The ChemCollective is a free educational download. ChemCollective is a virtual chemistry lab and it falls under the ‘Synthesis‘ category of Bloom’s Taxonomy. It is synthesis because synthesis includes produce, create, and experiment. Chemistry labs are full of producing and creating new things and experimenting with different chemicals and elements. The virtual lab combines acids and bases and tells what elements are in the mixture as well as the molarity of it all. ChemCollective is a very helpful technology for all Chemistry teachers.
*ChemCollective allows you to download instructions as well as the lab. You can also upload students’ homework to it. But, you may need to download Java if you do not already have it on your computer. Go to http://www.chemcollective.org/vlab/vlab.php to find out more about ChemCollective.
This is a screenshot of ChemCollective from my Flickr account: http://www.flickr.com/photos/briannadoyle/6338207224/in/photostream
The University of Chicago at Boulder (http://phet.colorado.edu/) offers simulations in just about all science areas to increase understanding in the area a student is having trouble with as well as in math. For the science activities, they show things having to do with Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. The simulations can be used to reinforce understanding of things learned in class. The best part about it is the fact it is free. An example of this is in the Physics section. The activity is ‘Wave on a String’. It falls under ‘Analysis’ in Bloom’s Taxonomy because students will use it to point out the parts of a wave, and to analyze how the wave actually moves. All of the activities on the website are the same way.
This is a print screen of ‘Wave on a String’ from my personal Flickr account: http://www.flickr.com/photos/briannadoyle/6315109295/in/photostream
ClassParrot is a free service that allows teachers to send text messages out to students and parents while keeping the teachers, parents, and students numbers completely private. The teacher creates accounts for each section of the class and gives a unique code to the students and parents in order for them to be able to be a part of that specific class to receive the messages pertaining to them. This could be very useful in my future classroom because just about all high school students have phones with texting and so do their parents. I could send out reminders of when homework, labs, or major assignments are due ahead of time so my students will remember to do the work. By sending the message to the parents, I would have another person outside of the classroom to remind the students to do the work. This could be a very beneficial technology.
To learn more about ClassParrot, go to http://classparrot.com/.
I listened to the bi-weekly science education podcast called ‘Lab Out Loud- Science for the Classroom and Beyond’. Dale Basler, a physics and physical science teacher and Brian Bartel, a chemistry teacher are the hosts of the podcast. They discuss topics in science news and science education by interviewing many people involved in science. I listened to episode 57- Preventing Bad Science in the Classroom. In this episode, they were joined by Dr. Ben Goldacre, the author of the book Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks. They talked about his book and how the term ‘miracle’ is used in science and medicine and how there is normally research and evidence to back up the ‘miracle’. They also talked about science teachers in the classroom and student time constraints when they are in the lab and how teachers in a way encourage bad science in the classroom. I never realized that science teachers did that but after hearing what they said about it, it makes sense. If a student messes up on the lab, the teacher tells them they are wrong but there is not any time to redo it so they tell them to focus on one or two specific sections of the lab. They talked about planning more time for labs and to discuss the mistakes.
A link to Episode 57 is here: http://laboutloud.com/2011/01/episode-57-preventing-bad-science-in-the-classroom/
RSS Readers can be very beneficial in the classroom, especially at the high school level since my future students will more than likely be proficient in technology. RSS Readers are great for teachers that teach one particular subject like me and science. They allow people to subscribe to a lot of different feeds and you can read all of them from your RSS page. For students, I could have each of them make an RSS account and have each of them subscribe to different blogs and websites. From there I could assign current events, or just some reading that relates to what we are doing in class that day. From their RSS page, they would be able to easily find what I assigned.
I am currently using Bloglines.com and I am subscribed to five other EDUC 260 blogs: