Science Classes Learning Systems

The Science Department is currently in Phase II of a three part technology implementation entitled Classroom Learning Systems which has been funded by DSEF grants.  The motivation behind this grant was that the presentation technology in the science department was very lacking, only ill working projectors and screens.

This three phase investment and implementation will have a deep and lasting impact on student learning, bring new energy to teachers and enable teachers to utilize materials that have been previously developed as well as develop new and innovative materials to enhance student learning.  The Dover Sherborn Science Department will be pioneers in the use of cutting edge technology.  This investment will also ease the maintenance burden, as the Apple technology and Samsung document readers have proven longevity and durability.

In Phase I, the Science Department received a DSEF grant to purchase ENO Interactive White Boards for two classrooms and an IPAD 2 for each high school science teacher, as well as money for apps (9 IPADs in total).  During the course of the year, the members of the science department have determined that the Interactive whiteboards are excellent for use with the MCAS Biology students.  The members also determined that the use of the IPADs with enhancement will be more cost effective and more cutting edge than purchasing ENO boards at this time.  The proposed technology is the wave of the future.

Phase II allowed for the purchase of

  1. Apple TVs for each of the science classrooms to provide the “walk around” capability for the IPAD. Anything written on the IPAD can be projected, as well as captured as a document. IPADs are more beneficial, as the teacher has remote access and control of the teacher computer, as well as any computer in the classroom.  IPADs allow teachers to create, design and give lessons, monitor progress, and stay organized. There are numerous Apps designed by Apple that include interactive lessons, study aids, and productivity tools.  The web, photos and videos are easily accessible.  Many of the science text books are now available from IBooks.  As a result, using the IPAD and Apple TV, the videos and animations imbedded in these texts will be used in class.
  2. New screens (because of the wider view being the standard projection) and
  3. Projectors for the science classrooms that did not have ENO Interactive White Boards.
  4. One document camera and two blu-ray players were also purchased to be shared.

Phase III would allow for

  1. Six more document cameras (Document cameras are is capable of capturing stills or video of any object, process, or function in the classroom.  The digital output can be seen in real time by students or be captured for viewing at a later date, or even posted to the web.  They are ideal for allowing the class to visualize science demonstrations in all subjects as well as digitizing images through the microscope with the proper adapter.)
  2. Five more blu-ray players (so HD, blu-ray and streaming are an option for access of current and future multimedia), and
  3. Some additional apps to be purchased.

The initial experience and success of the science department in implementing the use of the new technology has created a compelling reason for expanding its use. The High Tech, Interactive Classroom will enable students to “learn better and faster with multimedia, multi-sensory, multidimensional lessons”.

Current Learning Process.  Traditionally these demonstrations are performed by the teacher at the front of a class room containing about 25 students.

Students are asked the following questions for each reaction:

Describe what is happening in the demonstration (list qualitative observations).
List the indicators that a chemical reaction is occurring.
Identify the type of reaction occurring and predict the products that will form (this is done together as a class).

The test tubes used for the reactions are small, and it is VERY difficult for students to observe what is happening in each reaction.  Previously, the teacher would walk around to each student with the test tube, but by the time the tube got to the last student, the reaction would have already gone to completion.

Reaction tubes must be carried from student to student – which prevent simultaneous observations by all students. (Note: reactions done in fume hood are not walked around.)

The Samsung Document Reader will be attached to the projector at the front of the classroom.