Internet Environments for Science Education

Internet Environments for Science Education

Internet Environments for Science Education

Internet Environments for Science Education

Synopsis

Illustrates how to leverage inquiry and technology to reform science education; offers education professionals, cognitive researchers, policy makers, and natural scientists the opportunity to work together to convert student into lifelong learners.

Excerpt

My first encounter with John, a resource student who had a reputation for violence, was before he was a student in my class. I had corrected John for a minor violation of the school behavior code and his teacher later commented to me that I was lucky he did not hit me as he had done with another teacher. Three weeks later, at the change of the semester, John became a student in my science class. The first few days we both had our defenses up, but because the projects and technology we were using allowed me to move out into the class and work with students on an individual or small-group level I was able to start to build a bridge with John. I began to notice that he would come up and talk to me on the playground, and then he started coming in frequently outside of class time to work on his projects. The resource aide that was assigned to work with him commented on the change of attitude toward his work that she had observed. Near the end of the semester I asked John, “What would you like to do in the future if you could pick anything?” His answer was, “I want to work with computers and science. ” When I asked, “Why?” he said, “I like computers and science is fun and about real stuff. ”

Using computers to carry out inquiry projects changed John's attitude toward school and learning, but I believe it had an even greater impact on me as a middle school science teacher. The technology freed me up to work with two students at a time, probing their understanding of the concepts and principles we set as learning goals for . . .

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