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10 Educational Web Tools That Support Inquiry-based Learning

September , 2015
As a learning strategy, inquiry-based learning is all about learners constructing their own understanding and knowledge through asking questions. Unlike traditional learning methods that focus primarily on drills, memorization and rote learning, inquiry-based learning is essentially student-centered. It starts with posing questions and directly involves students in challenging hands-on activities that drive students to ask more questions and explore different learning paths.

In today’s post, we have assembled a collection of some useful web tools and apps that support the ethos of inquiry-based learning.  Using these tools will enable students to engage in a wide range of learning tasks that are all driven by a sense of inquiry and questioning.

1- VideoNotes

VideoNotes is a free web tool that allows students to take notes on a video they are watching. The notes are synchronized with the video being watched. The good thing about VideoNotes is that it is integrated into Google Drive which means that students will be able to save their notes directly to their Drive account and access, edit, and work on them anytime they want. All the notes are time-stamped.

2-  Edpuzzle

Edpuzzle allows you to use only what you need from any video, insert audio notes or record over a video with your voice, and add questions at any point in the video .

3- PixiClip
PixiClip provides you with a whiteboard where you can add images,text, videos, drawings, annotations and many more. PixClip also offers a nifty recording feature that allows you to record your talk while working on the whiteboard. Once your PixiClip video is ready you can then share it through popular social media outlets lie Facebook or Twitter or email its link to your students directly. 

4- Explain Everything

Explain Everything is an easy-to-use design, screencasting, and interactive whiteboard tool that lets you annotate, animate, narrate, import, and export almost anything to and from almost anywhere. Using Explain Everything, you will be able to create slides, draw in any color, add shapes, add text, and use a laser pointer. Rotate, move, scale, copy, paste, clone, and lock any object added to the stage.Add existing photos, objects, import PDF documents from local storage, Google Drive, Dropbox or insert a fully functioning web browser window.

This is by far the most popular of them all. MindMeister is a very good tool students can use to create mindmaps and brainstorm complex topics.  Mind maps can include a wide variety of multimedia including: text, images, icons, links, and attachments. It also supports offline editing and syncing.  Mind maps can be exported to Word, PowerPoint, PDF, and in the form of an image.

The simple way to create your own beautiful iBooks, right on the iPad.  Read them in iBooks, send them to your friends, or submit them to the iBookstore.  Ideal for children’s picture books, photo books, art books, cook books, manuals, textbooks, and the list goes on. 

7- YouTube Video Editor

YouTube Video Editor is definitely one of the best and easy tools you can use to edit and create new videos. It allows you to combine multiple videos and images you've uploaded to create a new video. Other features include trimming clips to custom lengths, select music to add to your videos from YouTube’s library, and customize your clips with special tools and effects. Video Editor also has an awesome interactivity feature that allows you to  add interactive elements to your videos.These interactive features can be annotations, links to other videos or external resources on the web, call-for action buttons and many more.

8- Amazon Storybuilder

Amazon Storybuilder is a cloud-based writing tool from Amazon Studios that can be used to create stories . Amazon Storybuilder uses “notecards” to represent a single beat or event in a story, just as screenwriters have for years used actual physical notecards to represent story beats on corkboards around the world. Storybuilder notecards can include both text and images. You can string individual cards together into a sequence on a virtual “corkboard” to convey a narrative and tell your story. Unlike physical notecards, it is easy to share Storybuilder projects and it is easy to take them wherever you go with your laptop, phone, tablet or Kindle.
9- Prezi

Prezi is a powerful web tool that allows you to create visually appealing presentations. You can start with a professionally designed template from Prezi’s library then use images, text, videos and zooming features to enhance your presentation. You can also collaborate with colleagues to build presentations. Prezi is available on iOS and Android so you can create or edit your presentations on the go, then auto-sync across all your devices with ease.

10- Glogster

Glogster is a web tool and mobile app that allows users to create free interactive posters, or Glogs. A "Glog", short for "graphics blog", is an interactive multimedia image. Glogster empowers educators and students with the technology to create online multimedia posters - with text, photos, videos, graphics, sounds, drawings, data attachments and more. 

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