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Day 28: How Can Technology Support DOING Science?

I presented at Tech & Learning’s Tech Forum New York 2013 today. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make the morning sessions and thus missed Jon Bergmann‘s keynote presentation. I did get to quickly catch up with Jose Vilson, Adam Bellow, and Jaymes Dec (who presented in the Maker session) — it was like a mini TEDxNYED reunion!

Here are my presentation slides (with embeded YouTube videos) followed by a brief summary:


Brief summary of the presentation:

  • Use technology to do science (NGSS 8 Practices), rather than simply deliver science content (PowerPoint, BrainPop, Khan Academy, etc).

  • Overview of the Modeling Cycle — You do NOT need technology to do this. This is our pedagogical priority. Change this FIRST, then we talk technology. All technology does is just provide more opportunities for these types of explorations. Student testimonials.

  • Probeware — allows students to conduct new types of experiments that were previously impossible or too tedious (whirly tube, Doppler, sound in air vs string, walk a graph)

  • Simulations — allow for more exploration in less time (battery chem, faraday), impossible experiments (orbits), visualizes the invisible (electron motion in circuits, gas molecules, friction). Sandbox style allows for “what if” exploration.

  • VPython programming — visualization of fields (dipole, magnetic field of moving charge), model development and testing (fan cart, falling coffee filters). Allows for instant feedback/self-checking (error messages – vector scalar, output doesn’t look right – fan cart leaves track) without need for constant teacher evaluation. Student testimonials.

  • Videos for Visualization — freeze frame/slow motion (Newton’s Third Law, falling ruler with erasers), stop motion (wave interference)

  • Videos for Analysis — Projectile motion, conservation of energy, horse jump, direct measurement videos (sliding Prius, rocket wheel, candy cannon), compare laws of physics (angry birds, cut the rope), realism (Roadrunner, Spider-Man stopping subway)

  • Videos for Initiating Inquiry — Not talking heads, but launch points for inquiry (pendulum wave, Lucy chocolate factory), real or fake (Kobe, cell phoe popcorn)

  • A final student testimonial
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