Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Science and Educational Technnology

We have shared a lot of “big picture” blogs with you lately, so we narrowed our focus to one content area this week.  In coming weeks, we’ll focus on specific content areas, one at a time.  Last time, we focused on math.  This week, we focus on SCIENCE.  In the post below, you’ll find TOOLS, RESOURCES, and IDEAS related to SCIENCE and EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY*.  


This “web-based series of short, animated science mysteries is designed to inspire 4th - 8th graders.  It encourages students to solve problems, and think uniquely, creatively, and critically.”

“A series of videos answers simple science questions intended to inspire elementary students” (K-6).  Made for teachers by teachers, this tool features “open-and-go” lessons and complete curriculums.

Many teachers at Warrior Run use Kahoot to check for understanding at various points.  Science kahoot

A Google Add-On for Docs, Sheets, and now Forms, g(Math) allows you “create  rich math [and science] expressions and graphs for direct insertion into Google Doc, Sheet, or Form.”  A recent update includes handwriting and voice entry!

If you would like your students to have access to any of these, just email Greg.


Watch videos and practice skills for almost any science subject.  Subjects include traditional fields of biology, chemistry, and physics, but move on to cosmology, health, and engineering -- and more!  Teachers and students can create accounts with their Google single sign on.

Shmoop’s Learning Guides are like a new-school Cliff’s Notes.  For science, students can access learning guides in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.  Students and teachers can prepare for AP Science tests too!  Shmoop offers accounts for teachers and students through Google single sign on.

A showcase of “dozens of options for integrating technology into the science curriculum, from virtual labs to computational tools.”

A list of 125 science-related site for kids and teachers.


Students Further Their Own Learning
In this article, a teacher asks his students to find videos on a concept (in this case, probability) that are under four minutes.  He asks them to share the video in a simple Google Form, and in the process, they learn more about a specific concept, criteria to discuss the video’s effect, and how to locate information.

Students + Screencasts = Science Review Archive
Think about your final exam, and the review sessions you have traditionally done with your students.  What if you gave the students more responsibility?  Assign a student (or pair of students) a particular concept or problem.  Ask them to explain it to the class in a screencast.  They could use Google Drawings and g(Math) to illustrate/show their work, while using their voices to explain the process.  Most screencast tools save to Google Drive, so sharing is pretty easy.  They could add them to Google Classroom or you could upload them to a website or your YouTube Channel**.  Here is an example of one teacher’s Algebra class notes.  And this article explains how screencasts turn students into digital teachers.

Twitter has become pretty popular with teachers at Warrior Run -- the high school science teachers use it regularly to communicate with their students.  Bill Nye taught an entire science class through Twitter!  What if you used it to connect with other students, other schools, other states, other countries?  Here’s a list of 50 ways to use Twitter in the classroom.

* Please note, just because technology is new, doesn’t mean it’s always better.  If traditional flashcards work for you and your students, keep using them!  But if StudyBlue could work for you, ask some of your kids to give it a whirl.
** We all have YouTube accounts connected to our WRSD Google accounts.

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