[WWWEDU] Re: I learn best when ... Part 2
- I now learn best in a knowledgenetwork, in a group of people of various
abilities out of the school systems templates, and into the world of knowledge,
with people steeped in various subjects.
They may know their stuff, I know the classroom. I learn what they can share
I am not ashamed of being a teacher, or being the one coming to the
knowledge. I have been a member of CILT.org and work in various groups where I am able
to participate by learning within the group. I bring knowledge from the
classroom, and learn the content. I used to be ashamed to have not gone to the best
university, or college, but in the mentoring in workshops and initiatives from
NSF I have grown to be accepted , and I learn a lot. Sometimes I think we "
diss" teachers in the classroom. We stay there for years.
People often ask how the Internet affects teaching and learning. The answer
for those interested in oceanography is straightforward: It does so by
offering resources that couldn't be obtained through any other means. These projects
could help school districts provide better learning experiences for teachers
and students at all levels.
Are those who criticize the use of e-learning aware of the extraordinary
offerings by groups such as Marco Polo
, NCTM, NSTA, NASA, NOAA, National Geographic, and the Lucas Foundation?
These websites illuminate the ways in which the research community can have a
profound impact on the classroom environment.
For example, some groups on the Internet offer excellent curriculum and trip
scholarships to teach oceanography, a rare and valuable resource for those who
live inland without access to the ocean.
The Gulf of Maine Aquarium
The Gulf of Maine Aquarium has remarkable resources for environmental
The use of new media takes oceanography education to the next level,
surpassing the experience of reading a book or watching a movie.
"Educate, Convene, Research, Build!" exhorts the GMA website. "Turning
Passive Listeners into Active Investigators."
JASON Expedition: Disappearing Wetlands
Dr. Robert Ballard offers wonderful project-based learning with this
resource, extending the reach of technology to help teachers around the world. The
JASON project creates pathways to science as well as learning pathways for
The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC)
According to SERC's website, "This project is dedicated to increasing
knowledge of the biological and physical processes that sustain life on earth. SERC's
interdisciplinary research applies long-term studies to examine the
ecological questions about landscapes of linked ecosystems, especially those impacted
by human activities. SERC scientists use an experimental approach to discover
mechanisms regulating the structure and dynamics of the environment."
This is my favorite fieldtrip near my school. We love the exercise (not to
mention the crab lunch!), and the children are motivated to write wonderfully.
On a recent trip, we snared some of the books on the Chesapeake Bay, as well as
recipes and maps. It made us so much aware of the area, and the ocean.
In addition to the teacher guide, SERC also provides a student workbook:
"Students Exploring the Chesapeake." This 55-page student workbook can be used for
pre- and post-trip activities and includes information, activities, and
puzzles on SERC environmental research, estuaries, the Chesapeake Bay, watersheds,
fish, blue crabs, oyster-bar communities, plankton, food webs, weather, water
quality, and salinity. A hardcopy is available for a small fee. It truly is
the tailored curriculum of every teacher's dreams.
Earthwatch is a great resource that offers teacher scholarships for
involvement in related projects. Sea Turtles of San Croix is a definite favorite.
According to a recent Earthwatch press release, "Teachers from California,
Florida, Massachusetts, Maine, Mississippi, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Utah,
Vermont, and Washington, and ten countries will venture to the vast wetlands of
Brazil’s Pantanal, Kenya’s Samburu District, the Washington State’s North
Cascades, and other points on the globe during July and August to work with leading
scientists on Earthwatch conservation research projects.
The U.S. participants, forming teams with colleagues from Australia, Belgium,
Canada, Ghana, Japan, Portugal, and Switzerland will map and monitor
endangered ecosystems and the impacts of human activities on wildlife habitats. Upon
return home the international teams will share lessons learned locally through
activities with students and workshops with colleagues."
A surefire way to get students of all kinds working in science, math and
technologies, or engineering is to create media resources that draw their
interest, involvement and time commitment. Learning becomes incremental instead of
These are just some of the ways in which new technologies are making a
difference and offering teachers wonderful, free, and accessible curriculum.
bbracey at aol com
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