As a 7th and 8th grade science teacher, I'm always trying to find new technologies, better labs, and online labs for my students. I'm curious to see how other middle school/high school teachers are using web 2.0 in their classrooms to supplement the current science standards.

Tags: middle school science

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Just a caution. Many online activities masquerade as science labs but are not. See America's Lab Report (just Google it) for an excellent definition. Basically, a student science investigation (lab) must involve collecting data from the "material world" using the tools and techniques of science. You'll find tons of simulations out there. None fit this definition.

Does that mean that you shouldn't use any simulations in your classes. Of course not. However, it does mean that you should not ditch your real labs and replace them with the simulated fake labs.

Many disagree with this attitude. However, essentially all of them have not read and understood the aforementioned report from the National Academies that was written by some of our best science education thinkers.

So go ahead and use social networking tools and all of the rest. Just restrict your simulation usage to supporting learning science content. Allow enough real lab time so that students have ample opportunity to learn about the nature of science, to develop scientific thinking skills, and to appreciate the complexity and ambiguity of the work scientists do. In a phrase, let them be scientists.

I teach 7th and 8th grade science. I know this is an old posting, but I was also looking for new technologies to use in my classroom.   I have been using Edmodo this year and my students really seem to like it.  I wanted to find out if anyone had other websites/programs that they had been using this year that were working well.  I also use the PHet simulations with my students. Thanks!



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