Monday, June 27, 2011

Reflection: Week 3 Readings

 I’ll start off talking about Chapter 2 from Technology in the Secondary Science Classroom. The chapter was very simple and short, but I thought it brought up some great points. I really like the idea of having students use digital images to capture data. This fits perfect in some labs where qualitative data is extremely important. Plus the kids get instantly motivated by using technology in the lab. I was amused every time a student asked to use their phone as a stop watch and then proceeded to nearly shout with joy about being allowed to do so (talk about easily amused). I think taking digital images would add greatly to some of my labs. The reading provided a lot of research that shows observing images and videos can be very helpful learning. I’m a firm believer in this. Many biological concepts are difficult to picture. By providing an image or video, the students often have a much better understanding of difficult concepts. Not all images and videos will instantly improve learning. In fact, if the images don’t supplement the learning objectives, research has shown that they can actually be distracting and take away from the objectives. Finally, the chapter mentioned the concept of “picture reading.” Many students lack the ability to read pictures. I’ve never really thought of this, but I myself can be bad at picture reading at times. Who hasn’t read through a book, came across a reference to a figure, and then glanced at the image for a few seconds before moving on? I know I have. Students are even more likely to do this. As teachers, we must constantly remind students to invest mental effort into reading and comprehending pictures and figures.
I like the concept of “In Plain English” videos. They are relatively simple and quick. I think the time put into will generate a good reward in terms of learning. I’m trying to think of some ways to incorporate this into my classes. I’ll spend some more time thinking about this during the week.
I found the copyright information to be a lot to wrap my head around. I learned a couple of things. Number one; it’s complicated! Number two; it’s better to be safe than sorry. I’m looking forward to reading more comments on this topic, so that I can get a better understanding about what all that information means to me. I did like the Creative Commons website. It makes searching for images that are acceptable for use very easy.
I’m looking forward to hearing some comments. Let me know what you think.

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