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Science Animation Gallery

What it is: Sumanas, Inc has created a complete animation gallery for science.  Each animation comes with a written summary description, a narrated animation, a step-through tutorial (understanding the concept through a series of steps), and a quiz.  There are a variety of main topics, each with several related animation modules.  In the gallery you will find General Biology, Molecular Biology, General Biotechnology, Microbiology, Biopsychology/Neuroscience, Ecology, Astronomy, Statistics, Chemistry, and Environmental Science.  There is also a Science in Focus section for animations that explain science topics that are in the news (stem cells, malaria, gene therapy, ulcers, antibiotic resistance, and anthrax).  These are great for current event science conversations and understandings. How to integrate Science Animation Gallery into the classroom: The Science Animation Gallery takes what can be difficult to understand concepts, and animates them in a way that breaks down the concept into manageable parts. Many of the science concepts are more appropriate for middle and high school students, but some sections, like Astronomy, include animations that are useful for elementary students (moon phases). Students can use the animations to explore science concepts that they are interested in learning more about, or to further delve into a topic just touched on in curriculum.  Many of the animations would make a great launching point for science experiments and inquiry units. Use the animations to introduce a whole class to a new concept or topic using an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer.  At the end of the animation, you can instantly check for learning using the quiz at the end (it would work well with a student response system, voters). Use the feedback from the quiz to guide the learning and next steps for students.  Students could also visit the gallery as a science discovery center in the one or two computer classroom.  I really like the different options offered by the animations, students can listen to a narrated version of the animation or navigate through the animation at their own pace using the step-by-step.  The narrated animation is brilliant, science has so many unfamiliar vocabulary words and terms that struggling readers can often get bogged down in just sorting out the words. With the narrated animation, the focus is on the concept being taught and the vocabulary is learned more naturally without stifling the learning. Encourage your students to watch for science in the news.  The news has been full of it lately! Use those current event topics and dig in a little deeper with the Science in Focus animations. So often students hear about stem cells or gene therapy and don’t really know what they are referring to (adults either for that matter!) take the opportunity to teach students about the science concepts fueling those news stories. There are some additional links and resources related to each animation in the Science in Focus section. Tips: Some of the animations are available for download and can be played on an iDevice or in iTunes. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Science Animation Gallery in your classroom

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The Answer Pad: BYOD Student Response System

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, Classroom Management, collaboration, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, iPod, Knowledge (remember), Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Subject, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, web tools, Websites | Posted on 16-04-2013

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What it is: The Answer Pad is a student response system…only better!  What makes it better?  The ability for use with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) classrooms and the ability to collect student responses outside of your typical, limited multiple choice answers that most student response systems are limited to.  The Answer Pad is really made up of two parts.  1. The student response piece that lets students go interactive with outstanding drawing features.  2. The answer sheets that score and capture data from existing paper exams including full online reporting, the ability for students to show their work, and a variety of question types. The Answer Pad is available for the iPad, Android or from any web browser.  Download the TAPit Free app for the iPad!

The free version of The Answer Pad is pretty robust for teachers and students.  Premium features are available at a reasonable price that take it to the next level.

How to integrate The Answer Pad into the classroom: The Answer Pad is a really useful addition to the formative assessment puzzle.  I LOVE that it doesn’t limit teachers to gathering low-level data in the format of multiple choice answer (although this feature is available for those times when you want to check for entry level understanding).  The Answer Pad lets students draw and type out answers, making the feedback they give to you during a lesson that much more valuable.  The fact that it isn’t limited to the basics is GREAT!  Imagine a math lesson where students are able to actually show and demonstrate their understanding (not just their amazing guessing skills).  The instantaneous feedback is wonderful for adjusting lessons and providing more individualized instruction based on what you are seeing.

In addition to collecting more valuable math feedback, The Answer Pad also gives you valuable feedback for any subject, a blank template lets students free write/draw their understanding.  This might even be a great way for students to take notes during learning, you can give your students feedback on their note taking during a lesson.  I am always amazed when I look at student notes, some of our students really don’t know what is important enough to write down and how to organize themselves best for later reference.  Using the free draw in The Answer Pad would give you good insight into a student’s thinking process and help you to guide and direct them appropriately.

The reporting feature is also really helpful, being able to look not only at student answers, but also at the written work that led to the answer is SO valuable.  This embedded feature makes Answer Pad more than just a self-grading platform, this is feedback and data that you can really use to drive instruction.

Tips:  Premium features include: custom frameworks for scoring tests, ability to bundle assessments together for side-by-side comparison and reporting, advance functions for test scenarios, an additional drawing palette for the Go Interactive portion, support by phone, and access to black-line template library.

Thank you to @dkapuler for introducing me to The Answer Pad!

I’ve been nominated for a Bammy Award for Educational Blogger.  I’d appreciate your vote to help spread the word about iLearn Technology.  Vote here.  Thank you for your continued support!!

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  The Answer Pad in your classroom.

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