As the end of the year approaches, I am finding myself struggling to reflect on anything I haven't already discussed. So, in the spirit of continued reflective practice, I thought I would use this post to share the lessons I created and facilitated in my classes yesterday and today as they represent "Tech Mashups" that I have found myself using consistently, and thus, combinations that are meaningful to my practice.
In chemistry class yesterday I reviewed student solutions to a lab simulation, provided additional instruction, and then assigned a new simulation activity. Below are links to activities along with tech mashups listed.
In biology class today I reviewed student questions to a series of instructional videos (click here for process description), then assigned a new related task, and a final modeling task related to the two previous activities. Below are links to activities along with tech mashups.
I am concluding my Biochemistry class this week and next by revisiting our work on protein structure. In online modules a few weeks ago (discussed here), we explored superficial knowledge such as terms (primary, secondary, tertiary structures, etc.) and then played the game FoldIt. Although these activities instilled a conceptual appreciation for the process of protein folding, and armed students with new language and vocabulary, the goal for this week is to dive into the chemistry of the process, and eventually conclude by challenging students to, given a DNA sequence, predict their own folding pattern.
In order to do this, students must learn more detail about the 5 major factors that contribute to the chemistry behind how a protein folds. I curated 5 videos to help with this, but because each video discusses a different factor that contributes to ONE process (protein folding), I wanted to instill a collective appreciation for the way each factor contributes individually to one goal. To do this, I wanted to embed each video into an image of a folded protein so that, when students review each video, their minds cognitively begin to think of each,as a contributing factor to solving the protein folding problem rather than stand alone tutorials (I feared this would be the case if I pushed out playlist or list of links).
To do this I initially began by creating a Google Drawing of the process with links from the imported image of the folded protein. I did not like this because, although the links lived in the context of the one image of a protein (my goal), when students clicked on each link it took them AWAY from the image that was meant to serve as a cognitive anchor, making the videos appear as separate entities, not collectives parts feeding information into one concept, protein folding.
Then I remembered the app Thinglink which allows you to create interactive images and videos, where once clicked, the embedded resources live INSIDE the the anchored object, grounding students in the framework of the lesson. Click here for the Thinglink I made for students on protein folding and see screenshot below. I suppose its time to add Thinglink to this list :)
I am really excited, and proud, about the lesson I created for my Biochemistry class today. A fully asynchronous day designed to last approximately 2 hours, the lesson marks the end, or "extension" phase, of an inquiry learning cycle on protein structure and hemoglobin discussed here.
Speaking to fellow science educators, the the flow of content delivery in the lesson really excites me. Coming the day after a week of study on Hemoglobin-oxygen dissociation curve analysis and a Case Study where students had to diagnose a patient with Methemoglobinemia, the lesson is designed to help students make a conceptual leap from analysis of Hemoglobin-oxygen saturation graphically, to applications clinically, with an investigation of pulse oximetry.
Speaking to fellow educators of all disciplines, the lesson excites me given the simplicity of the technology used, along with how the instructional flow, in my mind, maximizes the the potential of the tools used, while also overlapping very well with the content being delivered, and the online pedagogy used to deliver it. A true example of a TPACK overlap.
Keeping the above in mind, below are links to the resources for each part of the lesson, along with the technology leveraged (note: Because I make all questions "required" in the Google forms - feedback from students suggests this increases the accountability of the assignment - I suggest you use placeholder text to navigate through the pages of the Google Forms so that you can observe all content). Again, as alluded to above, the below chunk of curriculum can be collectively though of as the "Extend" phase of a 5E/Hero's Journey lesson plan. Click here for the lesson planning template I use.
I am struggling to find something to write about today. Rather than force some philosophical musing, I thought the most tangible/useful thing (especially for fellow STEM educators) would be to simply list all the of tools I have used thus far and their purpose. Links lead to application examples or directly to the resource itself.
Approximately EVERY teacher or student I have spoken with today is really burnt out. I feel it...they feel it...there is something in the distance learning air today. So, with that said, this is going to be a short post giving SERIOUS LOVE to Padlet.
If you go back and read the 20+ post in this "Online Teaching Reflection" series, you will see my commitment to keeping my technology simple/reduced to Google Tools only. That all changed when my good friend, and fellow educator, convinced me to try Padlet a medium for sharing in Hackathon ideas in my engineering class.
Since then I have been absolutely LOVING the ability to students to comment quickly, and in fashion that both values clean aesthetics, simplicity, functionality, and limited branding. I was convinced that I could model the same process with a public Google Doc, but when I tried Padlet, I was soon convinced that it was a much better medium.
Padlet's clean and functional aesthetic allows for an excellent medium for student public product, and collective commenting, judging, and feedback. Padlet is now an essential part of my EdTech Toolbox and I am happy to support them by purchasing an upgraded account.
Click here (and see screenshot below) for an example of a Padlet created during yesterday's chemistry class. After learning about Intermolecular Forces, students shared various examples in industry, nature ,biomimicry, etc, and then commented on one another's posts. Love it!