My middle school students enjoy science and always want to know when we will be doing our next "experiment". They enjoy anything that gives them an opportunity to be hands-on. Their second favorite activities, of course, are anything that gives them time on their digital devices. I try to bring those two experiences together for them as much as possible. Most of my students are not from affluent households. For many, the opportunities they have in the classroom far exceed what is available at home. I want to encourage them to invest in their education, and the doors it will open, much as possible.
Our students have had one-on-one devices in the classrooms for 3 years. During this time, interactive displays have also been installed in almost all classrooms. With this investment in digital learning, many new resources have become available, teachers have had training on new tools, and students have had technology incorporated into their daily learning. However there are still many challenges we face in delivering truly effective instruction using digital tools.
As a scientist, I want to share as many hands-on experiences with my students as possible, but I also want digital resources that will help explain and reinforce concepts in a way that is engaging to them.
In large classes it can be hard for all students to see what is happening during teacher demonstrations and discussion. I will use the interactive projection camera to project demonstrations in the classroom onto my interactive display so they can be better seen by all.
Digital content can be extremely helpful for delivering information in a manner that engages students, but I struggle with finding quality video content to help due to cost of subscriptions to quality resources. BrainPop offers an animated educational website that includes videos, interactive tools, and games to help students master difficult concepts. I will use the resources from BrainPop to help explain difficult content and reinforce topics covered during my lessons.
I continue to hone my skills in digital instruction and plan to use these resources to help my students hone their skills as digital learners.
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