Category Archives: #edtech #scitech

The Path to ATP

Back in 2014Eleanor Lutz created “How To Build A Human” which has been shared a lot recently – so I went back to her blog to see what is there and wow!

Here is a new (and helpful) infographic for HL Bio, “The Path to ATP”. Think a simpler version of Gerhad Michel’s famous Roche Biochemical Pathways.

Read the rest of this entry

Wayfinders: Curriculum as a Compass

If you love knowing stuff, learning stuff, inquiry, imagery and Moana as much as I do, then you might like the latest post on my ideas blog: “Curriculum as a Compass?“.


The apprentice becomes a wayfinder in her own right. [gif source]

Go for the big ideas, stay for the Moana gifs.

Pomodoro Organizer: Get Stuff Done

The Pomodoro Technique is an effective way to overcome procrastination, get started on big tasks (by breaking them into smaller tasks) and to use time effectively. Essentially, by “hacking” your brain’s reward pathway with manageable chunks of time and small reward breaks, it can help overcome the fear of getting going.

@sjtylrPomodoroImageThis graphic organizer (pdf) is to help set a plan for a working period, recognizing that: 

  • Setting  clear and realistic goal is essential
  • Breaking large tasks into smaller steps helps get things done
  • Rewards/short breaks keep the brain motivated
  • Setting an overall end time is also really important
  • A distraction-free environment will really help

Of course if, once you get going, you find “flow” and can’t stop working… then get it done!

For more ATL-related graphic organisers, click here.

Tech Tools: 


IMaGE Inquiry: Why Them, Why There, Why Then?

Here’s a visual organizer for building quick context in orientation in time and space in a case study or unit of inquiry. It is not only for sciences – it could easily be applied to other subjects with the intention of contributing to a sense of international mindedness and global engagement (IMaGE).  The simple goal is for triplets of students to complete collaborative rapid research around the case: Why Them, Why There, Why Then? Click for pdf. This has been tested in rough drafts, and I’d love for some others to try it out and give feedback.

Some examples: 

  • Recent (or significant) discoveries or events (in the news, science, etc)
    • The Human Genome Project: Who was involved and why them? Where did it happen and why there? Why then and not before?
    • Antoni van Leeuwenhoek discovering animalcules. Why him? Where there? Why then? Why not other people, places or times
  • LangLit: Explore the author, location and time
    • I used it for a cover lesson on Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, with a group of students who had almost no prior knowledge.
  • I&S: Considering a significant development, event or innovation
  • Service Learning Cycle: An entry point into the “Research” phase of the cycle and determining reasons, needs and causes (thanks @AlisonKIS).

This is not a tool for in-depth research (though it could be expanded outwards). It is intended to get a quick, reliable orientation in time and space around a case study and the people or organisations involved.

Some great tools for this include Google Maps, Google Cultural Institute, Google Images, Wikipedia,, On This Day (, Charity Navigator and many more.

Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 13.16.21Also Wolfram|Alpha: People & History, Places & Geography, Socioeconomics, compare countries, compare companies and much more. See Stephen’s page on databases & Wolfram|Alpha here.

The results can be synthesised into further lines of inquiry (to use more rigorous research), but this should give students a vision of the case. What cultural or contextual cues can they recognise? How might this activate further connection and questioning?

@sjtylr Developing IMaGE in MYP Sciences (1)



Webb’s DOK4 as a Filter for “Transfer”

As any teacher knows, “transfer” is notoriously difficult to truly teach, yet it is a part of the IB’s ATL skills framework as it is really important in empowering self-directed learning. Here’s a post on Webb’s DOK4 and how it might be used as a tool for teaching transfer of knowledge, skills and concepts. Also, DOK is a not  wheel.

Webb's DOK4 as a -Transfer Filter-

DOK Filter: DOK4 can be accessed from any other level, using the question “how ELSE can this be used?”. Tools for DOK4 Transfer might include #EdTech, inquiry, challenges, experiential learning, service learning and much more. Diagram by @sjtylr

Reflecting on the Impacts of Science: IMaGE, Global Goals & Connections in MYP Sciences.

I’ve added a new page to to post resources and ideas for MYP Science Crit. D: Reflecting on the Impacts of Science. Some slides are below, but to see the full page, click here.

