Elementary Science

Including Technology in Science Classroom

Hello, I am Abigail Schiller a pre-service teacher from Wartburg College. I know technology is an important part of teaching today. What are ways to incorporate technology into your teaching? And has it improved student engagement?

Abigail Schiller, Pre-Service Teacher 2020

Abigail Schiller
Abigail Schiller
80 Activity Points

Hello Abigail,

I feel that one of the ways in which you can incorportate technology into teaching is by using a smartboard in an interactive way. One example could be a jeopardy game 2 days before a unit test. This allows for the students to review the material that they will tested on as while still having some competetive fun. 

-Gustavo

Gustavo Sanabria
Gustavo Sanabria
525 Activity Points

Hello Abigail! My name is Natalie LoBianco, and I am a pre-service teacher at the University of Northern Iowa. I have had wonderful opportunities to explore and create various forms of technology in a number of my courses at UNI that I can incorporate into my teaching. Specifically, in my Teaching Elementary School Science course this semester, we have used iPads almost every class period to gather our thoughts and findings and share them with our teacher and peers. The app we used the most was called Seesaw, and I highly recommend it. In  this app, each of my classmates and I created our own Digital Interactive Science Notebooks. In these, we were able to type responses to various questions my professor would ask during her presentations, and submit it directly into the app. If you did not prefer to type on a tablet, you could also upload documents that you typed on your computer, or take a picture of your handwritten notes, and submit it in the app. Our class particularly enjoyed taking pictures and recording videos while we conducted different labs throughout the course.


One lab we conducted was testing various items to see if they sank or floated in water, and determining what characteristic of these items made them sink or float. We documented every step of our experimentation process. We would take pictures of the items beforehand, whether it was regular Coke vs diet Coke, different fruits, different balls, or boats we created. We also took pictures of the items in a tub of water to document whether they were sinking or floating or even recorded videos of how long it took for the item to settle at the top of the water or at the bottom of the tub. Throughout the lab, we would also be recording our predictions, observations, and explanations of what we were observing in the lab, as well as writing our claims, reasoning, and evidence as to why this may be occuring. Our teacher was able to see all of our submissions, and “approve” them if she liked them, so we could also look at our classmates' findings in the app.


Doing all of this truly made us feel like scientists in the field, conducting our experiments, collecting our findings, and sharing them with our fellow scientists. It was engaging and exciting for us, and I guarantee it would have the same effect on our future elementary students, if you want to give it a try! We did not do this during my science class, however, I know that parents can also get connected through Seesaw, giving them the opportunity to see what their child is learning at school. During one of my field experiences, I have also seen Seesaw being used to record student book reports that they sent to their parents via the app.


Similar to what Sydney suggested, I also agree with the idea of using Poll Everywhere in the classroom. We used this in my science course this semester as well, scanning a QR code to the link using our iPad’s i-nigma app. We used this site as a way to share ideas anonymously about new concepts we were talking about, and as a means to ask questions we were too shy to share out loud. Both of these forms of technology can be used in variety of subjects, however, I hope these examples of how we used them in my science class can help you see how the technology and education can be intertwined.

Natalie LoBianco
Natalie LoBianco
3248 Activity Points

Hello Abigail!

My name is Sydney Luu and I am a student at the University of Northern Iowa studying elementary education and educational technology. Some ways that I have seen technology incorporated into lessons is by using "Poll Everywhere" and "Kahoot!". Poll Everywhere is a polling website that allows you to ask specific questions and for students to be able to answer those questions anonymously. Kahoot! is a quiz like application/website that allows students to competitively test their knowledge with their peers. From what I've seen these are simple means of adding technology into the classroom and integrating student use. These applications allow you to assess student knowledge in a simple manner. The competitiveness of Kahoot! will definitely have students engaged in the classroom.

Sydney Luu
Sydney Luu
1265 Activity Points

Hi Abigail!

I'm also a preservice teacher, studying elementary education at the University of Northern Iowa! I think there's a lot of great simple ways to integrate technology into your classroom, it all depends on how technologically integrated your classroom is. Since the general move in education is toward a 1-to-1 classroom with every student having a device, this is becoming easier than ever! 

If you as a class are doing an experiment, creating a Google Doc or Google Sheet to share with your students allows them the opportunity to upload their information right in front of your and the other students' eyes. This creates an easy shared database for the whole class to see and make observations off of, instead of just writing their own results down in a journal. However, if you're not a 1-to-1 classroom, you will most likely still have a projector or smartboard of some sorts, and creating a Doc or Sheet with a chart and then projecting it onto the white board could have the same effect. The students would have to manually write data on the board, but at least you aren't spending precious prep time tediously writing out something for the students to fill out by hand. 

A lot of experiments might happen so quickly, it's hard to get all the observations down or be exact on timing. Most tablets and other handheld devices now record in slow-motion capture, so utilizing these slow-motion features will help students see more and be more specific in their observations. One example is we taught a lesson where the students dropped items from two different heights next to a ruler, and recorded the bounce height. When students recorded their bounce trials on a slow-motion camera, they could see the exact point the item stops rising and begins falling again!

These are just simple ways you could integrate technology in the classroom, but the opportunities of integrating tech are absolutely limitless!

Mr. Westhoff

Spencer Westhoff
Spencer Westhoff
2380 Activity Points

Greetings!

Technology is a great tool that can encourage students to participate in the classroom. It also helps students learn from themselves and each other.  A great example is Kahoot it is easy to create and share among teachers. It has fun, learning games or quizzes students can take to prepare for an exam. Teachers can also use Kahoot as an exit ticket for a classroom or see if all students understood the material.

Yanneli Bustos
Yanneli Bustos
40 Activity Points

Hello, I'm Alex :) 

I'm a current student in UTRGV!!!

Technology has been escalating over the years becoming more elaborative.  Children may interact with technology everyday!  If you find yourself to be struggling to find new ideas for the use of technology in a classroom you may do the following:

Add Multimedia Elements to Presentations.
Whereas slideshow presentations entirely made up of text can disengage students, ones with multimedia elements can effectively hold their attention by varying content delivery.

When applicable, try to include:

a. Images
b. Graphs
c. Pictographs
d. Podcast clips
e. Sound effects
f.  Short video lessons

You don’t have to scour the Internet to find relevant graphs and pictographs — you can make them yourself. There are free online tools that take you through steps to input data, adjust labels and modify your design.

It’s likely that slideshow presentations already play a part in your lessons, and adding different kinds of media can make them more engaging for your students.

Elizabeth Pat
ELIZABETH PAT
275 Activity Points

I use technology in my fourth grade classroom weekly. Everything from having my students respond to learning in Explain Everything, assessing their learning using Kahoot! Quizizz and Quizlet.

Barry Smith
Barry Smith
1743 Activity Points

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