i-Biology is for MrT‘s current (and former) IB Biology and MYP Science students. Find out more on the About pages. Please read and adhere to these guidelines on fair use and consider a donation to charity via my gift list at Biology4Good.
i-Biology.net has not yet been updated for the new IB Biology subject guide (first exams May 2016). Resources and guidance on IA and 4PSOW posted here currently are not suitable for this new guide. For an outline of my plans, please click here.
Disclaimer: this is a voluntary project not endorsed by the IB. Teachers must use their judgment and the most up-to-date advice in subject guides and reports before making use of materials here.
Another great Hans Rosling TED Talk, this time with his son, Ola. Here Dealing with misconceptions, bias, ignorance of global issues and a little formative assessment, they discuss how we can be better informed about the world, with a fact-based world view… and how we could (eventually) perform better than chimps on a global issues quiz.
This would make a great provocation for a TOK unit, or one in Geography or a Global Issues group. In our field of international education it might be useful for parent and teacher training, considering why we need to educate for global understanding, not just for disciplinary knowledge. Through a fact-based world view, we can develop truly internationally-minded, globally-engaged young inquirers, who recognise their biases and know how to learn more about the truths of the world we live in now and into the future.
I love the suggestion they have of a “global knowledge certificate” for agencies, schools and employers that is based on candidates taking a test on the fact-based world view. You read about the ignorance project here on CNN, or find more classroom resources (including a world-view card game) on Gapminder’s education page. The Guardian also has a selection of global development quizzes, which you can take for fun or in class.
This is an attempt to capture the internal assessment descriptors (for the new guide) in a format similar to the MYP’s Experimental Cycle and Design Cycle diagrams. Click here to download a higher-quality .svg file for poster printing.
The gif images illustrate some of the damage we’ve done to the oceans. Slow clap, humans.
Originally posted on ideas.ted.com:
Scientist Sylvia Earle (TED Talk: My wish: Protect our oceans) has spent the past five decades exploring the seas. During that time, she’s witnessed a steep decline in ocean wildlife numbers — and a sharp incline in the number of ocean deadzones and oil drilling sites. An original documentary about Earle’s life and work premieres today on Netflix. Watch it here.
Below, four ocean infographic gifs from the film.
What happened to the coral reefs?
Between 1950 and 2014, half of the coral reefs across the oceans died.
What happened to tuna, sharks, and cod?
Between 1950 and 2014, Pacific Bluefin Tuna, sharks, and North Atlantic Cod were all almost fished to extinction. Between 5% and 10% remain.
The number of ocean deadzones then and now:
Ocean deadzones are spots in the sea where life no longer exists. They occur when massive fertilizer runoff (or other ocean crises) set in motion an oxygen-depriving chain of events…
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A quick review of a quick read: if you’re into surfing or the outdoors, this is worth your time (and is very cheap).
Originally posted on i-Biology | Reflections:
This quick read (74 pages,£0.87 on Kindle) is worth an hour or two of your time, especially if you’re into surfing or outdoor pursuits and are concerned about the environment. Tony Butt is a big-wave surfer and has a PhD in Physical Oceanography; his educational columns on Surf Science in Surfer’s Path magazine (and his book on the same) are excellent primers on waves, surfing and the environment.
In this text, Dr. Butt sets out to describe how we impact the environment as surfers and how we can make choices that can mitigate these impacts. He makes connections between the issues of Energy, Travel and Stuff related to surfing, highlighting the unsustainable nature of the jet-setting, product-hungry, WCT-inspired modern surfer. Of particular interest are issues of embedded energy and product life cycles, which you may recognise from Annie Leonard’s Story of Stuff series…
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Thanks to David Faure for pointing this out.
Have a go at Ecosia, a search engine that donates 80% of its profits to reforestation projects in Brazil. Find out more about how this work on this page, and give it a go!
As global tensions appear to heighten, it is is easy to get sucked into side-taking on facebook, twitter or other media, yet this is rarely helpful. There is nothing to be gained by sharing yet another horrific photo or vitriolic screed to elicit comments from your followers. As compassionate, educated global citizens we should look instead for ways to support those who are making a positive difference.
Here’s my example.
