Webbing through Science History

By Psycharis, Sarantos; Daflos, Athanasios | Science and Children, October 2005 | Go to article overview

Webbing through Science History


Psycharis, Sarantos, Daflos, Athanasios, Science and Children


Byline: Sarantos Psycharis and Athanasios Daflos

Virtual experiments, data logging, the internet-these are just a few of the ways technology is changing the classroom environment today, ushering in new learning opportunities for students and new ways for teachers to present knowledge. Exciting yes, easy no.

Compared to a decade or two ago, teaching is becoming a different profession. The role of the teacher is moving from the traditional perspective of teacher as "transmitter of knowledge" toward the view of the teacher as a "facilitator of learning"-more of a coach or guide. Accordingly, this new role demands different skills from the teacher. For example, today's teachers must be able to

Adapt curriculum to make best use of the new technologies;

Help students use the new tools efficiently; and

Highlight the connections and natural overlaps between subjects-connections that are made more accessible by the availability of technology in the classroom.

We worked with fifth- and sixth-grade teachers at The Greek Primary School in Athens, Greece, to design a web-based learning environment for students that integrated science and history and successfully met these goals. Essentially, we created a virtual history of scientists-starting with the life, discoveries, and theories of Archimedes and ending with the corresponding issues related to James Watt. We chose scientists from the past that were already familiar to the students, such as Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton. We look forward to adding more scientists in the future.

Each entry in the virtual history contains a description of each scientist's life, his discoveries, and historical elements of the era in which the scientist lived. For example, Archimedes played an important role in the defense of Syracuse against Romans in 213 B.C. by constructing war machines. This delayed the capture of the city, which was eventually captured by the Romans.

Students move through each entry's web pages-photo album, inventions, history-to explore relevant concepts in an interactive way. Links are also included through which students can access additional information about that person. After clicking through each page, students then review the entry's related internet links and create their own profile of the scientist being examined. In this way, students practice their web skills and make important connections between history and science. Figures 1 and 2 show screen shots from the virtual history.

Why the Web?

When the project began, the teachers' goals were to integrate science and history and to create a learning environment in which students could develop technology skills, particularly experience using the internet. We wanted students to compare the static information in textbooks to the interactive material on this web application and realize what a powerful research tool the internet can be. We also hoped that by interacting with other students they would become proficient in teamwork.

The teachers chose to develop a web-based learning environment because the web is independent of specific computer platforms and the tools used to create multimedia pages-HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) for the creation of web pages and Macromedia Flash for the animated scenes-were available free on the internet. Thus, the only equipment needed to make-and use-this learning unit is a computer with internet access and a browser (i.e., Internet Explorer or Netscape).

Another benefit of the web-based learning environment is that additional pages can be added and information (links, images, etc.) about scientists whose histories have already been created can be updated by teachers or students.

Figure 1. The startup screen.

Building the Virtual History

We worked with classroom teachers two months before the classroom implementation in order to familiarize them with using HTML, creating links, and inserting photos. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Webbing through Science History
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.