Elementary Science

Computers in the Classroom

Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:46 PM

Hi friends,

I've been wondering: How do elementary educators use computers in the classroom or libraries for science lessons? How often do you use computers? Are there other ways you engage your classroom with web resources?

I checked out these great ideas about websites for students: http://learningcenter.nsta.org/discuss/default.aspx?tid=GHuCZrrxjj8_E#66635

Are there any kinds of websites you wish existed for students that don't exist already? What would be on your wishlist for a science website that would be most useful for your classroom?

Thanks. 


Dr. Universe
Rachel Webber
205 Activity Points

Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:35 PM

Hey Rachel,

I am a pre-service teacher, my placement is in the first grade, and I find that my mentor teacher uses the computer a lot in our science lessons. The computers are often used to show videos and pictures that the county provided or recommended be shown. The videos are not just for lessons but also used as extensions so that students who have grasped the material can learn more and students who are struggling can still learn the material or have what is being taught reinforced. There are a lot of great videos on youtube about a variety of topics that are catered to students. Also you should try asking other teachers what videos or websites they have used or see if the county has recommendations. Overall I think the use of the computer is very useful in the classroom.Even at a young age most of my students are very familiar with the computer and outside of the classroom they learn a lot of information through the computer. I find using a medium that they are used to helps gain interest and makes the students receptive to the information the teacher is trying to teach them. In addition, just from personal experiences I find that using the computer in the classroom to be beneficial especially when running simulations for experiments.
The kinds of websites I wished existed are websites that promote science in everyday life. I find that students have a lot of trouble connecting what they learn in labs to everyday life and I think that more games that represent the science in day to day life will help students know that they are scientist and that being good at science does not require a skill set.

Autumn Morrison
Autumn Morrison
735 Activity Points

Sun Nov 13, 2016 5:33 PM

As pre-service teachers we just went through a WebQuest of our own, then created a WebQuest. WebQuests use an online format for students to complete an interactive research project guided by the teacher's WebQuest form, but allows students more freedom to personalize in which direction their information gathering heads. Based on experience with before and after-care children I care for, I would say groups of fourth graders and up would do fine completing this kind of activity, if it is outlined sufficiently and kept simple.

The link below is from WebQuest.org and is a search engine for lessons about a multitude of topics. The best part is that the previously mentioned website will walk you through creating your own WebQuest, which can be as long or short as you like, and can cover literally any topic.

http://questgarden.com/search/

I also tend to use government agency websites often (from any country really), although they do usually have an agenda to push, they also provide links to many resources that I wouldn't have thought to look at otherwise. They also provide a real-life component to which students can relate, which is always a bonus.

Whitney Pomeroy
Whitney Pomeroy
615 Activity Points

Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:26 PM

In the school that I student teach at teachers try to use computers whenever the time fits. In my classroom students are able to access approved educational websites for each content area. I have noticed that the science websites are limited in comparison to reading or math. I would like students to have a fun yet educational website to help broaden their knowledge on things such as seasons. The students in my classroom love getting in the computer and are are to navigate it with little to no assistance. I just believe that we need more websites for students in regards to science.

Briyanna Alexander
Briyanna Alexander
765 Activity Points

Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:37 PM

I am a pre-service teacher and I have not yet observed computers being utilize in a science lesson. In my future classroom I will like to use computers in a science lesson during workstations. I think computers are helpful during science lesson because students are able to understand science in a different format. Sometimes students need more explanation understanding certain material, but with the computers they could explore what they are learning in science using different websites or games in order for them to understand what is being taught.

Angelica Lara
Angelica Lara
1405 Activity Points

Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:42 AM

I am a student teacher, so far all I have seen for science in the classroom is Brain Pop. Last year I was in a classroom where the teacher would put up a website where the students could go up to the computer and write their answer to the major question she had that morning. It allowed you to edit the different views of the website as well. Unfortunately, I have been trying to think of which one it was for the past year and I am not able to remember.

Yara Botello
Yara Botello
1115 Activity Points

Sun Jul 17, 2016 2:38 AM

Thank you for the center options!! I like that idea :)

Laura Jane Posner
Laura Posner
220 Activity Points

Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:39 PM

I think that having technology in the classroom is great for students to expand and explore their learning in science! I would use computers in the classroom for center activities where they children could be on several researched websites that promote their learning in science. I would use the BrainPop website in my classroom where there are videos, activities, and examples of different subject matters. I would like to try and incorporate computers as much as possible that would be beneficial for learning. As a teacher, you could use web resources to find videos that would grasp students attention and get them prepared for the upcoming lesson. As far as websites that I wish existed that don't as far as I'm aware of would possibly be a website where students like mine are doing experiments and modeling the science that goes along with the experiment. I think that these videos would be very interesting for my students to watch and then do, with safety precautions of course.

Kayla Fearrin
Kayla Fearrin
595 Activity Points

Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:44 PM

"...where students like mine are doing experiments and modeling the science that goes along with the experiment. I think that these videos would be very interesting for my students to watch and then do, with safety precautions of course."

