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Posts Tagged ‘21st Century skill’

Fall Science Workshop Preview Webinar – Oct 2, 2012 3:30 PM

September 27th, 2012 No comments

Prepare for the NGSS

Join us for a taste of the Fall Regional Workshops for science scheduled all over the state. We’ll spend time looking at the Practices and explore how an MLTI application supports them. Of course, there will be ample opportunity for give and take discussion in preparation for the Next Generation of Science Standards and how technology and the 8 Practices of Science and Engineering can be aligned.

Sign up for Webinar here and and you will be directed to an online registration form. Please type your email address carefully as all information will be sent to that address. After registering you will receive a confirmation email with a log in link – please use that link to log into the webinar prior to the start time.

May 17 Webinar – From Micro to Macro: 21st Century Economics Education

May 14th, 2012 No comments

Economics is a subject that is generally given the lightest touch as part of a social studies curriculum, and yet an understanding of economic concepts can have some of the longest standing results in student’s lives beyond school. By incorporating a broader study of economics into curriculum beyond a social studies classroom, students will be able to create and stick to a personal budget, follow and predict fluctuations in stock and land prices, develop business plans that are sustainable and understand how economic practices influence international development. Economics is an important part of every student’s education, and every teacher can play a part in developing economic understanding.

This webinar will look at tools on the MLTI image and online that can support the teaching of economics. From personal finance to global economic indicators, there are many ways in which digital tools can build an understanding of concepts such as supply and demand, input and output and economic development. While this is not intended to be a comprehensive view of an economics curriculum, it will point the way to developing an engaging method of incorporating the subject into schoolwide teaching and learning.

To join the webinar, click on the Webcasts tab above and follow the links to register.

Image by images_of_money on Flickr. Used under a CC BY 2.0 license.

Free Online Course – Open Content Licensing for Educators

May 12th, 2012 1 comment
OER Educators graphic

CC BY 3.0 Sunshine Connelly (WikiEducator)

Ten years ago UNESCO coined the term Open Educational Resources (OER). Since then, interest in creating, collecting, and curating open content for teaching and learning has spread around the world. As part of the tenth anniversary celebration, the OER Foundation will host another free course, Open Content Licensing for Educators.

The course runs from June 20 – July 3, 2012 and the organizers are hoping to break the record of 1067 registrations set in a similar course they offered in January. I was a participant in the January sessions and truly enjoyed the exploration of issues around intellectual property, fair use, and creative commons licensing.  The discussions were fascinating and helped me understand how my thinking about intellectual property and copyright was similar to and often different from the thinking of participants in other parts of the world. Registration and course information can be found at the OCL4Ed wiki site.

MLTI webinar May 10, 2012 – Science Session Four – Observation, Evidence and Data

Collecting plant data on a clipboard

public domain image

One of the prime advantages to using technology in the science classroom is the real-time, particpatory collection of data. Participants will be introduced to how Data Studio, Logger Pro, MyWorld, and Numbers can be used to deal with data. Vital Signs, a website from Gulf of Maine Research Institute allows students and teachers not only to interact with a database about invasive species, but also to contribute their own data and discuss results with other classes and even expert scientists. Zooniverse has a number of web-based astronomy centered databases tin which individuals can participate. Participants will examine how technology can support the collection, organization, and analysis of data for science learning and support the conversation about, communication of, and dissemination of data and evidence from and to selected scientific communities. We will also talk about alignment with the Scientific and Engineering Practices from the new Conceptual Framework.

I hope you can join us on Thursday, May 10 at 3:15pm or 7:15pm. Please click on the Webcasts tab to register. We have upgraded to a new registration system, allowing you to register directly in Adobe Connect, making the whole webinar process smoother and easier! If you have any questions, please contact Juanita Dickson. Click on the time you wish to participate in and you will be directed to an online registration form. Please type your email address carefully as all information will be sent to that address. After registering you will receive a confirmation email with a log in link – please use that link to log into the webinar prior to the start time.

April 5 Webinar: Hot Points – Current Events and Digital Tools

April 1st, 2012 No comments

Current events teaching has never been juicier. Up to the second information on events from all points of the four winds can be easily gathered, disseminated and pored over using digital tools. Videos from within the Occupy Wall Street camp, tweets from observers and players in the Arab Spring uprising and the ability to communicate with anyone at the center of a news story via iChat means that students now have a more immediate connection to events than most journalists had fifteen years ago. And with traditional news sources sometimes struggling to compete with the constant flow of information, our students have never been in a better position to show their flair as budding journalists.

This webinar demonstrated how students can access information and turn it into a news story – making sense of multiple sources, applying a clear vision and creating news stories of their own. We discussed some of the drawbacks to the mass of unfiltered information, and how we can help our students become objective reporters and informed opinion makers.

Here are the links I shared in the webinar:

Newsmap: a visual representation of the Google News aggregator

Google News: Try customising the page using the Preference sliders

Newsvine: user voted news stories – a good place to take the temperature of the news

Newseum’s Today’s Front Pages: over 900 front pages from the world’s newspapers, update daily.

MARVEL: ProQuest News
database is a fantastic resource for searching through 1400+ publications from around the world, with many publication’s articles going back at least a decade.

In addition, we looked at YouTube’s capabilities for up to the minute footage of events, and iTunes Store’s News and Politics Podcasts. Google Earth can provide background on the areas where events are taking place, and the World Data Analyst on MARVEL can help with statistics on each country.

Image by Giladlotan on Flickr. Used with a Creative Commons License CC BY-NC 2.0

March 29 Webinar – Learning Science By Doing Science (webinar links update-March 30)

March 25th, 2012 No comments
Paul Fenwick Does Science

CC 2.0 BY Paul Fenwick http://www.flickr.com/photos/pfenwick/

Looking at the Conceptual Framework for New Science Standards K-12, one of the major changes we see is how Scientific and Engineering practices form  a third of Standards platform, along with Core Principles and Crosscutting Concepts. So we are left with the question – How can technology support the practice of science?

There is a plethora of activities and “games” designed to help students learn science, but how can a teacher decide which ones are appropriate and aligned with standards and the curriculum? This session is designed to explore some of the best. From the apps on the MLTI device (ME Explorer, Molecular Workbench, GeniQuest, and NetLogo) to models and simulations on the web, participants will be able to see what could best apply to their classrooms, and then be released to explore even further on their own. Then they will be able to establish their own criteria for choosing, provide a context, and think about the curricular implications.

LearningScience (slides from the webinar)

If you missed the webinar on Thursday, March 29 at 3:15pm or 7:15pm, you can view the recording. Scroll down to the date and click on the time of the presentation you wish to view. Adobe Connect will open up with the recording.

February 16 Webinar: Ever-Evolving Science Standards

February 11th, 2012 3 comments
Cover conceptual Framework for Science Education

National Academies Press: Conceptual Framework for Science Education

Science teachers are guided by the Maine Learning Results, AAAS Benchmarks, and the National Science Education Standards. But, in many cases, they deal with just the standards, and not the reasoning behind the standards. By utilizing the full texts and the Strand Map of Science literacy, participants will be able to look at the relationships among the specific standards they are using and how they relate to the standards for the other grades and content areas. The Strand Map also gives reference to textual and web-based resources related to various standards, and includes information about student conceptual problems. Participants will be able to access the Maine Learning Results, AAAS Benchmarks, and the National Science Education Standards, and the Strand Map online, as well as the recently released A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas. Participants will be able to use the web-based Strand Map of Science Literacy (based on the 2 volume Atlas of Science Literacy) to inform their science teaching through the Maine Learning Results, AAAS Benchmarks, and the National Science Education Standards. We will also examine web-based resources related to science education standards.

You can access the recordings for both sessions from Thursday, February 16 at 3:15pm or 7:15pm.   When you look at the schedule, you will see the correct date and times. Click on the time you wish to view and you will be linked to the recording. You can stop and start it as you would a movie.  If you have any questions, please contact Juanita Dickson.

