March 2010

Literature on Technology Integration in Science Learning

I just finished reading a recent paper by Marcia Linn and her collaborators. The paper (see reference below) talks about the effect of technology on science learning and especially about the Knowledge Integration Framework for Science Teaching and Learning. The idea of the knowledge integration framework is to look at the science instruction in terms of big ideas and how they can be applied across different science units. In addition, they look look at science teacher preparation in terms of the integration between the curriculum, pedagogy, and professional development.

It was interesting to find out how the researchers DISTINGUISH between different kinds of inquiry-based science teaching/learning and especially between inquiry-based and active science learning. We often include different types of active learning under the inquiry-based learning/teaching, yet it is inaccurate, which gives rise to people having very different data regarding the effectiveness of science learning. I also found the steps for Knowledge Integration Process to be very useful:

1) Elicit ideas

2) Add new ideas

3) Develop criteria for evaluating ideas (this is in my view is often missing)

4) Sort out ideas (this is also often missing)

Marcia Linn developed a WISE project – the Web-Based Inquiry Science Environment – it is free and based on what I have read, it is used by thousands of teachers all across the world. WISE focuses on making the invisible visible using computer simulation and allowing the students to test their ideas and engage in science in an active and inquiry-based way. Check it out.

To check the WISE project please click here.

To learn more about Marcia Lin and her WISE project, please see this video:

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Lee, H.-S., Linn, M. C., Varma, K., & Liu, O. L. (2010). How Do Technology-Enhanced Inquiry Science Unit Impact Classroom Learning? Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 47(1), 71-90.

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