[IMaGE = International Mindedness and Global Engagment. To see my dissertation & resources on this, click here.]

“Levels of Why?” Graphic Organizer


Levels of Why – click to download a pdf

This is a graphic organiser developed to help students move from outline or describe into explain.

  1. Begin with stating the situation, change or process.
  2. What is the surface explanation or reason?
  3. Why does that occur?
  4. What about that?

And so on…

A worked example is on this page.

Data Literacy with ‘Explore’ in GoogleSheets

Super-quick lesson idea for teaching datasets and presentation types. When processing data in Google Sheets, use the ‘Explore’ feature, highlighting parts of the dataset. Click here for an example (to save a copy, go to ‘file –> make a copy’)

For: Sciences, Maths

Thanks to Liz Durkin (@lizdk) for the reminder of this feature.

Questions to ask students

  • What are different types of data (continuous, discontinuous)
  • Why do we use graphical presentations of data?
  • What information do we need to be able to present data clearly?
  • Why are some data presentations suitable for some sets of data and not others?
  • How are the ‘basic’ presentations of data limited? (or Why can’t I use a bar chart for everything?).
  • How does my interpretation of the data change when I change the graph or chart type?

screen-shot-2017-01-23-at-16-49-49Explore in GoogleSheets – a quick way to visualize some of the data collected in an experiment or survey, and an opportunity to teach some data literacy and critical thinking skills. Click to open.

Going Further: Here is a set of resources for more advanced data presentation and statistics, used for IBBio, but useful for more: IBBio Statbook by Stephen Taylor. This one is for MYP Chemistry.


MYP ATL Skills

Information Literacy
Collect, record and verify data
Present information in a variety of formats and platforms
Process data and report results
Understand and use technology systems
Critical Thinking
Interpret data

NGSS Connections

Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Construct, analyze, and/or interpret graphical displays of data and/or large data sets to identify linear and nonlinear relationships.
Use graphical displays (e.g., maps, charts, graphs, and/or tables) of large data sets to identify temporal and spatial relationships.


GoogleEarth Engine Timelapse: Quick Lesson Plan

Here’s a quick lesson plan idea for tuning into inquiry using Google Earth Engine Timelapse*. It can provide a timelapse of change from 1984-present, based on satellite and aerial photos. 


Ideal for: Individuals & Societies, Sciences, Interdisciplinary Unit

Global Context(s): Fairness & Development or Globalization & Sustainability

Key Concept(s): Change, Development, Interactions, Time-Place-Space

Related Concepts (I&S): Globalization, growth, resources, sustainability, causality

Related Concepts (Sciences): Environment, transformation, consequence, evidence

Tuning In

Find where we live and model See-Think-Wonder (Project Zero) on the timelapse from 1984-now. You might want to create a GoogleSheet with columns for each stage, to be shared with the class. Alternatively, get out some big whiteboards or butcher paper.

  • See: look for general outlines, specific landmarks, big developments, interesting changes. Then dig deeper – compare the start to the end, or look for evidence of significant events in the time period. Keep pushing the ‘see’ until ideas are truly exhausted.
  • Think: connected to the ‘see’ statements, note potential cause-effect relationships, sequences, consequences or other ideas. Keep going until this is exhausted.
  • Wonder: finally build on the ‘see’ and ‘think’. What questions does this generate? Categorize and rank the questions.

Finding Out

  • What lines of inquiry will you take to find out more?
  • What can be found out by students and what needs to be explicitly taught?
  • What unit-related vocabulary needs to be used and taught?

Approaches to Learning

Information Literacy

  • Access information to be informed and inform others
  • Make connections between various sources of information
  • Understand and use technology systems

Critical Thinking

  • Practise observing carefully in order to recognize problems
  • Interpret data
  • Draw reasonable conclusions and generalizations
  • Revise understanding based on new information and evidence
  • Formulate factual, topical, conceptual and debatable questions
  • Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues
  • Identify trends and forecast possibilities




*HT Twitter:


PaperPile: Managing Citations in GoogleDocs

I have been looking for something that can replace MS Word’s citation manager and work in a similar way to Zotero. Here’s a quick post on how to use the PaperPile add-on for managing references in GoogleDocs. Paperpile is free from the Chrome store, though I am using the upgraded version.

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