Medical illustrator, David Bolinsky presents a fascinating 5 minute TED Talk showing the bustling life inside a cell via animations. Often students are introduced to the cell in a compartmentalized format, not allowing the student to visualize and really comprehend what is going on inside of the cell. During this 5 minute TED Talk, David Bolinsky shows powerful animations of cellular mechanics. The slides are part of a long-term project with Bolinky’s Team and Harvard’s Biovisions. I encourage all science teachers to view this TED Talk, and consider showing this to their students when introducing the cell. After viewing these animations, students are more likely to have an internalized view of the way a cell works, and its components. Students will find out how life really works, and the truth and beauty in the biological sciences. During my Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) teacher training workshops with life science focus, teachers work in small groups to design and build models of cells using readily available, recyclable materials, etc. that model the “real-life” function of the specific organelle. For example, using a “battery” to represent the mitochondrion etc. No food materials are permitted in the making of the cell models. For more information about the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) K-12 teacher training workshops I offer worldwide check out my teacher training website here.
With science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) being on the forefront of transforming education in our nation it is no wonder that we are seeing an increase in the use of technology in K-12 classrooms. The use of technology in the early childhood classrooms is on the rise as well. Childcare Exchange had a great article by Ann S. Epstein, Director of Curriculum Development at High Scope on the use of technology in the early childhood classroom, and its effects on young children. For the most part, the effects are not positive. The use of modern technology in all classrooms is a wonderful component, but should be used in moderation, and appropriately. Many parents are relying on technology to keep their young children occupied for hours versus children partaking in outdoor activities. The use of technology in the classroom, and at home is often limited to computers only, there is so much more technology out there to bring into the classroom and within the home for learning experiences. During my science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teacher training workshops I introduce preschool through high school teachers to the vast array of technological devices that can be used in the classroom effectively. In STEM education, the use of technology can be any type of tool, such as a traditional ruler. Students are using a tool to obtain quantitative data. At the early childhood level inexpensive and readily available technological tools can include: rulers, levels, magnifying lenses, eye loupes, simple microscopes, mini digital illuminated microscopes, digital microscopes such as the Zoomy Microscope, Nabi Junior, IPAD, digital cameras, and of course the computer. I encourage early childhood teachers and all the grade level teachers I conduct science and STEM teacher training for to incorporate reflective journaling on a daily basis within their classrooms. There are many software and application programs available to help in creating digital science and STEM journals. Personally, I prefer the traditional black and white composition journal. In closing, the use of technology in the early childhood classroom, and at home is great to aid in enriching the learning experience, but choose when and how much exposure will the young child have access to when it comes to traditional “screen time.” For more information on the early childhood through high school STEM and science teacher training workshops check out my website drdianateachertraining.com here.