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An area of interest of mine is the use of technology to improve science instruction with the use of something called learning objects. So what is a learning object? There are several definitions that are used, but one that I found here is one that I will use.
“[A]ny entity, digital or non-digital, that may be used for learning, education or training” * IEEE 1484.12.1-2002, 15 July 2002, Draft Standard for Learning Object Metadata, IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee (LTSC)
So why are these learning objects so useful? They can be used to teach several ideas based upon the approach that the lesson is geared toward. They are also good because they can be used to teach at different levels based upon the depth that the information is taught.
Sometimes it is best to show you what a learning object is versus just going on with definitions; so, I put together a learning object.
I used the old vinegar and baking soda reaction, but put a spin on it and posted it to youtube. Here is the link to see the video that I made using imovie. Before you continue reading this presentation, click the link and watch the video.
I performed the experiment under the chemical hood at my high school and recorded myself with a digital camera on a tripod. The experiment went off well. After the third time, the results were exactly what I wanted.
One of the points that makes a resource a learning object is the ability to reuse the media in different lessons. So in what manners could I utilize this video in my class? First, I could use this to teach combustion and the components necessary and the density of gases. I could also use this to explain the phase changes that occur during chemical reactions. This could also be used to teach the Brownian motion of atoms in gases and solids in physics.
Learning objects are also great from an instructional standpoint in terms of time management. There is no set up or break down of lab equipment or the need to bring chemicals into the science classroom. I also like the ability to focus the student on the phenomenon that is occurring instead of getting caught up in the wow factor of science activities.
Another aspect of learning objects is that the experiment works every time. As a teacher, if the projector in my class works I know that I do not have to worry about the experiment working. The learning object is very useful in that it allows the phenomenon that I want them to see occur happening actually occur.
In conclusion I hope that this has given you a new tool to add to your instructional toolbox. The benefits if learning objects can be far reaching due to the ability to recycle the same materials to accomplish several instructional goals.
I have been taking a class at MSU over the summer and I was asked to put together a presentation for my best practices of technology instruction. Instead of mailing in my presentation, I thought that I would utilize my blog to host my presentation for several reasons.
First, I like having the ability to access the presentation anywhere that I have Internet access. Second off, I know of a few people out there who read my blog and they may be interested in what kind of stuff I am working on. So on to the show….or just the next blog posting.
Very neat, although technically dense, blog on how the mind actually assigns the tools we use as extension of the body.
So questions and suppositions abound. Is this part of neurochemistry that we have evolved allowed us to make the leap in using tools?
Lack of biofeedback seems to be interesting to ponder. Is the leap that we can assign or that we can use the tool without direct neurological feedback?
So the banks in second life offered really high interest rate returns.
Now the banks are defaulting.
Has the simulation worked too well?
Should we bail out these banks?
Wow, I could rattle about this all day.
Enjoy the holiday.
You tube video, kind of harsh but funny.
Remind anyone of Huckabee?
Who knew Stephen Hawking was lyrical?
Very heart touching article about a dad giving the gift of understanding to his daughter.
Hoping that you had a great christmas.
Discussion of why we have crummy teachers and how do we improve our teaching force as a whole.
Good read. Lots of points that are worth discussion. Should teachers act as hired guns or public servants? I guess it is a POV issue.
Found a great post here will we all eventually have a work environment that allows us to collaborate with our peers and students this effortlessly?
I just hope that the establishment will allow learning to evolve to a similar environment as a common occurrence.