Category Archives: #edtech #scitech
BioRender: Fabulous Science Image Editor
Biorender.com is an incredible FREE tool for students and teachers. With a large library of icons and process diagrams, it is a quick, clean and attractive way to build infographics, diagrams and figures.
It has a huge selection of backgrounds and templates, form cells and processes to organisms and biotech. Templates include science journal, poster and more.
The Path to ATP
Back in 2014, Eleanor 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.
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?“.
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.
This 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.
- The Chrome extension Pomodoro Timer Pro allows you to set times and “blacklist” sites that might be distractions.
- Online Stopwatch has a good full-screen tomato timer. Scan the QR code below to start the timer running.
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.
- 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, Biography.com, On This Day (History.com), Charity Navigator and many more.
Also 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?
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.
Reflecting on the Impacts of Science: IMaGE, Global Goals & Connections in MYP Sciences.
I’ve added a new page to i-Biology.net 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
This is a graphic organiser developed to help students move from outline or describe into explain.
- Begin with stating the situation, change or process.
- What is the surface explanation or reason?
- Why does that occur?
- What about that?
And so on…
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?
Explore 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
|Collect, record and verify data|
|Present information in a variety of formats and platforms|
|Process data and report results|
|Understand and use technology systems|
|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
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.
- 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
- Access information to be informed and inform others
- Make connections between various sources of information
- Understand and use technology systems
- 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