Academic Focus

A girl working on a laptop

Case structure

Every eInvestigators case is structured to encourage the development of a different academic skill set each week:

  • Week 1: collect, or search for and gather evidence
  • Week 2: analyze, or seek patterns and interrelationships, and develop interpretations
  • Week 3: share, or communicate and present initial findings
  • Week 4: examine, or ask further questions, critique, and celebrate what has been discovered

By the end of the four-week session, students will gain knowledge in specific disciplines and professions not typically taught in school and they will hone research and critical thinking skills useful to them in any academic endeavor.

Digital citizenship skills

The program introduces the tenets of good and safe digital citizenship to students and provides them with the opportunity to develop skills across a variety of areas. While eInvestigators in a particular case will gain content knowledge in that academic area, eInvestigators in every case in the program engage in the following skill concepts:

  • inquiry
  • self-representation and digital footprint
  • collaboration
  • working in the cloud (using Google Apps for Education and Web 2.0 tools)
  • creativity
  • communication
  • academic honesty and integrity of ownership

Learning platform and tools

eInvestigators provides its participants with access to Web 2.0 tools, a revolutionary new way of creating, collaborating, editing, and sharing user-generated content online. These tools are easy to use—there’s no need to download them—and teachers and students can master most of these tools in minutes. Among other things, eInvestigators will learn to use:

  • presentation tools that lead students beyond basic slides and bullet points, allowing them to upload, create, edit, and share creative presentations—anytime, anywhere
  • video tools that make it easier than ever to integrate video into shared projects and presentations
  • community tools that enable Lead Investigator instructors and eInvestigators to communicate, collaborate, and create in shared spaces.

eInvestigators is a month-long online program for fourth, fifth, and sixth graders that takes place each year in the spring, summer, and fall. Using leading-edge instructional technology, participants collaborate with a small group of classmates and an expert Lead Investigator to collect clues about a real-life mystery, analyze evidence, and propose theories.