e-Learning for Educators
Course Information



21st Century Teaching and Learning in the Science Classroom**
 
Course Description
    

Integrating 21st Century skills and technology tools into all areas of education is necessary to prepare today's students to compete globally. This six session online course, plus an orientation session, is one of four content specific courses that focuses on incorporating 21st Century teaching and learning into language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies curricula. Participants in this course will be introduced to 21st Century skills and tools and how they can be used in the science classroom. Participants in this course will complete an instructional plan that includes 21st Century skills and tools.

*Participants in this course must teacher a science related course/class at the middle school or high school or as a multi-grades K-8 teacher.
**Based upon course revisions during Summer 2011 this course will be, effective October 2011, recognized as a technology course and will meet the technology coursework requirements for recertification.
***This course is approved for one course of the three course Physical Science bundle for Special Education teachers who are working toward becoming "Highly Qualified."

 
Course Syllabus
    

Integrating 21st Century Teaching and Learning in Science

Course Syllabus

Catalog Description

Integrating 21st Century Teaching and Learning in Science, a six session online course, plus an orientation session, focuses on incorporating 21st Century teaching and learning into science curricula.  Participants in this course will be introduced to 21st Century skills and tools through readings and activities and will explore how to use them in the science classroom.  Participants will participate in online discussions throughout the course and will complete a lesson plan that includes 21st Century skills and tools.  A Lesson Plan Template will be provided to all course participants.

Prerequisites

This is a workshop for K-12 science teachers, technology specialists, and curriculum specialists.  Participants are expected to have regular access to computers and proficiency with email and current web-browsers.  Access to Microsoft Office is recommended.  If you do not have access to Microsoft Office, you may complete your final project in Notepad.

Goals

By the end of this course, participants will understand:

  • understand 21st Century communication and collaboration skills as they relate to teaching about the nature, content, and application of science,
  • understand 21st Century thinking skills in the context of the science classroom,
  • recognize how various 21st Century assessments impact teaching and learning about science,
  • identify 21st Century resources and strategies in model science lessons that promote 21st Century learning for students,
  • recognize and investigate 21st Century tools and resources that will enhance learning in science and
  • understand the role of the teacher as a facilitator of 21st Century science thinking and learning.

Assessment and Course Requirements

Each session includes readings, an activity, a discussion assignment, and pre and post workshop surveys which participants are required to complete. A workshop check-up will take place during Session Three (Week Four) of the workshop.  Participants should expect to spend a minimum of 4 hours per week meeting weekly requirements of workshop readings, activities and discussions (total of 24 hours).  A minimum of 21 additional hours will be required to satisfy the course project requirement. The total workshop requirements represent a minimum 45 hours.

Course Products

Participants are expected to complete a 21st Century science lesson plan course project. This may be a science lesson participants have taught that can be adapted to incorporate 21st Century learning.   Participants will learn about 21st Century thinking and learning skills and resources throughout the course sessions, to be included in the template, and post the final plan to the discussion area for peer review by the end of Session Six.  The lesson plan will be assessed using the Final Project Rubric.  The mid-course check point will be a partially completed lesson submitted to the facilitator by the end of Session Three.

 

Discussion Participation

Participants will be evaluated on the frequency and quality of their discussion forum participation.  Participants are required to post a minimum of three substantial postings each session, including one that begins a new thread and two that respond 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.

Required Readings, Activities and Assignments

Session One: Promoting Communication and Collaboration Skills

Participants will investigate how 21st Century communication and collaboration skills enhance teaching and learning in science.  Participants will become familiar with the Lesson Plan Template they will use to complete their course projects.  They will begin planning a science lesson that includes some 21st Century communication and collaboration opportunities.

Session Two: Enhancing Thinking Skills

Participants will investigate how 21st Century thinking skills can be incorporated into teaching and learning. Participants will also develop open-ended questions for their course project lesson plan.

Session Three: Assessing for Learning

Participants will analyze the impact of balanced assessments (formative classroom, summative, benchmark) on 21st Century teaching and learning in general. They will also review several assessments specific to the science classroom. Participants will use that information to examine the goals and objectives in the lesson plan they are developing. They will determine which 21st Century assessments could be used to measure progress and mastery of these objectives.

Session Four: Evaluating and Applying Instructional Models

Participants will evaluate instructional models for evidence of 21st Century teaching and learning. Participants will choose several examples from a list of various science lessons that will coincide to their grade level and/or science content area and evaluate them using a rubric to find evidence of how 21st Century thinking skills and tools are utilized. Then participants will discuss and reflect how the resources and strategies used in the models could be used, adapted, or improved upon for use in their own lesson plan.

Session Five: Utilizing Tools and Resources

Participants will investigate 21st Century tools and resources used to deliver science content.  Participants will identify ways to integrate them into currently used science lessons and choose tools and resources that may be used in their final course project lesson plan. 

Session Six: Designing and Facilitating the 21st Century Classroom

Participants will analyze 21st Century science classroom characteristics and identify ways to adjust the classroom to meet the needs of the 21st Century learner.  The participants will finalize the course lesson plan and submit it for review by other class participants.