Saturday, October 1, 2011

BP2 iGoogle PLE

I've just finished modifying my iGoogle tabs for the Emerging Technologies in a Collaborative Culture (ETC) course. Although I use iGoogle daily to follow my favorite news organizations, I always enjoy taking time to go in and look at the new Gadgets that are available! In my Resources tab screenshot above, you can see that I've added a Phases of the Moon gadget and a daily news feed from As a high school science instructor who teaches multiple disciplines (biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy, and math) I find these feeds incredibly valuable. They help me to track developments in many different fields of science--and to do so every time I open my Web browser!

I'm especially excited about the prospect of using Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) with my students. I work in a high school with a 1-to-1 laptop program, and I envision a time when we, as a school, adopt Google as our primary mode of online communication. Setting up iGoogle pages for every student will be a huge leap forward in how we incorporate technology in the classroom. It will complement a scheme in which students use Google for online collaboration (Google Docs and Google+), email (Gmail), planning (Google Calendar), and research (Google Reader and Google Scholar). The greatest benefit of iGoogle is that it acts as the hub of a student's Web experience, enabling her to access so many of Google's (and, indeed, the Web's) other tools so quickly and easily.

I've heard the development of tools like iGoogle referred to as Web 3.0, since they have moved beyond the user-generated Web 2.0 to offer users entirely customized Internet searches. I can't make too many assumptions about Web 3.0, since I haven't done much research on it--though Google Reader will help with that! On the other hand, it certainly is a fascinating prospect!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

BP1_Welcome to my blog

Welcome to TeachSTEM, one science teacher's blog. The purpose of this blog is to explore the potential of the flipped classroom model in the high school science classroom. According to this model, students consume lecture content at home in the form of video podcasts, screencasts, etc., then come to class ready to perform more demanding tasks--the sorts usually assigned as homework. The flipped class was first targeted at college students, but was recently popularized by high school chemistry teachers Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergmann.

I currently attend Full Sail University as a Masters student in the Education Media Design and Technology program. This program will culminate in my Action Research project, in which I implement a flipped classroom model myself and evaluate its effectiveness.