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 :)
In last week's post I shared a CAD challenge I was facilitating with my Engineering for Social Good class where they designed, to scale, cases for my father's Cochlear Implants. This morning students turned in initial prototypes done using either TinkerCad, OnShape, or Fusion360. See embedded Padlet board of submissions below which include screenshots of prototypes as well as screencasts (made using screencastify) where they explain their process.
This a quick post just to emphasize (as I have written about before) how much I LOVE using hypothetical medical case studies as inquiry entry points in my Biology classes. Positioning students in a scenario where they have to diagnosis a "patient" given minimal information, if done correctly, tunnels them into the a subsequent lecture so well.
In lieu of the ability to do wet labs, student feedback has indicated that case study analysis is a great use of time in the distance learning setting. Today's case study was designed to simultaneously serve as an inquiry entry point for a discussion on enzymes and enzyme kinetics and a review of previous information learned last week about hemoglobin and protein structure.
Click here for the form where students read the scenario and submitted their answers. Click here for the output form with their answers. Click here for the slide show, communicated via Zoom, where I revealed their diagnosis. The entire process took 2 hours and concluded with a nice lecture on Enzymes to spackle in missing information from the their diagnostic research.
I encourage any teachers out there who are starving for something engaging to do with their Bio students to c consider positioning content in the form of a Case Study. Diabetes to introduce Cellular Respiration, etc. It really helps frame the content for the kiddos. My two cents.
With only two weeks left, COVID-19 Hackathon over, Rube Goldberg Machines created, CAD lessons done, I found myself starving for a meaningful activity for my Engineering for Social Good class. Then I remembered my father!
Last month my father had Cochlear Implant surgery. I quickly called him and conducted this interview where he described his surgery, and challenged my students to build a case to fit his implant when he removes it during the day (Disclaimer: He already has a case, but i figured this tiny little lie was a good keeping in mind the greater good :).
See embed of the video below along with a model just received from a student just learning CAD and leveraging Tinkercad to make his device.