Internet and its services have become inherent element of the lives of young people. Nevertheless, we observe that educational potential, which the Internet offers for supporting learning processes, is acknowledged and exploited only partially. On that account, for several years we have been involved in developing investigative on-line activities, highly popular interactive events among students of the Slovak schools. In this way, as a value-added benefit, we have created unique opportunity for us to study how students behave when solving problems in the technology enhanced learning situations, how they communicate and cooperate in the teams, which competencies they cultivate. For such educational research, we have made use of the thoroughly projected combination of the intervention design and qualitative non-participant unstructured observations - within the framework of the design-based research methodology.
In this paper we present our initial assumptions and inspirations, methods of our research work and major observations, we clarify what investigative on-line activities are and how we have collected and analyzed data obtained by observing students while solving the investigative tasks. In our research we have focused on the development of three classes of competencies, namely digital competencies (i.e., those that pertain to the area of general digital literacy), computational competencies (i.e., those that correspond to the goals of informatics in education) and social competencies (i.e., those that allow students to communicate, cooperate, create or evaluate their own doings, learning etc.). In our paper we present corresponding observations and also attitudes and reactions of the teachers - who have been involved merely as supervisors, not as members of the teams. We also summarise potential contribution of our investigative on-line activities to education in the modern society.