Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Chromebook-powered Learning in High School Biology and Environmental Science

Janine Perry teaches high school Biology and Environmental Science at Casady School in Oklahoma City. This year, Mrs. Perry has utilized a cart of Chromebook laptops to expand the menu of ways students can deepen and demonstrate their understanding of concepts studied in class. In this sixteen minute audio interview, she explains how her students this year used Google Drawing documents to create virtual posters of “bio and geo chemical nutrient cycles.” These included cycles involving sulfur, nitrogen, carbon and oxygen, and phosphorous.

In addition in the interview, Mrs. Perry explained how beneficial Google Classroom has been for her students as well as for her as a teacher, providing reminders about assignments as well as opportunities to provide timely, typed feedback on student work. Senior students have told her they appreciate having all their course materials and resources available digitally in a single location, through Google Classroom. In the interview, Mrs. Perry also describes how she uses both Kahoot and Quizlet Live to engage students in lively, focused review sessions about course vocabulary as well as concepts. She finds Quizlet Live particularly useful, since it empowers her to easily regroup students in the course of a review session in class. She also discusses how she is helping students create digitally interactive science journals using the online platform SeeSaw, and gaining deeper insights into student mastery of course concepts. Students in Mrs. Perry’s class have particularly enjoyed the opportunity to learn through virtual labs in class using the Explore Learning Gizmos website, as well as the virtual simulation website 3rd World Farmer. Please take a few minutes and listen to this outstanding interview with Janine Perry, either on the Opinion website or on YouTube.

Two other websites Mrs. Perry uses extensively for her biology and environmental science classes, but were not mentioned specifically in the interview, include The Howard Hughes Medical Institute “Biointeractive” website and resources, as well as Anneberg Learner’s website learner.org. Mrs. Perry particularly likes the “click and learn” lessons on the HHMI site, and uses these for a lesson on trophic cascades. Learner.org has a good carbon interactive lab that she uses with environmental science students.

Students at Casady School are richly blessed by the opportunity to learn with and from amazing educators like Janine Perry! It is inspiring and exciting to learn more about the innovative and engaging ways she is helping our students learn more deeply and meaningfully about biology and environmental science!

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