Change is sometimes hard. Changing the way science teachers teach and the way students learn across the country sounds especially difficult. This task can overwhelm even the best of science teachers, who must complete more professional learning, create new lessons, and think of ways to engage students.
With the recent adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in Michigan and Connecticut, one-third of states support better science education. This means more and more teachers are tasked with learning how to teach students with the new standards. As opposed to the traditional, scientific method, the NGSS not only emphasizes information students need to know, but how teachers should most effectively teach with creative, engaging inquiry-based projects (project-based learning). This allows students to be in the driver’s seat of their science education and recent research by SRI shows that this is the pathway to students’ success in STEM.
Still, even though new science standards are here, and are gradually being adopted across the country, the new standards represent a challenge for many teachers who must expand their expertise and re-think the way they teach in order to challenge students to think critically. Today, science and engineering teachers can use all the help they can get to not only teach science, but instill a love and appreciation of science that students typically (and historically) don’t embrace.
The good news is that there are many resources available to science teachers today who need help with implementing NGSS, from the official NGSS website, to organizations like the NSTA, to teachers offering tools and tips from their personal experience implementing NGSS (Science with Tom” Goes Full STEAM Ahead on NGSS with Rap Videos). And there are informative and supportive personal learning networks in social media created for teachers, by teachers, who need help with NGSS, like #NGSSchat on Twitter.
There is also a staggering amount of EdTech available, from educational blogs and apps, to toys, that can support STEM learning (25 STEM Education Apps You Need in 2015). But while there is a lot of technology out there designed to inspire students’ interest in STEM, few EdTech solutions address the specific needs of science teachers implementing the NGSS (specifically the Three Dimensions: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas).
It is for this reason that we are launching a new blog series that will highlight innovative technology that can help teachers implementing NGSS in their classroom — technology that facilitates deeper learning, inquiry, and collaboration. Some of the questions we’ll be asking and answering include:
— What are some of the most compelling technologies being used to implement NGSS?
— Which edtech, relevant in implementing NGSS, is most popular with teachers, and which is most popular with students?
— Which tech tools can help the most with student assessment?
— What’s the new technology on the horizon that should science and engineering teachers keep on their radar?
Additionally, we’ll be addressing such topics as:
(1) 3D printing in science and engineering classrooms (the good, the bad and the “not ready for prime time”)
(2) virtual reality (the future is here, are you ready?)
(3) tech tools for gathering data and evidence to support explanations
(4) using edtech to connect students across the country working on the same phenomena
(5) affordable edtech (the haves vs. the have-nots)
(6) edtech that facilitates creating meaning and showcasing thinking
(7) edtech for creating and editing storylines and student portfolios
(10) resources for finding and stay on top of new, good STEM edtech
As always, we are eternally inspired by the real-life experiences and feedback from teachers. We learn from, and share, what teachers say are their greatest challenges, and greatest successes, in the classroom. Last week, teachers participated in a #NGSSchat on twitter to discuss how they can use edtech in the NGSS and expressed great ideas about what EdTech means for learning. Read the entire Storify recap HERE and let’s keep the conversation going!
Do you have an experience using edtech in your NGSS classroom (or a favorite tech tool) you’d like to share with us? What are some of the challenges and successes you are having using technology in your NGSS-based classroom? Tweet or us at @ItsAboutTimeEDU or share your story in the comments below.
Follow this special series on using edtech to implement the NGSS by subscribing to receive updates on this series, checking in on the blog regularly, and by following the hashtag on Twitter: #NGSSedtech.
We’re looking forward to bringing you this special series and to hear your stories!
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Latest posts by Editorial Team (see all)
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