This extension supports digital capture technologies within a networked environment.
The research and product development inspired by Inquiry Technologies, LLC (InqTech) enables individuals from all walks of life to better understand the digital content they encounter and provides a highly efficient, secure, and practical means for expressing that knowledge to others. Our R&D has been sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and Kentucky’s Cabinet for Economic Development. InqTech builds upon Dr. Scott Stuckey’s pioneering research on the use of digital-capture technology as a means of improving knowledge expression while increasing conceptual understanding. Our technology leverages the fact that most people can demonstrate far more about what they actually understand compared to what they are able to write about. The UniCast Performance Platform™ (UniCast™) encourages users to talk about their experiences with any digital content they may be working with and simultaneously captures every action or event that is being displayed on their devices display screen. Findings from several educational research and development studies sponsored by NSF and USDA, have clearly shown that our initial student application heightens motivation, improves on-task behavior, increases achievement levels, and enhances scientific practices associated with inquiry-based learning. The technology provides students with a means to think out loud about complexities associated with an activity. The resulting videos prompt students to self-reflect upon their efforts, make changes as needed, and safely share their work among all involved in the learning community. InqTech developed similar technology to allow teachers to quickly and efficiently review all student work and provide feedback in a format that has students watching and listening, as opposed to reading. Our most recent research demonstrated that making these student and teacher videos available in rural homes, improves upon the quality and frequency of conversations that pertain to concepts taught and technology used at school. This is a critical component in education as parental influence in rural communities is a dominant factor in determining a student pathways beyond high school. InqTech’s digital capture tools exist as Google Chrome Extensions which help maximize the distribution of our product line as UniCast™ can function on Chromebooks or any other computer device that is capable of running Chrome. Students are only able to record digital capture videos of their entire screen, a particular Chrome tab, or a specific application such as Google Docs, PowerPoint, or Word. This limitation is by design as our extensive research has clearly shown that when students are allowed to record digital capture videos that include a webcam, their activity becomes more of a “Production” and often lose focus on the actual learning objectives. Classroom Teachers and School Administrators do have access to the optional webcam feature which can be used full screen or picture-in-picture mode. School and District staff members can also create feedback videos where their spoken words are gently layered on top of a student’s UniCast™ video. Feedback videos can also be easily produced with most any other type of student-generated digital content and even paper assignments that have been scanned to pdf. This level of personalized feedback has students watching and listening to their instructor’s commentary instead of reading red ink in the margins. InqTech also developed a unique account management system which consists of various levels (i.e. Student, Classroom Teacher, School Admin, District Admin, etc.), each of which varies with regard to their assigned features and levels of access. For example, “School Staff” can access student accounts at the the school they are assigned to, but can make no changes. “Classroom Teachers” can manage the specific student accounts that have been assigned to them, including the ability to change a particular status from “Active” to “Suspended” or vice versa. “School Administrators” have access to all accounts at their school and can schedule students accordingly, create new user accounts, and/or archive those that are no longer being used. District Administrators inherit all the rights of other levels and can establish variables such as choosing the video recording settings (High, Medium, or Low) depending on the network infrastructure and allotted bandwidth of any given school. All of these access levels are assigned when accounts are created – a process that can be completed by uploading one relatively simple spreadsheet to UniCast’s Management System. These levels of account management help ensure safe, secure, and highly efficient learning environments for all parties involved.
- (2019-08-27, v:0.0.0.21) Philip Stuckey: Philip
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