Carol Burch Entergy MST 2011-2012


ISTE 2011 proved to be a turning point in my teaching and use of technology to support student learning in physics. There I learned about using a Smart pen to record narrated and animated "pencasts" in science classes. I immediately bought a pen and by the end of the summer a physics wiki was under construction. As the school year unfolded, near daily wiki building efforts were invested to ultimately build a 55 page plus comprehensive resource for my students. The primary features are LiveScibe pencast HW hints and tutorials and posting of daily SmartBoard class notes for easy access. The wiki also has links to simulations, quality resources, assignment details, schedules, and much more. it was used by all students, most of the class at least once per week, many each day.

I completed additional math coursework that I found to provide technical language and math situated examples that I could then show the application to physics. I feel more confident in bridging math and physics ideas and skills, and have been able to efficiently work with students to develop strategies to solve more difficult problems. I also completed my coursework and exam to earn NYSED Math 7-12 certification late in the fall.

As a result of the math focus, found myself using more math examples within RSP9 activities trying to help work on sills and show that math is used in the real world, not just the isolated math classroom. PD in STEM Statistics through NASA will bring statistics to both of my classes int he fall, making data analysis more realistic for physics students, and statistics concepts hopefully more interesting to my RSP9 students.

I have also experienced a fundamental shift in thinking about planning projects and activities this school year. Between having a small fleet of tablet laptops mostly provided with Entergy MST funds IN MY CLASSROOM and new skills in PBIL, more critical thinking activities were incorporated and more skill building projects were planned. Physics students really enjoyed the remote sensing multi media project and commented how they developed all the needed skills to work independently and more skillfully on the final biophysics project at the end of the school year. They will head off to college knowing how to record and edit sound, how to story board for planing, and the proper citations and fair use of materials found ont he internet. They also can plan and produce videos that are purposeful and well done. I think that they now have skills that will; be useful as they transition to college.

Climate change has been the topic of focus in my professional life this year and expect it to continue. Geospatial thinking using Google Earth, My Word GIS, and the NASA WorldWind Change Viewer tool all engage and challenge students to think more deeply about Earth systems, the interconnectedness of environmental issues and pressures, and the connection to human life. I look forward to continue work on this topic over the summer to have a full 2 to 3 month set of modules for RSP9 that include Common Core objectives and standards, provide an opportunity to use more math in an engaging context, and to make a strong connection to ideas of climate change.