NETS for Students

"As foundational technology skills penetrate throughout our society, students will be expected to apply the basics in authentic, integrated ways to solve problems, complete projects, and creatively extend their abilities.

"The new standards identify several higher-order thinking skills and digital citizenship as critical for students to learn effectively for a lifetime and live productively in our emerging global society. These areas include the ability to:
  • Demonstrate creativity and innovation
  • Communicate and collaborate
  • Conduct research and use information
  • Think critically, solve problems, and make decisions
  • Use technology effectively and productively"

Attached is a document including a plan for how I will incorporate these standards into my classroom.
File Size: 52 kb
File Type: pdf
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Digital Story Project

The video you see below is a digital story created as a project for a technology class in collaboration with another student in my Master's in Education program.  This story highlights the PolarTrec website, which is a program that teams teachers with polar researchers for a collaborative research project.  The goal of the organization is to make research accessible to students through a series of teacher blogs, discussion forums, and live webinars while at the research site.  The PolarTrec website provides opportunities for students to learn about a biological concept while gaining an understanding of field research through activities, lessons, articles, and interactive media.  These web resources would provide strong opportunities for students to interact with a real scientist, and see real people in the field.

Web Resources

Following is an annotated list of sample web resources that can be incorporated into a science classroom. They cover specific biology concepts including evolution, ecology, and life science, as well as general science concepts such as data analysis and research.


This website is specifically designed as a free resource for teachers, though you do have to sign up for an account.  The site includes a large set of science-related project that allow students to follow a story or activity, and provide responses to questions along the way.  These are long-term project, and need to have multiple days allowed for them.  The website also provides teacher management tools to track student work and progress.

The Data and Story Library

This site contains an online library of data files and stories that may be used to illustrate the use of statistics methods.  The data come from a wide variety of topics, so real-world examples may be used to engage students.  Relevant topics for science include space, physics, nature,
environment, and biology.

This resource set would provide an opportunity for students to learn how to gather information from data, build graphs, and learn about correlations.  They can use the data in very open-ended questions to try to find the story that the data tells.

Guy Simplant

This flash game follows special agent Guy Simplant as he gets overly tired during a mission, and goes to see the famous Dr. Z who suspects a heart condition.  In order to provide a diagnoses, the students begin by working through an interactive unit learning what the heart does, and how it works.  They then give Guy a series of heart exams to determine if he is at risk for heart disease.  After finding that he is at risk, students will help Guy find a healthier lifestyle to lower his risk factors.

This web quest fits well into a unit on human body systems, especially when learning about the circulatory system or working on healthy choices.

The Galapagos Finches

The Galapagos finches website was developed as a resource for students to learn about ecosystems and natural selection using data from scientific studies of population change in the wild.  The data are from studies of the finches on Daphne Major, including measurements and population data on the birds, and other variables of their ecosystems. 

Students are given an introduction to Galapagos finches and the studies that were conducted. Two questions are then posed for the students to answer using data on the website:  (1) Why are so many finches dying, and (2) Why are some of the finches able to survive?  Students answer by collecting field notes and creating comparison graphs.

This website is specifically designed for use with middle school students.  Each student can create their own log in to maintain a data log on the website, which can be checked by the instructor. 

NetLogo Models Library

NetLogo is a modeling environment that uses simulations to teach students about scientific concepts.  Most of the models allow students to modify variables relating to the simulation, and then run a scenario for a certain amount of time to determine the effects of the variables.  Using most of these simulations in the classroom would take development of lesson plans or guided student worksheets asking them to perform certain modifications and answer analysis questions.

This website also has a desktop version that can be downloaded along with models if internet access is not available during classes.  There is also a partner site, CCL, which contains lesson plans along with web resources and models to teach scientific concepts.

GapMinder World

GapMinder is a resource devoted to "building a fact-based world view that everyone understands.  The site contains data sets about real world information such as national incomes, populations, life span, etc.  The data is plotted on interactive graphs that can be played as a  video showing changes over time.  The graphs can be paused at any point in time, and the user can select various points on the graph to compare or watch closer. 

This is a great opportunity to teach students about analyzing data and trends using real-life, relevant data.  There are also lesson plans and presentations included to assist teacher in lessons about global development.

There is also a desktop application that can be downloaded if internet access would not be available during class.