Before doing this project, I don't know if I had a specific way to inquire about something other than if I wanted to know the answer to something I would search Google to see what I found. If that satisfied my curiosity, I stopped there. If it didn't, I would ask someone who may know the answer (friends, family, coworkers.) If they didn't know, sadly I would just give up. I never really took the time to do inquiry...I have no time to give!
When for classes when I was asked to inquire or search for information, depending on the topic, I would search Google or the IUPUI databases. I only searched full text articles and would print out websites or the full text articles and then highlight what I wanted to keep for my paper.
Now, since doing this project, I have found a way to save many trees by using NoteStar. Collectin information is soooo much easier with this tool and it produces a bibliography for you! That is always the dreaded final step of writing a paper for me personally. I like that NoteStar helps me keep things organized.
I honestly would compare my experiences with inquiry very similar to that of a child. Children start with one idea and then get lost on some other aspect of that idea easily. I tend to do that myself. I will be searching for information on one topic and then something will catch my eye and I will be off on a tangent searching that. Pretty soon, I have to stop myself and ask what was my original question. I think that is easy to do since the internet is very stimulating and has so much information. I think if students are equiped with an organizational tool it would help them stay on target and focus on the original task at hand. I know for myself, NoteStar did that for me.
After finally completeing this project (it seemed to take forever!), I think it is something important for us to drag our kids through on smaller scales so that they can build upon those experiences and be ready for middle/high school and college. I had never experienced something like a research paper until I went to college and I was a like a deer in headlights! I didn't know what to do or where to begin. I soon found writing 10 page papers to be a breeze.
Now it is time to say goodbye to the elefantes for now....I feel that I have answered the questions and found the informatio I was looking for.