‘Productive inquiry [is] that aspect of any activity where we are deliberately seeking what we need in order to do what we want to do (Dewey, 1922 and Cook and Brown, 1999). In the net age we now have at our disposal tools and resources for engaging in productive inquiry – and learning – that we never had before.’ John Seely Brown
Productive Inquiry is what we do when we leverage the net, Seely Brown tells us.
I think productive inquiry is also what we do when we say ‘ There must be an app for that?’. I am not writing this post to explore the challenges presented by this confirmatory non-evidence based approach to learning, but to look at innovation in online learning as a kind of productive inquiry. In preparation for writing, I have been tinkering with various innovations and in the process formulating a view of what counts as innovation which will be the subject of my next post. I have been ‘learning to be’ innovative on the web as I ‘learn about’ innovation in the context of education. This is an example of what Seely Brown calls using the web for ‘purposeful tinkering’ or productive Inquiry. I was curious (and may be a bit doubtful) about how successful I could be at bringing up to date a given innovation using the web. Seely Brown’s paper was written in 2008, there was so much in it I could pursue. Once again blogging for the sake of learning, my assignment this time was to blog about just one innovation, having researched it to bring it up to 2013.