That sounds like a great idea! Almost like science videos for students by students kind of thing?

Dr. Universe
Dr. Universe
205 Activity Points

Thu Oct 06, 2016 12:45 PM



Hi Rachel,
There are many ways that elementary teachers can use computers in the classroom, especially for science lessons! You could find videos that show students examples of real-life science. For example, if you were teaching a lesson on space/solar system, you could find videos that present visuals for students to see and better understand/get a grasp on the concepts of space and how big the solar system really is. As a pre-service teacher, I imagine I would use computers everyday (just as my teachers had in high school). You can also have students go to the computer lab and have them explore websites like NASA to get them engrossed in the subject.
I wish there were more websites that had interactive games that would interest students and allow them to be more involved in independently learning science. This would not only build/increase their independent interests in science, but it would also bring that interest and positive view on science into the classroom.

Corina Chen
Xusha (Corina) Chen
555 Activity Points

Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:03 PM

Hi!
I only let my students use laptops or computers in the classroom when the students are engaging in a simulation activity. Recently, my students went on a website where they melted and froze objects. Some students believe that you can freeze solids, but a solid will always be a solid. For an example, a toy put inside a freezer will always be a solid no matter what because it has a definite shape. I know it sounds obvious, but my students have a hard time understanding that at first. You can add that in the elaborate or explore stage depending on what you have planned to teach. Engaging in activities like that will help them see firsthand why that is. Hope that helps!

Sandra Saint-Val
Sandra Saint-Val
1475 Activity Points

Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:08 PM

Last semester when I did my field work and a few years ago when I was working in Howard County many of the teachers I worked with used brain pop videos for the younger ages K-3 during certain science units. For the older children they used different types of simulations, some showed videos of experiments being done, and some simply did not use a computer much at all and used more of a textbook approach. I learned that the children engaging in the videos were learning the units better than the students being taught through the use of a textbook. I think that the use of a computer can be useful when it is used appropriately and not too much. You do not want to over use a computer and not have the children reading from a textbook sometimes.

Sarah Ramstrom
Sarah Ramstrom
605 Activity Points

Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:08 AM

Hello!

I thought that computer were useful in any subject area and even in science classrooms. Students who have difficulties with less hands on or with less diagram activities, you can use computer to help those students. There are numerous games that could be used with the computer. I will attach few websites for students can education science games. I also checked these websites myself and I loved the games because it quickly gets your attention and also, students can enjoy it as well!

http://pbskids.org/games/science/
http://interactivesites.weebly.com/science.html

Julie Lim
Julie Lim
555 Activity Points

Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:19 PM

Computers in the classroom are good to use every once in a while, but I have seen in my student teaching how students learn science by having hands on activities to observe and complete.

Zachary Monroe
Zachary Monroe
545 Activity Points

Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:25 PM

Hi!
Computers are very helpful in the classroom. School districts are starting to incorporate computers into the classroom for teachers to use in all of their lessons. In order to incorporate computers in to science lessons, it would be a good idea to show students real-life examples of what you are teaching them. If you are teaching them about space, show them videos of stars or some clips that NASA has on their website. If they are learning about bugs, bring up pictures of real bugs so that they can look at them. Go to youtube and type in the type of bug and they could even see it in action.Students love seeing real-life examples of what they are learning about and computers in the classroom is a good way to show them. I hope this helps.

Malari Finamore
Malari Finamore
260 Activity Points

Fri Dec 02, 2016 11:11 AM

Hello!
I am a pre-service teacher currently and in previous schools that I have been in a lot of science was done on computers through simulation activities that correlate with the science concept that they were learning at the time. However, I do not believe that this should be used everyday during science, but I do believe that they can be extremely beneficial when used appropriately. I have also seen many teachers using their technology of smart boards with the whole class showing videos etc. especially if they are unable to do the project that is being shown.

Victoria Wilt
Victoria Wilt
1015 Activity Points

Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:38 PM

Hello!
I am also a pre-service teacher. All of the schools that I have been placed have never used computers for science. In fact most of the schools hardly ever teach science, or at least they did not the days I was there. I also agree with Victoria that computers should not be used everyday to teach science. Science is something that is best learned through experience and not on the computer.

Tim Kelly
Tim Kelly
695 Activity Points

Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:55 AM

I have used numerous web resources in the science class that I have had the pleasure of student teaching in. There are many ways to integrate science by using web resources. Fortunately for me, I am at a school where each child has an iPad checked out to them, so it makes using technology very easy. The resource we use most often is called nearpod. They have lots of science lessons that are great for reteaching and extended learning through interactive, collaborative lessons!

Cody Ollre
Cody Ollre
655 Activity Points

Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:06 PM

We have computers in our classroom but they are mostly used for math and reading activities for now. Science should work best when the lessons are interactive rather than on the computer. A great hands on activity in science can help them propel to experiment with new discoveries that they can learn in a lab.

Faustino Lopez
Faustino Lopez
705 Activity Points

Post Reply

Forum content is subject to the same rules as NSTA List Serves. Rules and disclaimers