With technology evolving in every aspect of our lives it has only become natural that technology would become an essential part of science education. There are many technology devices that can help students become more involved with the concepts they are learning and really feel that they are doing something important and worth their time, not just some silly worksheet on temperature. Students can actually use technology, such as probes, to measure the change in temperature, just like a real scientist. “Scientists seamlessly integrate technology into their work. Gathering and analyzing data and sharing findings with others can be accomplished more efficiently using technology” (“Reach Beyond…”, 2013). With the advances in technology, teachers can, like scientists, integrate technology for students to really experience all that science has to offer.
One of the ways that teachers can incorporate technology into the classroom is through the internet, which is not necessarily a new invention, but it unlocks a whole other world for students to experience. A teacher can find images and videos of almost anything and share that with their students. One cannot really take a class field trip to see a volcano eruption, but with the power of the internet the teacher can show students a video of a volcano erupting, and it can give them the experience of being right there. To connect with the power of the internet, a teacher can also use the document camera to “display almost anything (images, lab demonstrations, objects, student work, etc.) on the ‘big screen’ in front of everyone” (Cancellieri, 2013). The technology of “clickers” or Student Response Systems, have really opened the door and allowed for teachers to assess student understanding. Many teachers are using them as a pre-test, progress check, and review for final test; as a way to monitor student understanding without the added pressure of completing a test. Teachers can use this tool to check the understanding of students in the area of science, and this could be a useful tool for science in the fifth grade, as they are taking the science exam at the end of the year.
Pocket camcorders are also an interesting device for students to use in the science classroom, as “they can be used to create instructional videos, demonstrate lab activities, and even have students narrate nature walks” (Cancellieri, 2013). Students can create their own videos that relate to science and then the teacher can post them so the students can feel like they created something of value, like the videos that one can find of the internet. Another interesting activity for this technology device is bringing one along on “a field trip for students to record the exciting moments for those who cannot join them” (Cancellieri, 2013).
Probeware, as mentioned above, is a piece of technology that is finding its way into many science classrooms. “It is a tool for collecting data during class experiments; that can be used to measure temperature, light, pressure, electric current, and more” (Cancellieri, 2013). This device is really going to change aspects of the science classroom. There are many activities that students can complete using probeware to test different areas that can be measured and recorded. One type of probeware is Go!Temp, and it is just one of the many different types of probes out there. Having used one before, they are quite the miraculous devices and will come to be a treat in the classroom.
As a teacher, using technology is a useful tool in helping students become engaged. I would use the internet and the document camera at least once a day. Being that they have become such valuable resources to helping students experience the world. Although, there comes a point where the internet and document camera will only get you so far and the new advances in technology will really help students to have that firsthand experience. I would use probes in my classroom as a way for students to measure temperature, for example, and have them complete different activities that allow them to use these interesting devices. Using a probe is a very enjoyable experience and students would really enjoy using them as a technology tool in science. Unleashing the world of technology into science gives students a way to really connect with the material they are learning, and gives teachers a chance to really show students what science has to offer.
Cancellieri, P. (2013). 6 essential tech tools for science classrooms. Retrieved from http://www.teachhub.com/6-essential-tech-tools-science-classrooms
Reach beyond the science classroom with online tools. (2005). Retrieved from http://www.glencoe.com/sec/teachingtoday/subject/beyond.phtml
[Untitled Photograph of students using Go!Temp probeware]. (2013). Retrieved: March 12, 2013.
[Untitled Photograph of students and teacher at computer]. (2012). Retrieved: March 12, 2013.
[Untitled Photograph of female students using probeware]. (2013). Retrieved: March 12, 2013.