My students attend a diverse middle school in the south side of San Francisco. They are curious, creative, and thoughtful. One of my favorite things is seeing their eyes light up when they reach an "ah-hah!" moment as they work towards figuring out scientific phenomena. They come to school ready to learn and discover new things through scientific inquiry despite all the hurdles that may come their way. Many of my students' families struggle to make ends meet, which is why I find it so important to provide them with anything I can to help them be successful.
I see the future of STEM when I look at my students, and they deserve to see that in themselves as well.
Providing them with the things they need to help make science accessible and engaging can help encourage this.
My students have been lucky enough to be at a school that has received a grant that allows each one of them to have an iPad for educational purposes. They are even allowed to take them home! This is special because most of my kids come from low-income families who otherwise wouldn't have any other form of technology at home.
I want to provide headphones for my students to help enhance their learning when using technology in the classroom.
My students use their iPads to go on interactive websites like pHet that shows science in a visual way, to use participation enhancing apps like Padlet to share their initial and developing thoughts, to create projects that display their scientific knowledge, to research phenomena online, etc. This all happens while they are surrounded by at least 30 peers. I want them to feel like they can work at their own pace, without interruption. That can't happen if audio is being played out-loud from multiple iPads in a distracting way. This is why I think something as simple as having a pair of headphones available for my students would create a better individualized learning environment.
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