Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Cell Structure and Function

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Cell Structure and Function

Article excerpt

Cell Structure and Function. By the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). $17.99. NSTA. Arlington, VA. 2014. ISBN: 9781938946387.

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For teachers and students used to studying cell biology in a static, fact-laden way, this dynamic, new, interactive ebook from NSTA will be an eye-opener. Both the text and the amazing images invite deep observation and inquiry. The product, complete with digital components, shows that studying the cell can be exciting and challenging.

NSTA's interactive e-books have been developed, in part, from a collection of "science objects"--interactive images, simulations, and videos--long available for free on the NSTA website. Most of these remain online, but the new e-books embed these electronic resources in clear and up-to-date text. Material for the instructor has been added, including common misconceptions, tips for teaching, links to the Next Generation Science Standards, and other resources. No longer will students simply label the parts of a static cell drawing or build a simple cell model from gelatin and candy.

The images in this product show both detail and differentiation. Click on a collection of plant cells and watch the chloroplasts move as the cytoplasm streams. Interact with molecular models to build understanding. I particularly liked the challenges to higher-order thinking in the text. Questions such as "If we found something on Mars that looked like ..., how would you decide if it were alive?" go far deeper than simply, "Is there life on Mars?" Complex questions lead naturally to the practice of Discourse and Argumentation in the Next Generation Science Standards. …

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