Andrew Church, a New Zealand educator, writes about education and ICT on his blog at Educational Origami. His latest post is an update of a project started over twelve months ago, where he matches traditional teaching approaches to web 2.0 tools. He has provided an extensive list of digital alternatives to traditional teaching practises and corresponding software, both commercial and Opensource (free).
I found his “Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy” (available on Scribd) to be an especially interesting and useful document that brings the familiar principles of “Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis and Evaluation” into the 21st century classroom. He suppplies quality rubrics for assessment of web 2.0 skills, such as using advanced and Boolean searching, Blogging, Collaboration using electronic tools (Skype, Elluminate and other audio/visual conferencing tools), Data Analysis, Evaluation, Wiki editing, and even Interactive Whiteboard use. (I think I rated very poorly on that one by the way!). This generously shared document will give me a head-start with my planning for next year’s curriculum, and some great assessment tools for report writing this time next year!
This term I am participating in a Knowledge Bank: New Generation action research program. I am investigating whether social networking can improve student outcomes in middle years maths and science classes. I am narrowing down the choice of web 2.0 tools suitable for mathematics to Voicethread, Mathtrain (videos) and Jing. This article, Jing transforms Maths classroom, is a case study of how a Year 7 Maths teacher has motivated students and improved confidence using Jing videos. Here are links to some of the Voicethreads we are collaborating on with Mrs Laguna’s Year 8 Maths class:
I was interested to recieve a comment from one of my students who was reluctant to put her ‘eye-dissection’ slideshow on her blog. Although she enjoyed the practical work, she thought viewers would be disgusted! I think all students have strong feelings of ownership of their blogs (as I do), and some have very definate ideas about it’s content and appearance. So, students who are reluctant maths and/or science learners, may prefer not to have these subjects featured on their blogs.
A nanometre is one-billionth of a metre – the scale that scientists measure atoms and molecules on. Nanotechnology is the study of the properties and behaviour of particles at a nano-scale. SHINE is a Melbourne-developed nanotechnology education resource designed to inspire teachers and students about science and technology in 2008 and into the future. SHINE is dynamic and interactive, with regular updates to reflect and include new research and industrial applications of nanotechnology, particularly those in the Victorian arena. To keep up to date with more ‘nano’ news from Melbourne, check out the Nanovic Website.
An international team of marine scientists believe that tectonic plate collisions were responsible for bursts of marine biodiversity across the planet. “There have been at least three marine biodiversity hotspots during the past 50 million years,” say a team led by researchers from the Australian Research Council Centre for Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Townsville. Tectonic plate collisions formed shallow, warm seas and many bays and islands, which allowed biodiversity to flourish in different areas at diferent tiimes. Read more on the ABC Science on-line website.