For my final Webtools class project, I have designed a Wiki site that will serve the following purposes:
1. Connect teachers with valuable resources that focus on technology and inquiry-based science.
2. Provide a safe platform onto which students can build an online portfolio that will include their class work, thoughts, opinions and discussions.
3. Enable me to organize and make accessible my lesson plans, homework assignments, state standards, expectations, class calendars and other links of interest.
My Wiki page contains a Technology Page onto which I have placed all of the information we have learned in this class along with ideas from another MSSE course I took earlier this summer: EDCI 580, Teaching Technology in the Science Classroom. Topics addressed include Wiki pages, Social Education Networks, Educational Videos, Images for Science, Computer Simulations, Blogs, Google Earth, Online Data Collections, Web-Based Science Inquiry Projects, PowerPoint Presentations, Screencasting, Voicethreads, and a section on the importance of technology.
The Inquiry-Resource Page includes freely downloadable books, websites, videos, PowerPoint presentations, and sections that discuss constructivism, the 5E Learning Cycle, and misconceptions. This page is a collaboration of information I gained from this course in addition to another MSSE course I took this summer: EDCI 580,Teaching Inquiry in the Science Classroom. There is also another page that contains Video Podcasts of discrepant events that apply to the engage phase of the 5E Learning Cycle. Video topics include the sponge canon, inertia, flame vortex, transfer of energy, carbonation, the crushed can, the firemill explosion, super-cooled water and poppers.
The Wiki also includes a separate page for each of the students in all of my classes (over 80 separate pages total). Each student page will be used as an online portfolio, where students can upload class projects, videos, presentations and journal entries. In order to protect student confidentiality and prevent students from sabotaging each other’s Wiki page, I plan on giving my students clear guidelines and rules to follow regarding acceptable Wiki behavior. One great feature of Wiki pages is that they allow you (as the administrator) to see who edited what page and when it happened. In addition, if someone's Wiki page gets screwed up or deleted, you have the power to see all of the changes and revert back to a previous version of the page before it was edited. I will be able to see who sabotaged the page, prevent that student from having editing privileges in the future, and fix the page that was sabotaged. In regards to student confidentiality, I have the power (as the administrator) to decide who can view the pages and who can edit the pages. At the beginning of the year, I will invite all students and parents to view the Wiki pages. To do this, they will have to send me an email and then I will have to confirm each person. I can also create Wiki pages that are password protected. Although the system has really been created to address all of these concerns, I am sure more will arise during the upcoming school year. Click here to see an example of a student portfolio page.
As mentioned above, the Wiki will also help me to organize my courses. There is a class calendar that will be updated weekly to communicate homework assignments and science topics we are studying. There are also course pages (for each of the four science classes I teach) that include lesson plans, video clips, links to animations, and downloadable documents of unpacked state standards for each topic. Each document contains the standard, evidence outcomes, inquiry questions, how to apply the scientific concept in society using technology, and how to incorporate the nature of science. The course pages will be open to the general public (viewable, not editable) so that everyone can utilize these resources.
In addition to this Wiki page, I plan to incorporate a blog for my vegetable garden class onto which students will document everything we do as we design and create our school vegetable garden. The blog will also give students a place to journal about growing plants and incorporate pictures of the garden and other resources. The blog has already been started and can be found here: Garden Blog.
Finally, I plan to have students create a database of water quality data we have been collecting for numerous years on the nearby Crystal River. The program, known as RiverWatch allows students from all over Colorado to monitor local stream quality data by measuring temperature, pH, alkalinity, dissolved oxygen content, and hardness. Students will test the water on a monthly basis and the data will be entered onto an online database found here:
http://wildlife.state.co.us/riverwatch/ This data base allows students to contribute to scientific data and help to make a difference! The program also involves them in authentic inquiry-based investigations.