Saturday, September 21, 2013

Flying on a Jet Plane

I recently entered an essay contest for the National Science Teacher's Association. They were giving away 30 free plane tickets to their local conferences, and our science department was planning to attend the one in Charlotte on November 7-9. All I had to do was write a 150-word essay on what I wanted to learn most from the conference, and I won! Here's my entry.

"In Version 1.0 of my science classroom, I was relying heavily on a textbook and worksheets, with students passive for most of the class. In Version 2.0, I began to explore inquiry-based instruction, and had students trying experiments before we ever opened the book. The release of Version 3.0 has been jam-packed with improvements. I am using video tools and a YouTube channel to screencast lectures, explain lab procedures and even animate classroom supplies. Some of these videos have been part of “flipped units” where students pace their own learning according to what they need. At this year’s NSTA conference in Charlotte, I’m looking for ways to advance to Version 4.0. I’m envisioning a fully paperless classroom, synced with augmented reality, and gamified into a “Choose Your Own Adventure” experience for students. Version 4.0 is bold, uncharted, and just what my students need. Will you help me get there?"