Yes, I’m learning a new language and becoming an (on-line) alien in my own home! I have finally discovered a social network of middle-years science teachers on Twitter and Ning. Until now, a lot of what I have been reading has been on the borderlines of my interest and not directly relevant to my classroom practise. Now I have found other teachers who share my interests and goals. One great project I heard about on Classroom 2.0, is a Unit 2 Outdoor and Environment Studies blog, where each of the students is using Utterli to record and post their findings and reflections using mobile phones, while camping and bushwalking in the Grampians National Park. Awesome!
Another great project I have come accross was created by Anne Baird, from Wedderburn P12 College, a Intel master trainer, who collaborated with a teacher in Andale, Kansas, U.S. on an environmental learning unit (” It’s not Easy being Green”). Students in both countries watched the video “An Inconvenient Truth” as a stimulus, and used a wiki to share their ideas and compare their ecological footprints.
I’ve also discovered an on-line text “Science for All Americans” with interesting chapters about Effective Learning and Teaching. Now I need to learn the art of focussing on the task and not getting distracted by possibilities and opportunnities in other directions.
“My Sports Pulse is an educational game delivered via Voice Messaging, SMS/text messaging, Web, and video messaging to mobile devices such as cell phones. Each message contains a sports themed question that not only tests your sports knowledge, but teaches you aspects of maths, science, and technology in a totally fun way! You’ll wish all your classes were taught this way. Once you receive the question, submit your answer via text message. It’s that easy.” I’ve just sent off a message to register Hawkesdale College students as participants in this exciting new program. Stay tuned!
I’ve just been musing on the uses of mobile phones in science classes, after reading a post on Rick Biche’s Blog – “A Teacher’s Thoughts – learning and science in the 21st century“. New technology has been released in Australia today that allows you to use your mobile phone account for small cash purchases. You just scan your phone at the counter, in the coffee shop for example, and the price of your coffee is added to your mobile phone account. How else can we use our phones? Voice recording is an obvious application – for example, recording data or predictions and observations during a laboratory or field experiments (quadrat data, temperature changes, animal behaviour observations).
The ‘text’ functions could be used for recording map co-ordinates, measurements of length, weight or height or compass directions. And, of course, anthing you might use a camera for in science class, you could also use a camera-phone for! I wonder how other science teachers are using mobile phones in their classes?
Further reading: A scholarly article on mobile technology for learning; “Are you ready for mobile learning?”