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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Introduction to Ultimate Research Assistant, a web-based tool for inquiry

When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices, and demonstrate how these best practices can be applied in the real (i.e. physical) and virtual (i.e. online) classroom for both teaching and teacher training. The combination of face to face instruction in a physical setting and online learning is called blended learning. In this section of the blog we will describe how the internet can serve as a supplemental resource for instruction and the mentoring of pre-service and in-service Jewish educators. In this post we will begin our discussion on how  students in a Judaic Studies blended learning classroom can use Ultimate Research Assistant an inquiry tool. 

What are inquiry web tools?

Inquiry based web tools are ones that empower the user to use the internet as the primary vehicle to investigate essential questions.

What are essential questions?

Essential questions are ones that provide insight and add meaning  into life’s enduring inquiries.

For a more detailed explanation of essential questions click here.

Assumption: The teacher or mentor teacher has a interactive white board (i.e. SMART Board, Promethean, etc.), a Tablet PC (also called a Slate or Blade), a computer presenter or computer with internet access attached to an LCD projector in the classroom. It would be ideal if students or mentees had access to their own laptop computers or Ipads. Given parental and school approval, and the development of specific guidelines, smartphones can be used to enhance instruction as well.

Note: Although Ultimate Research Assistant can be applied in the Judaic Studies blended learning classroom, it can be also be used for training pre-service and in-service Jewish educators for professional or staff development. It is our hope that Jewish educators around the globe will form an online community of practice, a CoP, a group of people who share an interest, a craft, and/or a profession, to enhance the delivery of instruction and training of Jewish educators. For example, here is a CoP you might want to join. 

What is Ultimate Research Assistant?

Ultimate Research Assistant is a web-based inquiry tool.

Where is  Ultimate Research Assistant  located on the web?

Where can you find helpful  tutorials on how to use Ultimate Research Assistant.

Click on the links below for tutorials  on how to use UltimateResearch Assistant.

    Click here a see a tutorial on how to use Ultimate Research Assistant for inquiring about a Judaic topic. This tutorial demonstrates how this inquiry web tool, Ultimate Research Assistant,  can be used for Judaic instruction or the mentoring/training of pre-service and in-service Judaic educators.

    On the next post we will share a demonstration explaining  how Ultimate Research Assistant can be used to promote learning in the Judaic Studies blended classroom and for the mentoring/training of pre-service and in-service Judaic educators.

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