored the strategy of “Generating and Testing Hypotheses” (Pitler et al, 2007). The core tools for implementing this practice contain an overriding technology component. Traditionally, this concept is considered scientific in nature; however, it can be applied in many other subjects not related to science. Generating and testing a hypothesis can be accomplished using six different tasks. They are systems analysis, problem solving, historical investigation, invention, experimental inquiry, and decision making. Many, if not all, of these tasks relate to constructivist/constructionist learning theory. In each instance students have the opportunity to create an artifact of some kind that builds upon their knowledge and strengthens their comprehension of the concepts.
There are several technologies that relate to the concept of generating and testing hypotheses and make this strategy more engaging for students. Spreadsheet software enables students to gather, organize, and analyze data and then draw conclusions based upon their findings. The artifact that is created provides a tool for students to learn the content the curriculum entails. Data collection tools use inquiry as a means of learning. They “enable students to see the bigger picture and recognize patterns (in data)” (Pitler et al p. 210, 2007). Web resources and gaming software allow students to put themselves in real-world situations that might not be possible to achieve otherwise due to financial or impractical reasons. These include virtual simulations, multiplayer strategy games, and online role playing games.
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.