Here's a slideshow of hands-on science photos from my last practicum teaching science 9 and science 10.
I've thought about doing this post for months... it was always on the bottom of my to-do list, until now.
Here's a slideshow of hands-on science photos from my last practicum teaching science 9 and science 10.
I like the easiness of just entering grades into a computer, finding the average, and I'm done.
But - I wish more schools (including post-secondary) were not so focused on percentages and averages, but actually looked at the proficiency and improvement of a student over time through a given unit. See this example article which is awesome!
I know which student I would use to pack my parachute. Before the "older" generation chime in, recognize that there are a lot of researchers and professionals who study assessment practices, what works and what doesn't, and how to properly guage student success before getting emotional about the 'fact' that an average grade is not necessarily the best method of showing what a student knows.
My workflow has been to link a youtube video, then immediately following, I create a "quiz" with only ~4 questions about the video to allow the students to demonstrate understanding of the concepts in the video. I use this as a formative assessment, to see areas where I need to focus, or give additional help to certain students.
Student engagement/buy-in is still challenging, even though there are assignments which are for report card marks and lecture videos only available online. I'm open to suggestions from others about this topic in the comments below...
For the students who have engaged - it is a good way to have a lighter view on the class topics - to find articles, youtube videos, or just comments and questions about science. It's familiar facebook-like appearance help in this case, also.
I will be doing more of a professional project around this topic, and creating a resource for the school admin and teaching staff which includes some research, interviews, and 'how-to' information. I'll be keeping the blog updated infrequently with details and findings as I work through the semester.
Image hot-linked directly from
Many teachers have heard of and are using the idea of a flipped classroom. Some are only providing videos to students to watch at home, to allow more time in the classroom for experiments, discussions, projects, or challenging homework Q&A time. The problem that some of these teachers might face is that students aren't accountable to watch the videos - and many of them simply don't.
This teacher (Ramsey Musallam) has found a way to engage students during this stage of their learning, how to hold them accountable, and how to help them learn concepts better. The video embedded in this page shows an example of one of his flipped lectures.
He's using a combination of video and Google docs forms - the video on the page for students to learn from, then a form underneath that students must fill out with their names, summary of the video, and the important part - to finish his last example and provide an answer. He always shows two examples in his videos, but the second one he doesn't finish fully, and lets the students finish it. I thought this was brilliant! This form also allows him to capture all of the responses from the students in a single location, can sort them, check for duplicates (plagiarism), and he shows the list to the class on the projector screen - double accountability!
I found it very interesting that he was then taking the responses and pasting into a wordle word cloud, and using that as a discussion stem about the subject! How smart... this is useful technolo
The other great example of student engagement and interaction with flip teaching is the use of ed.ted.com - a central location to find educational videos, then create questions and discussion about the video. This method also encourages student accountability, and allows the teacher to gather student responses for grades, or progress.
In any case, I will be teaching with a flipped classroom in the future, and hopefully will get a good taste of it during my PSIII placement.
Another great resource to learn more about flipped teaching can be found at http://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2011/06/13/the-flipped-classroom-model-a-full-picture/
This summary and response are based on this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x71hjtTgQ0E
observation: - attitude regarding technology, motivation, interest, self-learning, voluntarily helping other students, distraction or benefit?
Checklist: - most points being met suggests that the technology was a success.
Rating scales - similar, but more involved (mostly like a rubric)
Rubric - more detailed, deeper levels of learning/achievement based on levels of quality and stages of development.
Re-evaluate at regular intervals, like every year. Students, learning objectives, etc change over time.
Keep the technology applicable to the real-world, and current.
Sample year-end evaluation:
At the end of the school year, think back and reflect on the technologies used in your class - whether it be software, hardware, the internet, or any combination of the three - to help you determine whether the resources are working and/or where you need to make changes. One way to help you determine this is to think about whether your students know how to select and use technology to help them find, analyze, and convey information effectively and creatively. If so, then you have a good indication that technology has at least enhanced students’ learning. Also consider whether it helped you as a teacher, such as helping you track grades and other information, or create classroom materials.
Exit Slip surveys are also a very useful feedback method from students to gain understanding about a technology mid-stream, instead of waiting until the end of the year or unit.
Evaluate digital tutorials:
Give young students either an online or CD tutorial that teaches them phonetics and how to read. After they have sufficient practice with the tutorials, evaluate the effectiveness of the digital tutorials. To help you in your evaluation, sit with each student and have them read aloud a short story or a series of sentences that they should be able to read after using the tutorials. Use either a rating scale or rubric to evaluate.
Though this isn't stated in the video, I agree that sometimes technology is used sometimes just for the sake of using it. Educators need to be assessing their use of technology in the classroom, and considering if it is in-fact useful and beneficial to student learning.
The fact that a lot of technology integration needs to be assessed through it's own medium is a great method, and does indeed require more thorough assessment techniques such as rubrics and check lists.
My concern is that some teachers are biasing their assessment tools to grade the use of the technology, rather than the real content and learning which should be demonstrated through the technology. In many cases, the ITC curriculum is more of a tool, than an end-of-year outcome.
