Educational technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources. [Definition by Association of Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), published in Januszewski and Molenda (2008)]
The Marine Biotechnology and Bioinformatics (MBB) program was designed using educational technology practices and included specific session topic on educational technology tools. MBB was a problem-based learning context within the field of marine biotechnology and bioinformatics, where the teachers used current research methods for DNA extraction and analysis of mussels searching for an invasive species. The workshop was designed with instructional strategies for rapid integration of new knowledge and best practices for transforming high-level, new science knowledge into lesson plans for students.
How is this useful to you?
If you are a provider of science teacher professional development, you may wish to review how we used the systematic design of instruction to shape our professional development program to better meet the needs of our teacher audience.
- Review the curriculum schedule for topic scope and sequence
- Review the marine biotechnology or marine bioinformatics topic lessons developed by the project PIs
- Review the program outcomes
If you are a teacher interested in using technology to teach science, then you should review the corresponding instructional resources that were developed in this program.
If you are a researcher, then you may wish to review the outcomes of this intergration of educational technologies and science.
Teaching and Learning Principles of Educational Technology
Pedagogical issues for teaching science methods were addressed by immersing participants in a problem-based learning (PBL) scenario derived from current marine biotechnology research. Going one step further, teachers were challenged with the requirement to transform their new knowledge into a lesson plan that could be realistically taught in their own middle or high school science curriculum. It is generally accepted that a real demonstration of mastery is to teach someone. The NSF grant specified that teachers should be lifelong learners and willing to share their knowledge with their students, who were samples of the underrepresented population in STEM careers. The issue of transfer was a high priority for the workshop to help insure that the teachers’ students would also benefit from learning about current science methods in biotechnology and bioinformatics, as well as careers in information technology.
Overt Educational Technology Design
MBB included workshop sessions on lesson plan development. Instructional strategies and planning were incorporated that would support and facilitate knowledge and skill acquisition of the specific scientific methods presented. In the workshop design, lesson plan development was introduced in the first week and overlapped the marine biotechnology and bioinformatics topics to allow the teachers time to think of how they would create a lesson plan based on what they were learning. Teachers completed their workshop learning experience by writing a lesson plan for use in their own classrooms during the academic year. To facilitate developing lesson plans, sessions were included to teach problem-based learning with WebQuests, as well as other instructional strategies.
Transparent Educational Technology Design
Other instructional technology related interventions used during the workshop were transparent to the teachers. For example, using a basic team-planning model, teachers formed their own lesson plan groups, chose a topic from the workshop, and collaborated with the other three groups to design an appropriate sequence for the four lessons. The lesson implementation process was a form of microteaching and included the Japanese Lesson Plan (Columbia) protocol (Chokshi, Ertle, Fernandez, & Yoshida, 2001), where the quality of the lesson was determined by observing the learners’ reactions.
Further instantiation of educational technology design occurred in the development of templates for the lesson plan format and other instructional materials prepared by the teachers. The lesson plan was based on Bernie Dodge’s WebQuest model (Dodge, 2006) and incorporated additional placeholders for standards, assessment of learning outcomes, and STEM career options. The students who were invited to participate in the lesson provided each team with immediate feedback as evidenced from the products they produced during creative, reflective learning activities following each lesson. In addition, the students then participated in a group debriefing and completed an anonymous survey.
Educational Technology Training for Teachers
To further reinforce transfer of educational technology and content knowledge after the summer workshop, the teachers were required to attend six follow-up seminars during the following academic year. These seminars were designed to provide pedagogical support for delivering the lesson in the teacher’s classroom, teach emerging technology skills, and focus more in depth on STEM careers.
Educational Technology Resources
The following resources were used to teach technology skills and provide pedagogical support for delivering lessons.
|Recorded Elluminate session||Elluminate Live Go to May 2008 Look for "RBARBA MLML Meeting"|
|Lesson Plan Template||Word|
|Lesson Presentation Template||PowerPoint, PDF|
|Lesson Plan Status Report|
|Blogs in Plain English is a helpful explanation provided by TeacherTube Videos||Web Video|
|Blogger: How to Start a Blog provides useful instructions via a YouTube video||Web Video|
|Concept Mapping Overview||HTML (Web)|
|Introduction to Concept Mapping Theory||HTML (Web)|
|An application for concept mapping through Inspiration Software||HTML (Web)|
|An example of Inspiration Software as used for concept mapping in science||HTML (Web)|
|An Inspiration Software lesson plan: "Gain Momentum"||HTML (Web)|
|Seminal papers on concept mapping||HTML (Web)|
|Graphic organizer overview and links to concept mapping software provided by Graphic.org||HTML (Web)|
|A Concept Mapping and Curriculum Design site provided by the Grayson H. Walker Teaching Resource Center at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga||HTML (Web)|
|"Why Telecommunications Tools and Emerging Technologies?" (presentation slides)|
|"What Can You Do With An Emerging Technology?" (worksheet)|
|Voice Over Internet Protocols|
|“Tutorials: Presenting Information for Meaningful Learning”||PowerPoint|
Demonstration of a Tutorial Using a Recipe as an Example:
|A “How to Use PowerPoint 2003” tutorial that is a composite of information available from the Microsoft Office Help Website|
|The Powerpoint Help Site available through Microsoft Office||Web|
|Using Powerpoint to Create Presentations - Advanced Class” tutorial produced by the Center for Faculty Development and Support at SJSU||Word|
|"Podcasting for Faculty” tutorial produced by the Center for Faculty Development and Support at SJSU (see pages 11-13 for instruction on the Audacity audio sound recording program)|
|A guide to the preparation of creative presentations used by our student participants to demonstrate learning||Word|
|A guide to the preparation of short formal presentations used by our student participants to demonstrate learning||Word|
|Career Field Trip Worksheet for student participants visiting Roche Biosciences - a large biotech company in Silicon Valley||Word|
|ELL in Science Presentation||PowerPoint|
Resources for ELL
|Guidlines for Authors|
|Strengthening Your Resume|
Professional Journals Where Teachers Publish
|Word Turtle - Word Search Game by FunBrain|
|Puzzle Maker - Word Search Setup by Discovery School|