These are my notes and some links from Susan Perkins’s presentation “1:1 in a High School Science Classroom” at ACTEM 09. (I got to this session really late, unfortunately, but I had a good excuse! I met Angus King!) This was a GREAT session. Susan is doing EXACTLY what we hope teacher will do when empowered along with students to have digital expression tools (laptops) in and outside of class.

Main wiki: Laptops in the Science Classroom

Honors Chemistry wiki
– used for threaded discussion

We recommend you be consistent using a wiki platform
– if you’re using WikiSpaces, stick with it: this lets the kids just keep 1 login
– if you’re using PBworks, go with it
– this streamlines the use of wikis across the curriculum, to have a common platform

Another wiki: The Independent Science Project
– the students ARE the scientists in these projects

I am very proud of the fact that I have kids every year that get scholarships because of their science projects
– one student going on an $80K scholarship to WPI because

All your science probes connect directly to your laptop
Vernier Lab Probes

Teacher sharing Elevator motion graphs using Venier

We’ve heard a lot today about letting students be creative
– we have students for whom writing is not their forte or cup of tea
– we’ve used the digital cameras on the laptop, to capture building of atomic structures
– this year I’m going to ask them to take those photos into iMovie
– creative things we can do with the laptop

Many kids are not good writers, but they can explain things well verbally
– we should allow kids to verbalize what they know
– use the built-in audio recorders
– laptops can be used by kids to demonstrate that they got the concepts, they are not stupid

Another teacher in our session asks students to do demonstrations
– Kids took a video of a demo, and then used iMovie to slow down the reaction, then explained what was happening

Can use a strobe light with a digital camera, can set exposure long enough to get a series of exposures

Sue was at a Google Conference
– many, many kids said they were NEVER asked to be creative during their high school years

If we give kids choices and

another creativity example: connecting a camera to the top of a microscope
– designing their own experiment
– taking pictures over time through the microscope
– then students can actually make measurements, observe contrasts, which students can measure

another creativity door to open: ask “how would you solve this problem”
– potato chips: how does a change in pressure affect it?

by opening up the laptops to LET students be creative in a way that is comfortable for them
– some kids are musicians
– some can write a rap about covalent bonding
– if we instead say: write everything you know about covalent bonding, that may not be a comfortable modality for them

we as the educators need to be flexible and say there are more ways to test learning than just paper and pencil

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