Slideshow from Standards Webinar

Maine DOE SciTech Framework Blog

This is a link to the NDSL Strand Map for Science Literacy

Here are resources that were referenced in the webinar – You can read them on the web for free.

Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards: A guide for teaching and learning

National Science Education Standards.

Project 2061: Science for all Americans.

Maine Learning Results (Science and Technology)

Benchmarks for Science Literacy

How People Learn

How Students Learn Science in the Classroom

Ready, Set, Science!

Taking Science to School

A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas

 

 

Notes for April 7 Webinar – Play, Think, Learn

April 8th, 2011 No comments

It was in the late 70’s and early 80’s when Atari came out with the Lunar Lander and Asteroids games. I was “stoked” that these games represented an environment for understanding inertia and the other laws of motion, and wondered how I could bring that into my middle school classroom. But they were…games, not lessons, so it didn’t happen. Now that so many Maine 7-12 classrooms are 1:1 and kids have very sophisticated gaming systems, that type of environment has become almost second nature to our students.

So, what is it about gaming that engages the gamer? Our own Ruben Puentadura has offered a whole bunch of podcasts available from the Maine DOE iTunes site entitled “Game and Learn.” He suggests the motivators are these:

Cause and Effect – immediate feedback for effort, seeing results of action
Long Term Winning vs Short Term Gains – Tactics, strategy and problem solving
Order from Chaos – Isolating variables
Complex Systems Behaviors – Systems thinking
Obstacles Become Motivation – Accepting challenges and taking risks

If we look over the standards and pedagogy of successful science classrooms, these same motivators are definitely learning goals, as well.

So how can we leverage the tools that we have to enhance the learning of science? And, for that matter, what tools exist on the MLTI MacBook that can apply that leverage?

To begin with, Games Launcher offers Wolfquest, which has been covered briefly in another webinar. Also, ME Explorer has been explained in a webinar and a series of iTunes podcasts. And we could consider the student interaction with Data Studio and Logger Pro to address some of the motivators mentioned above.

Two applications on the MLTI image from Concord Consortium have been included on the image this year that pack a giant science punch by incorporating the immersive environments and concretizing of abstract concepts found in the gaming world. The Concord Consortium folder may be the most powerful and underutilized resource center for science that teachers need to discover.

Geniquest starts off with a fairly simple and engaging premise of breeding dragons…yes – dragons. Students move on to investigate more and more complex genetic concepts that build an amazing learning progression that develop a deeper understanding of the big ideas of heredity.

Molecular Workbench is both a library containing hundreds of models and activities in chemistry, biology,  and physics and it is also a toolbox for building your own custom-made activities with a good how-to manual.

Another MLTI tool that has remained fairly dormant is NetLogo. It, too, has an extensive library of models that support deeper understanding of science concepts through inquiry and interactivity. The models are set up using the mathematical constructs of various phenomena, stripping away some of the fuzziness of the real world, so users can focus on the basic interactions. My personal favorite is “Wolf-Sheep Predation” that models the predator-prey relationship. Students can adjust variables like initial populations, reproduction rates and energy accumulation to see what effects become apparent. The results are displayed in pictures, graphs, and numbers, following the good practice of multiple representations.

OK, those are a few of the tools on the MLTI image. What about teachers searching the web for appropriate standards-based activities that are appropriate for their curricula? There are a couple of websites that collect and review science resources and align them with learning goals, National Science Education Standards and Project 2061 Benchmarks. One of the is PRISMS from Maine Math and Science Alliance. Another is the National Science Digital Library Science Literacy Strand Map.

A visit to PRISMS gives the user a choice of science topics. A click will take you to a page that lists a set of Learning Goals. Pick one, and you will see the review that covers  information that parallels lesson planning, and a link to the resource. You get to see the strengths and weakness and suggestions for the teacher to integrate the activity into a lesson. I would promote PRISMS as a way for middle school science teachers to construct well crafted, technology-rich units that offer deeper understanding than textbooks alone.

