This past week, I had the opportunity to participate in the pilot STEM training developed by Intel Teach and Vernier Software. I am impressed with how closely aligned the training was with the proposed National Science Standards Framework.
During the week, participating teachers used Vernier probes to model STEM activities their students might do. Teachers were introduced to Project Based Learning and using effective Essential Questions. The entire week’s instruction included using Web 2.0 tools to effectively communicate. While I could not even try to cover all the Web 2.0 tools used … here is a sampling of what I remember. Teachers used Google Apps to create activities and forms for their classes. Several teachers created a Prezi showing plans or samples of what a student might do. We used Social Bookmarking tools and saw the power of these tools for students. Some teachers learned the power of Glogster and Animoto. Often teachers were seen showing a peer how they used a tool (making
it more fun for everyone.)
Many teachers developed Project Based lessons using Vernier probes to involve students in solving real-life situations. I wish I could be in these classrooms as students are given opportunities to participate in these units. One unit caused me to think deeply of how actively students will be in
their own learning. These students will identify ways their schools can reduce electricity use. Students will create a proposal to reduce electrical consumption and share their ideas with the principal and PTA. How powerful is to answer the question: “Can I make a difference?”
A highlight for me was one experienced teacher commenting “I don’t want to remain the stumbling block to my students using technology in the classroom.” I agree with that teacher – I want my students to know they can help change their world!
Are you willing to change? Help me determine what drives change: