A 21st century learner should be encouraged to analyse data, apply knowledge and be creative; all this can only be accomplished when the method of instruction changes according to McCoog (2008). As stated by Cramer (2007) one of the vital characteristics of a 21st century educator is the ability to select resources in an unbounded developmental setting. The correct selection of resources would surely be able to contribute to successful teaching and learning (Pienaar, 2008). This research reflects on the process educators employ to select the appropriate mobile educational applications to support inquiry-based science teaching as part of the information communication for rural education development project.
Despite the apparent need to adapt our teaching to provide for a 21st century learner, educators receive arguably little or no guidance to select mobile educational resources (applications) for a specific educational environment. The necessity for the educator to adapt and gain skills to address 21st century learners is also supported by the fact that inquiry-based science teaching relies heavily on resources (Lin, Hong, Yang & Lee, 2012).
The selection process and use of apps are explored and contextualised by the results using the TPACK-framework. Three case studies were conducted to compare how three educators from three different schools select and use apps to enhance inquiry-based science teaching. A qualitative collective case study were conducted by means of conducting an interview, an observation and a questionnaire.
The main research question asked was: How do the selection and use of mobile educational applications support inquiry-based teaching in Physical Science in the FET phase?
The research provided a set of proposed guidelines to select applications that could also support inquiry-based science teaching in the further education and training phase in South Africa.
The guidelines were developed to guide and aid science educators in selecting the appropriate applications for science lessons. The research links these guidelines with the characteristics of inquiry-based teaching and how apps could be used to support this teaching style.