This is certainly something that I will be considering, especially some of the evaluations from a teacher's perspective on how effective a tool was throughout the year, where I need to improve or adapt, and what to toss in search of something more effective for learning.
Here is my summary in both text and video form about the Alberta Ed ICT outcomes, and the integration of some of them into four grade 8 science SLOs from the light and optics unit. The video is far from my best... but for the time it will have to do.
Alberta Ed - Division 3 ICT outcomes - (Page 37 or here).
The ICT outcomes for Alberta Education are divided into the four divisions - grades 1-3 are division 1, grades 4-6 are division 2, grades 7-9 are division 3, and grades 10-12 are division 4. For the ICT programs of study, each of these divisions is then further divided into three categories of technology integration - the C category - which is for communication, and problem solving like using technology for research, the F category, which is for foundational knowledge - like understanding ergonomics and the nature of technology, and the P category, which is for processes of productivity, like manipulating data, and communicating through multimedia - where the rubber hits the road, so to speak.
P3 (Students will communicate through multimedia.)
3.1) create multimedia presentations that take into account audiences of diverse size, age, gender, ethnicity and geographic location
3.3) create multimedia presentations that incorporate meaningful graphics, audio, video and text gathered from remote sources
P5 (Students will navigate and create hyperlinked resources.)
3.1) create a multiple-link web page
3.2) demonstrate proficient use of various information retrieval technologies
P6 (Students will use communication technology to interact with others.).
3.1) communicate with a targeted audience, within a controlled environment, by using such communication technologies as email and web browsers
3.2) demonstrate proficiency in accessing local area network, wide area network and Internet services, including uploading and downloading text, image, audio and video files
Grade 8 Science Outcomes - Unit C - Light and Optical Systems
The following concepts are developed in this unit and may also be addressed in other units at other grade levels. The intended level and scope of treatment is defined by the outcomes below.
− microscopes and telescopes
− contribution of technologies to scientific development
− transmission and absorption of light
− sources of light
− reflection and refraction
− vision and lenses
− imaging technologies
GLO 2. Investigate the transmission of light, and describe its behaviour using a geometric ray model
Technologies to use: (computer, screen recorder, internet/browser, website creation, concept mapping software, video editor, email/social media)
Rationale: This is more than the required two technologies - but they fit nicely together to complete this project. Light and optics are an interesting branch of science, it would be interesting to show these topics through a rich multimedia experience - first through an interactive ray diagram applet via screencast with spoken explanation, then with the concept map graphic organizer showing how all of the topics are connected or branch out from each other. The video editing and website are a part of the ICT outcomes, but really are just tools to represent the information from the student.
Computer to create a variety of small projects after learning about light interactions:
(all temporary files saved on the student’s networked folder on the school server).
1. a video screencast (using screencast-o-matic) showing and explaining with speech recording a ray diagram applet such as http://teleformacion.edu.aytolacoruna.es/FISICA/document/applets/Hwang/ntnujava/Lens/lens_e.html - The video must be edited in a basic editor to include a title, date, your name, and intro section showing images from the internet depicting real-world uses of lenses and mirrors, and a subdued and appropriate selection of royalty free (legal) background music available from sites such as http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/
Create a second video (with a helper or at least a tripod) of you demonstrating light interacting with lenses, mirrors, and passing through different medium interfaces (ie air-glass, air-diamond, air-water etc). For each of these interactions, attempt to measure the angles of the light (ingoing and exiting) using a protractor. Try different lenses from magnifying glasses, eye glasses, telescopes, microscopes, etc. and describe what they are made out of, and possible reasons.
Upload the videos to a hosting service such as Youtube or Vimeo.
2. a concept web using the free www.xmind.net software showing the relationships and connections between higher order concepts of light down at least three levels for three different categories to specific details. Saves the concept web as an image file to upload to a website such as weebly or Google sites.
3. Set up a website with at least four pages, and a menu to navigate throughout. The pages should include a homepage with a basic introduction to the topic of light and optics, a page with your videos and legible concept web, a page with additional resources and links to other websites that are helpful in learning about light interactions, and a Bibliography-type page listing detailed sources of all images, sounds, and other resources used. Include disclaimer/note on your pages that you are a student, and that it is possible that there are mistakes.
4. Promote your website to the other students, the teacher, your friends, family, etc. using email and/or social media, and elicit feedback and comments from them.
Differentiation - some reasons, some ideas, and some good details.
WebQuests, as I understand them, are guides created by teachers for their students to take which enable them to follow a sequence of tasks and links to learn about a particular topic, and give them the opportunity for deeper thought, reflection, analysis and synthesis of knowledge beyond what's clearly visible online. A webquest encourages the student to think outside the box, to solve some problems, and to engage their brain.
I think that WebQuests are a good idea, but can easily get in the way of teaching and learning if not done right. They also allow for a lot of easy distraction for both teacher and student if they're not strictly focused on the learning task at hand. Pros and cons, I suppose, which I will need to explore the feasibility of in the near future.