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It's Alive: Using Online Life Science Resources in Middle School Classrooms

All web seminar participants use online tools that allow them to mark-up presenter's slides or share desktop applications in addition to engaging in chat with others online and answering poll questions

This Web Seminar, developed in collaboration with the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) took place on Tuesday, April 1, 2008, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. In this program the presenters showcased the PRISMS Project. The PRISMS acronym stands for Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle Schools.

Chad Dorsey and Joyce Tugel, Science Specialists for the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance (MMSA) featured the collection of reviewed and annotated resources of the PRISMS Project. PRISMS (Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle Schools) provides easier access to online materials that are aligned to learning goals based on the criteria and protocols of the National Science Education Standards and Project 2061/Benchmarks for Science Literacy of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). For teachers new to the profession, PRISMS aids in finding quality instructional materials and providing a framework to better assess them. For the seasoned teacher, PRISMS offers a time-saving means of accessing good content and an opportunity to use a wider breadth of vetted materials.

Forty-one (41) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenter, the NSDL moderator, and the NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Participants received a one-year subscription to an NSTA SciGuide for attending the program and completing the evaluation form.

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

  • “These are suggestions and tools that I will use in class. Very informative
    and productive dialogs.”
  • “This seminar was very valuable. It provided an excellent resource and
    explained how to use if effectively.”
  • “As I [was participating], I felt that I had truly moved into the information
    age. I really enjoy the support and encouragement that others show in
    these events.”
  • “This is my first experience with a Web Seminar and it is great. I love
    technology and the way we can communicate today.”

Thanks to the participants and the presenters for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!


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