Sunday, February 15, 2015

3 Easy Steps to Higher Quality

This week I presented a session at OETC on behalf of the Ohio Department of Education as a Network Regional Leader in Science and Technology.  My session was to focus on ways to meet the demands of Ohio's 2010 standards and next generation assessments.  ODE has provided a tool to help teachers evaluate their practice called the Quality Review Rubric.  At first glance, the QRR can be overwhelming, so I copied the language from the rubric into a word cloud generator and came up with the image at the top of this post.  The words that stand out for me are Students (right in the center where they should be), Reading, Writing, Research, Text, Investigations, Scientific, Build, Practices, Appropriate, and Level.  I showcased three tools as ways to incorporate technology while working toward improved instruction in these areas.

Tool #1:  Using ActivelyLearn to meet the Literacy Standards

I wrote about ActivelyLearn earlier this year.  There are so many things to love about this easy to use, free web tool.  Here is the video I played during my session:

Tool #2:  Using Simulations like 123D Circuits to Ready Students for Online Assessments

123D Circuits is a great circuit simulator that is free to use and includes a large toolbox of circuit components.  Many people enjoyed seeing this overview video for a fantastic tool:

Tool #3:   Using Google Forms to Differentiate Instruction

I was surprised that the greatest amount of interest in the session seemed to focus on the way I use Google Forms to differentiate instruction in my classroom.  Here is the video that I created to give a brief overview to how I use this free tool:

Several people asked if I have a template for this.  I don't.  I think it would be hard to use a template because different lessons would have different needs.  I would be happy to share one of my forms with someone, though.

Here are the slides I used during this presentation.  

Though I showcased three tools, I included slides with several other options to improve science literacy, practice using simulations, and differentiate instruction.  The images on the slides are linked to the tools they represent if you want to check some of them out.
I had a great couple of days at OETC and enjoyed meeting many science teachers at this session.  Later this week I will share the slides from my second session too.  

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