Professor Suzanne Cory , President of the AustralianAcademy of Science, addresses The National Press Club on 28th September, 2011. “A decade ago, a review of Australian science education, revealed many students were disappointed with their high school science. Today, this disenchantment continues, as evidenced by the declining number of students choosing to study science in senior secondary school.”
Created online with “Create-A-Graph”http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/index.asp
Children are naturally curious about howthe world around them works; so why dowe have a shortage of scientific expertise?
Traditional science teaching may not be engaging ourtech-savvy, globally-connected future leaders. They need to be critical evaluators of evidence, decision-makers, problem-solvers and great communicators – and science can help them gain those skills.
Why do we need to teach with technology?1. The Power to Engage2. Students use technology already – educate them to use it for good and not for evil!3. Professional Development4. Its not going to go away...it will only grow5. Employers want their workers to use internet toolshttp://www.emergingedtech.com/2009/05/5-reasons-why-educators-need-to-embrace-internet-technologies/
“How can you successfully integrate digital tools into science classes to enhance student learning?”
I get overwhelmed by all the choices –there are so many different web2.0 toolsand informative resources to use! Try a social bookmarking site:
How can I get to know my students betterat the beginning of the school year? Try using Survey Monkey or Google Docs to create a student survey about their strengths, interests and concerns.
How can I introduce a new topic with web2.0 tools? You can use Flickr and PowerPoint to create slideshow of interesting images around your topic.
How can I connect withexperts using web2.0 tools? Use Skype or Blackboard Collaborate to participate in presentations, ask questions and connect with scientists.
We use Skype and Blackboard Collaborate toconnect with our Scientist in Schools partner, Melissa Toifl, from CSIRO Land and Water Technologies, in Highett and Clayton.
Peter Barnett, Geologist from Hot Rocks Ltd. Connecting with experts in the field increases motivationand engagement by allowing students to ask questions and actively participate in presentations.
Participation in web conferences with ActWild,facilitated by the Melbourne Zoo, develops student knowledge and empathy for our wildlife.
Students collect dataabout tree growth toupload to theSmithsonian Institutewebsite, wherescientists use the datafor climate changeresearch.
In 2011 and 1012 I have usedBlackboard Collaborate to teachUnit 3 and 4 VCE EnvironmentalScience to students fromdifferent schools around thestate. We connect for 90minutes each weeksynchronously and use theUltranet, my blog, email andFacebook asynchronously.We met at Ecolinc, BacchusMarsh in term 1 and plan tomeet at EcoBeach Apollo BayYHA during term 3 holidays.
How can I find out what my students already know about a topic? Try creating a group word cloud using Google Docs and Wordle or Tagxedo.
How can you encourage students toconnect different concepts or show theirunderstanding of how ideas are related? Inspiration (edustar), Bubbl.us (online) and Freemind (download) are free digital mind mapping tools that are easy to use and display on blogs.
"StoryJumper" is an on-line tool for creatingchildrens story books - "kids teaching kids".
"Pivot" is software that allows creation of stick figure animations that can be converted to video.
Using Comic Life toillustrate studentunderstanding ofForces. The brief was tocreate a cartoon todemonstrate that:“Forces can startmotion, stop motion,change the speed,direction or shape of anobject or have no effectat all.”
How can mobile devices be used effectively toenhance science learning? Use ipods, mobile phones to scan QR codes, take pictures or record data during excursions and trips outside into the school garden.
Students can create their own webpage in a wiki anduse the URL to create a QR (quick response) code thatdirects the user to the information in their webpage.
How can you encourage students to work together,collaborate on projects and share their results? Google Docs and Wikispaces are free tools that allow students to work together online.
International Energy Challenge 150 students, five schools, three countries and 12 energy sources.http://energychallenge.wikispaces.com/
How can students describe experiments or worktogether to explain the results of investigations? Voicethread is a simply wonderful way to use images with audio and text.
Evaluate and Create• Predict, Observe and Explain an experiment Eg. "Separating Mixtures”• Record a process Eg. "Making Paper from Grass“• Describe a system Eg. "Water Cycle Posters“• Collaborate with students from other classes, countries and continents. Share with parents, relatives and friends.• Some great examples for using Voicethread in education
Other audio tools...Audio tools are great forstudents with poor writingskills to make predictions,record their observationsand explain their results.Creating a character tospeak adds interest for boththe student and the listener(Blabberize and Voki).I have just added SpeakPipeto my blogs for studentquestions.
My students have difficulty rememberingdefinitions of scientific terms – how can I help? Quizlet and Flashcards db are online tools where students can create digital Flashcards, which can be used online or printed out. There is a similar app for iPods and iPads called Flashcardlet.
How can I help my studentsrevise effectively for tests? Quiz Revolution (formerly My Studiyo) is a free tool for creating online multiple choice quizzes. It is simple for students to create their own quizzes and send a link byemail to their friends and teacher or embed the quiz into a blog. Quizlet is similar.
How can students demonstrate their understanding of a topic? Ask students to create a digital story using Animoto, Slideshare, Photostory, Windows Movie Maker or iMovie.
Your students can enter the 60 second sciencecompetition by explaining a scientific concept. http://www.60secondscience.net/
Creating and Evaluating - Video• Create "60 second science" videos to explain a science concept. http://www.60secondscience.net/• Use Photostory, Windows Moviemaker, Voicethread, Kahootz, Pivot, MonkeyJam or other animation software.• "How to Make a Rainbow"; "How a Wind Turbine Works" and "Life and Death of a Star".
Creating and Evaluating - Video• Flip video to record presentations, experiments, dissections, role plays, interviews and mock TV programs.• Use Video tools - YouTube, TeacherTube, Vimeo or Viddex to embed in blogs and wikis for student evaluative comments• Use the 3,2,1 rule - 3 positive encouragements, 2 questions and 1 suggestion for improvement.
How can I find out what studentslearnt during a lesson or what they may not have understood? Wallwisher can be used as an exit slip – a short, low-stakes, assessment task. A prompted (or unprompted) written reflection that is posted online.
• What did you learn about cells today?• How could you get a magnification of x400?• What is the difference between a light microscope and a stereo microscope?
REFERENCES• Prof. Suzanne Cory’s National Press Club Address on 28th September, 2011 http://theconversation.edu.au/science-maths-and-the- future-of-australia-3577• Bored students image from http://ap018.edublogs.org/2010/10/17/pop-culture/• Survey by STA and Academy of Science at http://www.fasts.org/images/News2010/science%20lit eracy%20report%20final%20270710.pdf (04/10/2011)• Teaching the 21st Century Learner at http://depd.wisc.edu/series/06_4168.pdf