Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Using ICT in Inquiry based Science Teaching

Using ICT in Inquiry based Science Teaching 
90 minute presentation for Harare International School 2012


This presentation includes five examples to illustrate ideas for using ICT in Science lessons
Each blog post presents an example of teaching and learning in Science lessons which in some way uses inquiry based pedagogy and integrates Web 2.0 to improve traditional methods.

The foundation of each task is a concrete piece of learning, or syllabus objective. Some activities aim to motivate students to find out about Science by presenting the tasks as a 'Mission' and by catching student interest by using contemporary examples which engage student empathy, curiosity.  Web2.0 tools are embedded into these tasks.  Other Web2.0 tools are used to show information about the tasks.

The Activities usually have the following sections:
  1. A Hook - introductory information to catch the students' interest.
  2. Essential Questions - which tell students what they might find out.
  3. Description - A concise outline of the task.
  4. Running the activity - Step by step instructions of how to organise the lesson.
  5. Resources - Links to websites, Apps or other resources.
  6. Technician Request - what the teacher might ask the technitian to prepare.
  7. Aims - The foundation of the activity. Science ideas and concepts.
  8. Assessment - Ideas for assessment of students.
  9. Syllabus links - possible links to IB syllabus, and others.
  10. References  -  web resources used in preparation and for extension.
  11. Alternative ways - possible adaptations.
Depending on previous experience teachers may wish to do the activities as if they were a student, or to skim though the activity and use the links and resources to create their own activity.

Key ICT tools explored

Google docs
Slide rocket
Wall wisher
Java applets
Android and Apple Apps
This blog - including RSS feeds, social bookmarking, and twitter feed.


 Example in Science
Student level
 How is this an improvement? 
Teaching about colour-blindness and the structure of the eye 
 IB Biology
Mobile Phone Apps & phone cameras can now illustrate colour blindness, and test eyesight
 Writing conclusions after seeing reaction of copper foil with oxygen
 Middle School Chemistry
Students get to practice  expressing their ideas, listen to other, and then write more comprehensive conclusions
Gathering ideas about recycling at the start of a Materials topic
Middle School Chemistry
All the studnets participate at the same time, the ideas can be grouped afterwards and a digital record remains for future reference or AfL.
Modelling inheritance using applets rather than beads in theoretical genetics
IB Biology 
Java applets that creae random gametes that look like sperm and egg cells are more concrete than coloured beads in modelling  alleles in inheritance.
 Engaging student interest in EM spectrum using the wow-factor of Astronomy
 IGCSE Physics
Invisible Universe and many other phone apps bring the awe-inspiring imagery of modern astronomy into the hands of students.  This particular example links different telescopes to the EM radiation they detect.
Six extra ideas worth developing into Science lessons

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