Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:32 PM
Genetics Review by Osamu
This SciGuide is a good tool to use for when you are going to be teaching Genetics in your classroom. Genetics is a topic that includes many subtopics as DNA, Inheritance, Dominance, Incomplete/Codominance, Blood Type, Genetic Engineering to modify organisms, Mapping Genomes, Genetic Diseases, sex-linked traits, etc. There is a great amount of materials to teach the students, however, finding the proper resources or what students consider “interesting” might be a challenge. This SciGuide provides both teachers and students with resources that are meaningful that allows the feeling of having some connection between the individual and the content.
When you first enter the SciGuide, the SciGuide is separated by three themes which are Biotechnology, Inheritance, and Molecular/Cellular Genetics. This helps the teacher not to waste time in order to find a particular topic that the teacher is aiming to teach. Once you click on the themes, it provides you with links for the subtopics belonging to that particular theme. For example, if you were to click on the Inheritance Theme, it provides you links for Human Disorders, Nature vs. Nurture, and Pattern of Inheritance. On the right side of the window, you’ll also notice that you can download lesson plans, Case Studies, Sample Sudio and student work.
If you go to the Links page, they provide possible lesson plan materials for teachers, as well as web sites for students to use for their research, self-study, or even for personal benefit. The sites provided for students are great because some are made by colleges and universities to not only educate students but also to make the topic interesting for the students. When you look at the sites for teachers, it provides you with activities that you can do with your students as an introduction activity to provide general information (or to get students to think about the content). Some sites even provide a full-class lesson plan that you can follow through to provide an interesting hands-on learning activity rather than straight book work or answering questions by going through web pages. A good example of this is the site below…
Which allows students to go through a hands-on activity to learn about Genetic Variation. The activity includes investigation, some degree of math, and of course, critical thinking to answer the investigative questions to fulfill the learning objectives of the lesson.
As I think about how I might be able to use this SciGuide in my teaching, I’m planning on using the interactive sites with my students to introduce the content in a more intriguing manner. For example, when going over Karyotype, I’ll plan on using the link provided by the SciGuide and work through the problems with the class using my interactive smartboard instead of just providing notes on the subject as I’ve done in the past. To provide a more student-centered teaching, I could use the student web sites as resources for the students and assign some form of projects which will allow the student some degree of freedom on what they would like to learn from the project, as well as having the freedom to decide how they would want to present the project. The appropriate topics for this kind of project within the SciGuide are Types of Human Disorders, how nature/nurture affect development, and the ethics behind the used of Biotechnology.
Although many of the resources on this SciGuide are great, I’ve encountered one problem with it. Some of the links on the SciGuide are no-longer available. I think that should be fixed, or at least, the section should be deleted. I think it’ll be great if more lesson plans are added as well to teach variety of subtopics, or even varies of a specific lesson plan to reach students with different learning styles more effectively.