The NSDL Science Literacy Strand Map uses the maps from the AAAS – Project 2061 Atlas of Science Literacy. The Atlas was designed to map out the ideas and skills that lead to literacy in science, mathematics, and technology might develop from kindergarten through 12th grade. NSDL has made the Atlas intereactive, allowing users to choose a major content area, pick a subtopic, and focus in on a particular content topic. Then the map is shown on the screen, with lines linking the specific 9-12 standards, showing the relationship among them and the progression from K to 12 of the content topic. If you click on one of the boxes, you get a list of links to resources about it, as well as references from NSES and Benchmarks. Also included on the map is a tab that opens up to explain the various student misconceptions about the chosen topic. Science teachers and departments would benefit greatly from using the Strand Map to design curriculum that aligns with standards and is sensitive to K-12 learning progressions.

Second Life (SL) and other virtual worlds deserve a good look, too. Scilands in SL offers a area that has islands devoted to NASA, NOAA, Exploratorium, genetics, astronomy, and many other science related themes. In many cases, the environment offers novel and interesting ways to interact with science concepts, like walking through an animal cell and learning about the different organelles. EduSim and Science Sim are a couple of other virtual worlds.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention PhET as a great resource for ready made, interactive science activities. Users can choose from an amazing number of java applets that can be accessed on the web, or downloaded to be included in NoteShare notebooks or teacher web pages. All of the resources are great, and many include a full lesson plan that can be adapted to individual lessons and units.

Good classroom practice demands that any of these resources need to exist in an appropriate learning context. As a teacher, you are responsible for addressing a number of factors to ensure that learning is taking place. Think of the questions you ask in a lesson plan:

What standards are being taught/learned?
What are the prerequisites needed?
How can the activity be differentiated appropriately?
Will this be part of an introduction, practice, homework, extension, or elaboration?
Will the students engage as individuals, small groups, or whole class?
What is your role as a teacher, facilitator, or Socratic coach?
How will the learning be assessed?

April 7 Webinar: Think, Play, Learn – Games, Models, and Simulations for Science

April 4th, 2011 No comments

CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Generic by factoryjoe

Seymour Papert once said that learning should be “hard fun.” Teachers now have the opportunity to integrate games, models and simulations into their science curriculum, while implementing the 5 E’s (engage, explore, explain, elaborate, evaluate.) This webinar includes demos of GeniQuest and Molecular Workbench and review other important apps on the MLTI image. In addition, the PRISMS website from MMSA, and the interactive Science Literacy Strand Map from the National Digital Science Library will be shown as valuable platforms for finding relevant web resources aligned with standards. The renewed emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) challenges teachers from all grade levels to examine ways to foster learning and understanding of esential science concepts. Join us as we investigate new avenues to the development of important science skills and content using the integration of technology.

Please join us at 3:15pm or 7:15pm on April 7th!  To register for this webinar, select the Webcasts tab at the top of the http://maine121.org page and select the time desired to be directed to online registration.

March 24 Webinar: Connecting Classrooms

March 23rd, 2011 13 comments

This webinar will focus on the connectivity of our classrooms: getting our students in touch with other students, educators and experts outside of our school buildings. There is tremendous learning to be gained from discussions and collaborative work with people outside of the immediate environs. Differing perspectives, language practice, sharing lifestyle and culture information can all lead to a rewarding experience for students.
I will be joined by my special guest Nadene Mathes, first grade teacher at Atwood Primary School. She will take us through a project her students worked on with students in Europe, helping us to understand the work that goes into connection projects and the benefits her students gained from taking part. The webinar will also look at places to get started on connection projects, some ideas for ongoing projects and tools that can be used to smooth the way.
The webinar will take place on Thursday, March 24, at 3.15 and again at 7.15. To register for the webinar, click on the ‘Webcasts’ tab above and follow directions.

Image by superkimbo on Flickr, used under Creative Commons License.