Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Editor's Corner

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Editor's Corner

Article excerpt

The Future Is Now

In the classic 1980s Back to the Future films, Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) meets eccentric scientist Dr. Emmet "Doc" Brown (Christopher Lloyd) from the year 2015. The films' imagined world of 2015 contained an array of fantastic new technologies, from flying cars and hovering skateboards to flat panel televisions and video chat systems.

We don't yet have flying cars or hoverboards, but I think that if McFly and Doc Brown could have time-travelled to a real 2015 science classroom, they would have been amazed by the technologies actually available to today's teachers, tools unimaginable 30 years--or even a decade--ago. This issue of The Science Teacher describes some of these new technologies: GIS mapping tools to plot bird diversity, digital probeware to study the greenhouse effect, online simulations to investigate DNA and energy, and even cell phones as digital sensors to explore Newton's laws of motion.

There are innumerable resources for science teachers interested in learning about and using new technology in their classrooms. A short list of favorites, all free (see "On the web"):

* The Concord Consortium, featured in this issue (pp. 57-63), offers hundreds of open-source educational activities in biology, chemistry, physics, Earth and space science, engineering, and mathematics.

* Edtechteacher provides dozens of options for integrating technology into the science curriculum, with numerous links to additional online resources. …

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