The Future of i-Biology

iBiologyStephenThis post is in response to a number of emails, comments and other messages I’ve received recently regarding plans to update the site. 

A new IB Biology guide has been released for first teaching in summer 2014 and first examinations May 2016. It outlines significant changes to the course, especially in terms of internal assessment and examinations and the prescriptive nature of the content coverage has shifted to be more open-ended.

Much of the content-based work on here will remain useful, though will need to be reorganised (eventually). I will leave the IA support stuff up here for the coming year and will work over the coming academic year to update the site as far as possible. I will likely remove a lot of IA-related content, as we are to expect significant teacher support material on the OCC, and that is where teachers should be making their first stop for reliable documentation.

Personally, my load has shifted a lot in recent years. It has taken about seven years to build this site and all of its assets, and I am happy to continue to share them freely. However, most of my time is now taken up with being an MYP Coordinator and teaching MYP science classes, as well as being HOD for science and having larger groups of students with no lab support. My IB Biology class are currently in IB1, and I will keep them next year on the current guide. I also have family, MA studies and other commitments, so will not likely be able to revamp the presentations in the immediate future. Please give it time and use your judgment as to what is useful and valuable if you are starting teaching of the new guide this summer.

Update: October 15 2016

My load has shifted again, and I am now Director of Learning and MYP Coordinator, still at Canadian Academy, Kobe. With no teaching load and being stretched very thin for time, I am less likely than before to make any major updates to the site. I will keep paying for site hosting as long as it proves useful to teachers and students. I will start to prune some pages where possible.

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Biology4Good Charity Project Update

Biology4Good - click to make a donationWe have now passed 3.4 5 million views on the site, with over £4 5,000 in charity donations made through Biology4Good. If you donate £20 or more, you can have access to a folder of all the editable resources I still have. These donations and the ability to support a selection of my favourite charities are significant motivators for continuing to update this site, so thank-you for the ongoing support.

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Update: June 7 2014

It was sad to see John Burrell’s announcement that he plans to close Click4Biology, as he has given a great service to students and teachers through his online notes over the last decade. However, his reasoning is sound – the change in the subject guide to move away from such defined assessment statements makes producing these resources more challenging. At the same time, the text resources, such as Allott & Mindorrf’s Course Book, with it’s online edition, have really upped the quality of what is available to students from the publishers.

Looking at this year’s statistics on i-Biology.net, there was the usual big spike around the May exams (around 10,000 on peak day, compared to 2,000-4,000 on regular days), but it was far below the record of over 20,000 last year. From the discussions around #IBBio on twitter, it seems that much of the review traffic has swung towards BioNinja’s apps and notes that are set up for mobile learning and review. Again, this is a great service to students, and there is little point trying to replicate that.

I will think carefully over the coming year about how this site will continue, and it will likely be more streamlined in terms of course content but with more organised ideas for teaching and ed-tech.

If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments below, or find me on Twitter (@sjtylr).

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About Stephen

Director of Learning & MYP Coordinator at Canadian Academy, Kobe, Japan. Formerly MYP HS Science & IBDP Bio teacher and missing it terribly. Twitterist (@sjtylr), dad and bloggerer.

Posted on March 30, 2014, in Appeal, CAS, i-Biology, Principled Action, Reflections & Notes, Website News. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Thank you once more Stephen. I can send you my revised notes to see if you can use any of these. All the best for the new school day.

  2. Dear Steven

    thank you so much to make my teaching easier and more fun!

    regards from Croatia

    Mihaela Marceljak Ilić, M.Sc.
    Head of biology departement
    XV.gimnazija, Zagreb
    Croatia

  3. Dear Stephen, sorry lapsus calami has happen with your name @—-

  4. A shame John’s Click4Biology was closed and replaced by a quack site trying to flog ‘oxygen’ products.
    I appreciate the work you’ve done Stephen and hope you will keep the resources you have online for all to use…

    • Hi Mito,

      I will keep the site going, for sure, especially as it is still encouraging charitable donations. I will eventually strip out the old content and rearrange for the new where possible.

      Thanks for your message,

      Stephen

  5. Thanks for the update!

    I’m DP coordinator AND teaching year 2 HL bio (new syllabus) and MYP 5 Science this year, so while I’d love to update my lessons…it’s going to take time. Oh, and trying to incorporate more 21st century learning skills at the same time. Will share my efforts on Twitter! Good luck with the new school year!

  6. Elizabeth Dome Klatt

    Dear Mr. Taylor, I’m an admirer and colleague from Argentina. Thanks for sharing your material, all resources are very useful. Some of the yours presentations have to edit to limit the depth, because develop the DP requires much time that we have bounded. I am a teacher of year 7 ” Science” (12 years old) and IB Biology HL. Our school does not apply MYP; in your opinion do you think this stage is very important to develop students ability´s to experimental design and self management ?. I understand that you are also HOD, I want to congratulate you for having energy and creativity to support this site plus all its tasks, in particular I do not find the time to organize my campus! …. I send a cordial greeting and thanks again!

    • Hi Elizabeth – thanks for your message. We are an MYP school, and though I am no longer HOD/teaching, I am still here as Director of Learning and MYP Coordinator. In my opinion, a well-done MYP is a great foundation for DP sciences, especially if you consider the importance of solid approaches to learning in successful students. Of course, there are other programmes that can be effective too, but personally I think it is important to not equate “pre-teaching content” with DP prep. Good luck!

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