Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thing # 3 - Videoconferencing

Students in high school are extremely interested in instant messaging, texting, etc. With this in mind, Skype will be an asset. I want to videoconference with a zoo such as the one in San Diego. In particular, I am interested in behavior, a topic often neglected due to the wealth of material to be covered in biology. Another possibility is to set up appointments with one of the health professional groups such as the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. The educational outreach department coordinates conferences between researchers and students in outlying districts.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Thing #2

Wordle: Cell Signaling

Wordle is a new teaching tool for me. Students might find this useful in extracting the most important words in a textbook passage. I have chosen a text explaining cell signaling, a concept that is new to most AP Biology students. This Wordle recognizes the words mentioned
most often thus aiding students make their way to the core concept.

Glogster is an interesting way to assign a poster activity. I set up an account and made a poster that I sent to my husband. I did not publish it as it was not too academic, but I found it easy to use and fun. In biology, I envision students using it to display their research on a biome, an environmental issue, or perhaps the characteristics of a phylum. This type of format has many positives not the least of which is saving room when most teachers have at least 3 classes of 30 students! In SBISD, most teachers have Activboards and it would be easy to display student products on the screen. More importantly, the ability to insert animations and/or videos adds depth to the poster.

Animoto is an exciting way to take a topic, research it, and using the results, develop a video. Mine uses pictures that I took following Hurricane Ike. The only drawback is the cost. I had very few images to include and was unable to include all of them in the free video. Students may object to financial aspect of this site. The result is, however, very classy and a wonderful way to present information. The title of the video is Hurricane Ike. Click on the link to view!

Bookr is an excellent tool for students. As they investigate characteristics of organisms and follow by searching images to observe the traits, they could publish results in a photographic album. Example: object width="450" height="250">