Mines Advisory Group (MAG) started in a caravan in my hometown of Cockermouth in the UK, and has blossomed over the last two decades into a major worldwide organisation dedicated to making war-torn areas safer by surveying and removing landmines and unexploded ordnance. They were co-recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for their work on the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and are well-deserving of all the funds we can raise.
Check out their 23-minute film, “Surviving the Peace“, which focuses on Laos and outlines how they work and the lasting impacts their work has on the lives of survivors of war. If you want to support them, please make a donation via my Biology4Good page for MAG, on JustGiving.
And here is a more recent video on “Surviving the Peace: Angola“:
A challenge to i-Biology users
Use your online influence to share links to organisations that focus on protecting our environment or alleviating suffering. I have eight examples on my Biology4Good fundraising page, and you might want to do something similar. Tell the world why you care about their cause and how they’re making a difference. Maybe even work it into a CAS project.
This is re-blogged from my personal reflections site, but it is an important current issue and might be of interest.
Originally posted on i-Biology | Reflections:
This is a brief reflection on a work in progress, but health education in school is very important to me. It is a brief reflection on a project to update and refine a Sex Ed sequence, bringing in a stronger element of values education, sexuality and attitudes. It aims to move away from the traditional ‘plumbing and don’t get pregnant or raped’ approach to a more powerful and relevant ‘plumbing, make good decisions and be a good person’ approach.
Towards the end of the year we had the opportunity to review and teach a G9 Sex Ed class, standing separate from the regular MYP PHE class and with a different staffing allocation. It comes at a time when the school is working out how to re-distribute health topics into PE, to make PHE, yet retain the balance of content work and physical activity. Sexuality education is…
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Summer holidays are here!
Here are some suggestions for a productive summer.
With eight weeks off, there’s a lot you can do to make next year more successful.
1. Unbroken rest.
Block out at least two full weeks with no school work. Let your mind wander, your health recover and your sleep be deep. Reset your balance, get active and maybe even try something new – and non-academic. You will feel better and be better able to focus on the challenges of next year. If you try to do a little work each day, it will always be in the back of your mind, causing stress.
2. Focused Extended Essay work
The Extended Essay is supposed to take around 40 hours of effort. That’s one full Monday-Friday working week. Set aside some time, with peace and the resources you need, to write the best draft you can. If your EE is causing you stress, get it done sooner in the break – you will be better able to enjoy the rest of your vacation.
3. Review this year’s learning
Once you have rested and recovered, set aside a full day or two to focus on Biology. Go through your notes, work on vocabulary, make connections across topics, practice questions from the book, re-read the chapters or presentations, watch (or re-watch) the CrashCourse videos, use the sortable syllabus to practice the assessment statements, practice drawing, labeling and annotating. There is a strong positive impact of spaced practice on learning, so taking the time to review will help make your foundation stronger for next year.
4. Read about science for fun
Science is far more than the list of assessment statements we study in class. It is a fast-moving pursuit of knowledge that connects ideas from around the world and across the disciplines. And there is a lot written about science every week. Dip into the science news, read longer articles or pick up a science book. You’ll enjoy it and it will help you make more connections.
As you read science, think about the following questions:
- How does this connect to what I already know?
- What vocabulary is important in this text? How much is known or unknown to me?
- What are the implications of this information for science or the wider world?
- What Theory of Knowledge questions does this connect to? What questions does it raise?
Some suggestions for summer reading:
- National Geographic’s Phenomena salon, with blogs by Ed Yong, Virginia Hughes, Carl Zimmer, Nadia Drake and Brian Switek. These are all excellent writers, bringing research to life in informative, current, mid-length articles. Ed Yong even posts a weekly ‘missing links’ collection of loads of collected articles, news items and funny bits from around the internet.
- Dip into the #IBBio stream on Twitter once in a while – teachers are posting links, resources and articles there all the time.
- TED’s Science stream has stacks of great talks that connect to our course.
- You can also hear lots of useful podcasts: The Guardian Science Weekly, Naked Scientists, Science Magazine Podcast, RadioLab and lots more listed at PopSci.com.
- For some great books you might want to check out Adam Rutherford’s Creation, Rebecca Skloot’s brilliant The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science and Bad Pharma, Richard Dawkins’s Selfish Gene, or The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing for a great compendium of lots of writers.
Have a great summer.
And keep that brain Fresh…