My name is Brian Desrochers and I am a certified Biology teacher for grades 7-12. I graduated from The College of Saint Rose with a degree in Biology Adolescent Education in 2013. Since graduating, I have taught at a public school for parts of two years before working at a charter school for two and a half years. I am currently taking a break from teaching to focus on completing my degree in the CDIT program at UAlbany. I am working as a pharmacy technician part time while working on my degree full time. I have an interest and passion for using media and technology in the classroom as a way to engage students, and help them make meaningful connections to the material being presented in the classroom.
My Topic and Purpose
My course is designed to help improve science instruction by helping educators find ways to help students read, use, interpret, and produce scientific data-intensive media. Data related media, such as graphs, charts, and visualizations, are extremely important for students to understand, especially as education moves more towards a student-centered approach of learning. My goal is to give educators strategies to help students interpret scientific media, and ways for them to produce it to help increase student understanding and develop critical thinking skills. Doing this will also help educators reach higher order thinking skills on Bloom's taxonomy. As education starts to identify that each course has specific literacies that are crucial to them, I believe that to be literate in science you must be able to read, use, interpret, and produce scientific data-intensive media.
By the end of this course students will be able to:
- Identify important types of data-intensive media
- Explain tactics to incorporate data-intensive media in lessons.
- Understand how to help students interpret/analyze data-intensive media.
- Create assignments based around analyzing and producing data-intensive media.
As technology and media becomes a larger role in students' lives and education, the need to be able to interpret, use, and produce media is increasing. Science is a content area where students need to be able to manipulate media but the media tends to be more data intensive. In order to be fully literate in science, students need to able to interpret and produce data-intensive media to create a deeper understanding of the curriculum. As a Biology teacher, I have seen that students struggle to understand curriculum when they can not properly interpret and create data-intensive media (charts, graphs, visuals).
If educators are going to help students become literate in science and critical thinkers, there needs to be a focus on using, interpreting, and producing scientific data. I believe doing this will increase student understanding of many important scientific concepts.
What is to be learned
Learners will be informed on how to properly select data-intensive media documents that will be relevant in the classroom. Learners will also be taught skills to help students better interpret these documents. The activities will scaffold up to show learners how to have students produce these data-intensive types of media. This will also show science teachers how they can reach higher levels of Bloom's taxonomy on a daily basis.
The learners this course would be most beneficial too are science teachers in grades 6-12, or pre-service teachers. This course could be used by any professional in the science field who wants to learn how to use science related media documents to get students to think critically about the world.
This instruction will take place in an online environment, so students of this course would need computer access and internet connection. The resources in this course will include, videos, documents/readings, and lectures. Participants will be required to apply what they have learned in the course through a series of assessments that ask them to apply the concepts to specific scenarios.
Exploring the Problem and Solution
Participants of this course will explore why media documents are a good way to connect with students' experiences and beliefs. Learners will be shown the importance of analyzing science media documents and how their interpretation and production can lead to increased understanding and higher order thinking in the classroom.
The main goal of this course is for science teachers to find new ways to incorporate data-intensive media documents into daily lesson, and have students interpret and produce these documents. Doing this will lead to increased understanding of scientific concepts and help students acquire skills needed for a rapidly changing data-intensive world. The skills learned in this course will also help educators reach higher levels of Bloom's taxonomy in their lessons.
Analysis of the Learner and Context
The Learners The Learners of this course will be either current teacher or pre-service teachers in the science fields. The course is designed for educators who are looking to help their students become more scientifically literate, or who are looking to enhance their students' abilities to read, interpret, and produce scientific media. Participants will already have an understanding of the media documents that are important in science, but this course will help them learn strategies to help their students better utilize these documents.
Learner Analysis Learners of this course will probably have a background in science education and it will be assumed that they will have an understanding of data-intensive media documents that are important for science literacy. The course will focus on giving learners specific skills to enhance interpretation and production of these documents among their students that align with Bloom's taxonomy. The course will show educators how utilization of these media documents will lead to increased student understanding.
Context for Instruction Learners will be asked to read text, watch videos, and create assignments that pertain to the skills being taught. Learners will be asked to reflect on the readings and videos that are assigned to develop an understanding of how these documents will be used in the classroom. The learners will be asked to create a lesson that incorporates analysis of scientific media documents, as well as an activity where students produce their own scientific documents. Learners will also demonstrate how these skills can help them reach higher levels of Bloom's taxonomy, and scaffold their lessons/units to cover all levels of Bloom's taxonomy.
This course will aim to teach educators how to help students better use, interpret, and produce media documents in science. After the completion of this course, students of the mini-course will have developed multiple skills to include data-intensive media documents in their lessons, as well as have students produce these documents to increase their science literacy. Upon completion students will be able to:
- Demonstrate and understanding of scientific literacy
- Identify appropriate data-intensive documents to include in daily lessons
- Explain how data-intensive documents lead to increased critical thinking skills
- Identify strategies to teach students data interpretation skills.
- Create an assignment where students analyze and produce scientific media documents.
Unit 1: What does it mean to be scientifically literate?
Unit 2: Selecting, Using, and Interpreting data-intensive media
Unit 3: Having students create data-intensive media
Unit 4: Creating a unit plan centered in scientific media
Map out the sequence of learning units and activities to achieve the defined objectives.