Inquiry in the Science Classroom Using Internet-Based Data Sources
In this course, students will explore the use of online data sources to enhance inquiry-based teaching and learning in the science curriculum. The National Weather Service and NASA are just two of the organizations now providing K12 educators with both historical and real-time data from around the world. By using the Internet as a link to the data, students can participate in building meaningful models that will assist them in gaining a better grasp of both local and worldwide science issues. In many cases, students become part of a worldwide network of investigators by adding their local findings to a larger database. The National Science Education Standards emphasize the use of these types of technologies in Content Standard A, which reads, "Scientists rely on technology to enhance the gathering and manipulation of data. New techniques and tools provide new evidence to guide inquiry and new methods to gather data, thereby contributing to the advance of science. The accuracy and precision of the data, and therefore the quality of the exploration, depends on the technology used." As a final project, students will develop plans for a curriculum unit that utilizes an Internet-based data source.
This is an introductory course for teachers, technology specialists, curriculum specialists, professional development specialists, or other school personnel. Participants are expected to have regular access to computers. In addition, participants should be proficient with using email, browsing the Internet, and navigating to computer files.
This workshop will enable participants to:
Learn about classroom activities that have been enriched by the use of Internet-based data
Learn about sources of project ideas that are available on the Web to support inquiry in the science classroom
Develop a personal collection of web-based resources for curricular use
Learn how to assess inquiry-based projects
Develop preliminary plans for a curriculum unit or classroom activity that utilizes an Internet-based data source
Assessment and Course Requirements
Each session includes readings, an activity, and a discussion assignment, which participants are required to complete.
As a final product, students will develop a sample technology-enhanced lesson plan for their classroom.
Participants will be evaluated on the frequency and quality of their discussion board participation. Participants are required to post a minimum of two substantial postings each session, including one that begins a new thread and one that responds to an existing thread. Postings that begin new threads will be reviewed based on their relevance, demonstrated understanding of course concepts, examples cited, and overall quality. Postings that respond to other participants will be evaluated on relevance, degree to which they extend the discussion, and tone.
Session One: Using Internet-Based Tools to Collect, Analyze, and Share Data
Participants will read Reach beyond the Science Classroom with Online Tools http://www.glencoe.com/sec/teachingtoday/subject/beyond.phtml and
Katie Noonan, All about Online Projects http://www.accessexcellence.org/LC/TE/AO/
As an activity for this session, participants will explore and evaluate the video on the Journey North website and explore the Monarch Butterfly Migration Project http://www.learner.org/jnorth/spring2004/monarch/index.html
Session Two: What Does Using Internet-Based Data in the Classroom Look Like?
Participants will read What is Inquiry based learning? How does it differ from the traditional approach? Read the first two sections and watch the videos on this website. The following sections of the reading are included in the additional resources section of this session.
Mars by Mouse: New web site for exploring Mars expands reach of museum exhibit
As an activity for this session, participants will choose one or more of the following sites (or suggest one of their own) to explore in-depth and report back to the group. While exploring the site(s), they will keep the following questions in mind:
Does the project promote inquiry-based teaching and learning?
Does the technology add value to the activity? Use the article "Inquiry Based Science: What Does It Look Like?" to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the project.
Session Three: So Many Resources
Participants will read
What is Remote Sensing? http://observe.arc.nasa.gov/nasa/exhibits/learning/learning_0.html
For more information on remote sensing, you may also wish to explore these sites:
Science Sites to See http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech/tech158.shtml
As an activity for this session, participants will review several of the web sites below to get an idea of the data that is available online. They will reflect on a unit that they have taught in the past, and determine how one of these Internet-based data sources may have enriched the student experience.
Session Four: Tulips and The Journey North
Participants will read Journey North for Great Learning which describes how activities such as the Journey North can support learning in the science classroom. http://cf.synergylearning.org/DisplayArticle.cfm?selectedarticle=85
As an activity for this session, participants will review the Journey North lesson, Tulips and the spring 2000 archive detailing the project.
Session Five: Developing a Student Activity
Participants will review the following standards and consider how using Internet-based data sources can help them meet these standards.
As an activity for this session, participants will develop preliminary plans for a curriculum unit that involves student access to an Internet-based data source. It may be an extension of an existing unit or a new curriculum idea.
Session Six: Strategies for Assessing Inquiry-Based Projects
Participants will read an online article from the Journey North web site about suggestions for assessment strategies for Internet-based sensing projects.
Students will explore some of the rubrics that they think will be useful in their classroom at this site: http://school.discovery.com/schrockguide/assess.html.
Students will complete their curriculum plan that includes an activity that utilizes an Internet-based data source and focus on developing an assessment strategy that will ensure that students acquire both declarative and procedural knowledge and skills.