A Teachers Time…
After teaching science for 11 years in Manchester, Melbourne, Coffs Harbour and Thailand, I have lost count of the hours I spent trawling internet sites, YouTube, Google Images and more in the pursuit of decent videos, pictures, diagrams and anything else I could find to bring science to life for my students.
Science, often being a very abstract subject, cannot be taught effectively by mere chalk and talk (thankfully!). Many of the concepts are simply mind boggling to normal adults, let alone to students, so science teachers need all the help they can get in making it come alive and bring it into the real world.
Any science teacher worth their salt will approach science with an inquiry based approach: basically, students need to figure things out for themselves. And this is achieved through experimentation, an integral part of science education. Some experiments require guidance from the teacher, whereas other areas rely on students investigating problems for themselves, but either way, it is hands on and a ‘real’ experience.
But experiments do not, and cannot make up the entire curriculum. In an ideal week with a year 7-10 class, I would have 4 lessons; two single lessons and a double, and the double would consist of an experiment where possible. But it isn’t always possible and the amount of background knowledge and theory that needs covering in the rest of the time is where I would be required to trawl the net and find the resources I need. But thankfully, those days are over because there is now a one-stop-shop for all of the videos, images and diagrams out there. It is called IntoScience.
The Future of Science Education
Don’t get me wrong; there are loads of great resources for science teachers out there, but finding them, downloading them, paying for them and using them is not always an easy thing to do. But with IntoScience, all a teacher needs to do is to sign up his or her class, have access to computers, iPads, tablets or laptops, and they are good to go.
Mapped to the new Australian Curriculum and therefore covering all the required areas for teachers and having prepared lesson plans and assessment tools, IntoScience has embedded HD videos, superb animations, crystal clear diagrams, interactive activities, questions to answer via drag and drop, multiple-choice or by text input, challenges in the middle and at the end of topics, an interactive science game to play against other students, a customisable avatar and more.
Covering all areas of the curriculum, you can be an astrophotographer and take photographs of the phases of the moon, crash a car into a wall when investigating forces, cross-breed creatures when looking at genetics, figure out how to get drinking water when stranded on a desert island, and visit a volcano and take rock samples to observe the rock cycle. All of these examples are interactive, fun and require students to think for themselves and investigate, therefore bringing in the inquiry based model whilst covering the curriculum areas.
As the old adage goes: I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand. How true is that? And with the approach of IntoScience which encompasses the ‘gamification of learning’, science is now more accessible and easier to understand for all students. It really is the future of science education, marrying technology with discovery wrapped up in fun!
And for teachers? No more trawling and spending hours looking for resources. Simply login, open the lesson plan, and then wait with anticipation for the students to come to class with their computer or tablet and let them explore, investigate, guide them, teach them, assess them and most of all, enjoy the experience, just as the students will. Simple!