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Collaborative and Real Time Learning March 9, 2010

Posted by twinsunplus1 in Digital Natives, Education, Project based learning, Science, Web 2.0.
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As a science teacher, my goal is to get students into the lab for a hands on experience.  Often times students miss out on the experience of gathering enough data during a lab.  Without enough data, they cannot  interpret the information they have gathered.  The Center for the Innovation of Engineering and Science Education allows for collaboration and real time learning.   It also allows a way for students and teachers to gather enough information to see the results Gregor Mendel saw in his famous experiment. 

There are several different collaborative projects, however, the one I was immediately drawn to was the Human Genetics.  I was drawn to this particular project for several reasons.  First, it was ongoing and had open registration.  Second, the genetics analysis section of the curricula is popular and fun, however small class sizes sometime prohibit the correct analysis of the traits the class is observing.   Getting involved with the CIESE program keeps that problem from happening.  Now instead of a class size of 24 students, there is a data pool of thousands of students.  

The CIESE program explains how to get the project going in the classroom, a discussion area where classrooms can communication and share data, an area for tying into current events, and a reference area for both teacher and student use.  If you don’t feel up to participating in real time, teachers also have the opportunity to use data from past project runs.  

Have you used any of the programs and projects developed by CIESE?  How did it work for you and the class?   What other collaborative and real time learning are you using in your classroom?

Better get back to the natives,


Teaching the Digital Native March 6, 2010

Posted by twinsunplus1 in Digital Natives, Glogster, Prezi, Science, Teaching, Technologies, twitter, YouTube.
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The Teaching Science to Digital Native blog is my way of keeping up with the latest ways to bring science to the students. 

Most of us have heard the term, “digital native”.   Do we really know what that term means?  It refers to the generation of students who have grown up with technology–cell phones, laptops, home computers, digital cameras.   Since they have been using these tools since they were toddlers, in some cases, they understand the technologies better than the adults. 

Teachers have always worked hard to bring their students new experiences.  In the age of the digital native, the students are bringing the experiences to the teachers.   Teachers are the ones who are learning how to operate, integrate, and incorporate technologies into lessons and classrooms. 

Classrooms where the student and the teacher are using digital technologies are classrooms where project based learning or PBLs are the norm rather than the exception.   PBLs allow the student to enter the learning rather than being a passiver participant of the learning.   Technologies such as Twitter, YouTube, wikis, and blogs allow the student to go out and find the experts and learn more up-to-date and current information then was possible ever before.   Once the student has gained information and experiences, they can then utilize services like blogs, wikis, YouTube, Glogster, Twitter, and Prezi to get the information back out and incorporate it to a new situation.   That synthesis and redistribution of information is what learning is all about.   


Join me on my journey as I return to the world of education and learn to teach the digital native all about the world of science.   Over the next few weeks, I’ll be exploring some of these technologies and figuring out how to incorporate them into the NC standards and a High School Biology curriculum.   If you know of a technology that’s not listed, I’d love to hear about it.  If you use one of these in an “out of the box” kind of way, I’d love to hear about it too. 

In the meantime, I better check on the natives,