Selecting and Using Digital Phenomena and Representations for Middle School Science Instruction

Using Digital Phenomena and Representations!
The eleventh seminar in the NSDL series, "Selecting and Using Digital Phenomena and Representations for Middle School Science Instruction" was held on Tuesday, June 19, 2007, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. The presenter was Chad Dorsey, Science and Educational Technology Specialist at the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance.

Digital resources should address the intended content in order to be useful. In this program, participants explored the use of digital representations and real-world phenomena as a means of teaching science concepts. While these are useful, attention to a resource's use of appropriate grade-level vocabulary and its alignment to learning goals are important to consider. The presenter showcased the NSDL's collection, PRISMS, which has a host of video, text, simulations and other resources that demonstrate science phenomena and representations with annotated reviews and tips for teachers. All participants received a copy of NSTA's SciGuide on Science and Our Food Supply, grades 5-8.

Thirty-nine (39) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenter, the NSDL moderator, Mr. Robert Payo, and the NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. Additional participants joined the program from Spain and Dubai.

Here re some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • "I will be using a smart board in the fall. I want to include more online resources
    in connection with this piece of technology. PRISM will help me achieve a better alignment with my teaching goals."
  • "This was awesome and the archive will be mandatory for the staff at the hands-
    on science center where I work. I outlined the problems with using on-line resources. It is so important to realize that many of the resources on the web are not appropriate."
  • "While I am always fascinated by the content and resources presented by the
    web seminars, tonight's presentation was a process of how to think as an
    educator in thinking about learning goals, key ideas, resource selection, as well as great resources."
  • "I am strongly encouraged to use digital resources in my classroom, but looking for them is time-consuming and what I find isn't always appropriate developmentally to my students. This deals with both of those issues."

Thanks to the participants and to Mr. Dorsey for an engaging opportunity for learning and a job well done!


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