Today at Wayne Memorial we had the chance to attend two seminars on the use of technology in our discipline. I went to the science seminars.
The first one that I attended was using the Xtranormal, text-to-movie website. It is a really great tool for students to use technology in a creative manner to communicate ideas. The website is free, http://www.xtranormal.com/. You can determine the characters, setting, camera angles, soundtracks, noises, expressions, movements, and the dialogue. We are using this next week, having students create commercials for organelles. I will post again how it went!
The second seminar I attended was on sequence learning. It was a very interesting project developed by Boston University. The program requires java, a free download, and can be found at http://cns.bu.edu/celest/ug_curriculum/sequencelearning.html. Basically, students play the the program to determine their "span" or how many items they can hold in their head at one time. Then, students develop a scientific investigation to understand possible effects or non-effects on people's spans. For instance, a news article came out that blueberries are a brain power food. So, students had a sibling take the test, wait a few hours, eat a quart of blueberries, and take the test again. They would have to determine controls, dependent and independent variables, repeatability, and sources of error. The curriculum was developed because many students can rehearse the steps of the scientific process but can not actually apply it. So, I thought it was a creative way to engage students in the scientific process while gaining self knowledge on learning strategies. (For instance, while introducing the topic, you can mention anagrams, making pictures, clumping, repetition, short term and long term memory processes.) I encourage everyone to check out these sites to see if you may be able to apply them to your class!