Category Archives: Science Teaching With Technology


When the batteries die, break out the crayons

This is a cautionary tale about what happens when educational technology fails. Of course, tech breaking down is nothing new, but reliance on technology in a 1:1 learning environment introduces some complications that you might not have thought about. Not so long ago, I would have ranked myself up there on the list of folks who knew how to do educational technology pretty well. I had Read More →

Creating Google Sites for Student Portfolios: A Shared Biology Portfolio Template

I’ve received some requests recently to share the biology portfolio that I use with my students. Here’s a quick note about how to use my template to set up a Google Sites portfolio for students to use.   In experimenting with student-managed portfolios, I’ve found it best to create a Template Site that students can use to create their portfolio. If you have a set of standards Read More →

NSTA13 Presentation slides.016

NSTA 2013 Slide Deck: Assessment in the Modern Science Classroom

I’ll be giving a short presentation later this week at the Denver Regional NSTA meeting about how (and why) to use portfolios for assessment and evaluation in science classrooms. For those of you who like to mark up slides during a talk, here’s the set of slides (pdf link) that I plan to use. They’ll make a little more sense with some dialogue to accompany Read More →

Deck Bench Plans

Moving from Lecture to Live Discussion: Replace Lecture Slides with Image Search Results

I’ll get to the point of this post in a bit, but first, if you’re wondering what I’ve been doing this summer, here are some pics from my deck construction project in my backyard: Aside from bragging about my deck, there’s a point about learning to be made here. How did I “know” how to build this deck? Was I born a carpenter? Certainly not. Read More →

AppleTV menu, composite video

Why I abandoned my AppleTV for Airserver

In which an Apple fan chooses a cheaper alternative for sharing iPad screens. Simply put, there are times that I need to show content-related stuff to my class so we can engage material as a group. Call it lecture, call it discussion, call it whatever you like. When I first started teaching, that consisted of a chalkboard and my lame drawing skills. These days I’m Read More →

iPads in Anatomy

iPads in the classroom: a review of my 1:1 deployment so far

I’m going to return to my roots as an edtech blogger for a moment and recap this past semester’s iPad deployment project, so those of you used to reading my notes about SBG will have to wait for the next post. Let me begin by saying that this project would not have been possible without Erik, my district’s technology guru and grant writer. He was Read More →


Blogging in the Science Classroom: The Worksheet is Dead

One of the major changes that I made this year was to switch to using individual student blogs as the centerpiece of student assessment (the other major change was to implement standards-based grading). I started using student blogs for a number of reasons including: I was tired of grading worksheets with the same copied answers on them. I realized that these worksheets weren’t always helpful Read More →

This blog used to be about technology: what happened?

To celebrate my (belated) 1 year blogoversary, I went back over the year’s worth of posts just for kicks. The biggest trend I saw over time was more blogging about assessment and less blogging about 1:1 and edtech issues. Why the switch? I think that the technology became so ingrained in what I do in my classroom that it is essentially invisible right in front Read More →

Using blogs for student and teacher accountability

Everyone has their panties in a knot these days over accountability.  Much of the arguments hinge on test results and data interpretation but there’s a better way to approach the issue.  I’ll argue here that there is an easy way to make both students and teachers accountable for the learning that happens in our classrooms: publish everything you do online. Make it attractive, make it Read More →

Student blogs of the week 9/19/10

This is the second installment of my “student blogs of the week.”  What follows is a hand-picked set of my student’s blog posts that I think are great examples of the learning that is happening in my classes this past week.  I’ve chosen them for their content, style, and the tools they use. This weeks anatomy and physiology posts worth viewing are from Nikki who Read More →

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