Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Visual Searching

Do you ever need to conduct research on something, but don't know where to start? Do you ever have a broad topic, and want to narrow it down? Once upon a time, Google offered a gadget called Google Wonderwheel. I found it, and was amazed. I used it in my sample lesson when I interviewed with my current school. It was awesome, it was amazing, and by the fall of 2011 it had disappeared. On more than one occasion I thought of it fondly, and how useful it was to teach students to narrow down their research topics.

Welcome instaGrok!

When you access their website, you enter what you would like to learn more about. The site tells you it is "grokking" and then returns with a graphic map, suggesting related concepts. On the right hand side you are given key fact, and also lists of websites, images, videos, quizzes and a glossary.

But it is more!
Students can also create their own notebooks using instaGrok, keep track of sites they have visited, change the difficulty level of the results returned, and take the interactive quizzes to test themselves.
Call me nerdy, but I am giddy about this tool!

So what does this have to do with mLearning? mLearning is all about personalizing the learning experience for each learner, making connections and allowing them to expand their own lines of inquiry. Also, it does work beautifully on an iPad. I have not been able to try it on other devices though, so I don't know how it would do on a tiny screen.

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