List of Online Tools for Distance Science Learning (OpenSciEd & Inquiry Hub)

Teachers using OpenSciEd & Inquiry Hub materials have assembled a Google Sheet with a variety of online tools and how those tools might be used by science teachers during distance learning. There will most likely be several tools you have heard of but it’s possible that there may be ways of using the tools that you haven’t implemented. I’m assuming that even teachers who don’t use the OpenSciEd and Inquiry Hub materials will find some useful nuggets here…and perhaps will want to learn more about the root materials.

NOTE: This is NOT a list of science content materials (videos, simulations, etc). This is a list of digital tools with recommendations for how to use those tools with students engaging in rich NGSS-designed science learning.

You can access the Google Sheet HERE.

Indigenous Education Tools

Indigenous Education Tools is a growing site (check back for new resources often) that offers teaching tools and resources that address the “root causes of inequities for Native children and families, and by supporting the development of innovative successful educational pathways.”

A few highlights of the current resources on the site include:

  • A set of short briefs in the style of STEM Teaching Tools that dig into topics in education of Indigenous peoples:
  • A set of videos led by leaders in Indigenous education. See interview with Michael Tulee below as an example:

  • A set of Learning Materials (from ISTEAM) based around Water, Food, Birds and Plants. Everything on this site is powerful but I find these materials to be the highlight for me personally. These materials highlight well-crafted activities and also provide models of what well-designed learning activities might look like when designed for Indigenous learners. See the set on Water below:
  • Online workshops to engage in asynchronously

I also highly recommend adding @IndigenousSTEAM to your Twitter feed so that you can stay on top of the latest from this group.

Reopening K-12 Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic- A Report

The National Academies Press recently released a consensus report titled Reopening K-12 Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic. This report is FREE and can be read online in your browser or downloaded as a pdf. You will also be able to purchase a hardcopy eventually if you wish.

I know that several school districts have already “made the call” on what school will look like in the fall of 2020. But this report could be used to support the decision to stakeholders and to use as a guide for future decisions. This report also provides support for how to reopen schools safely.

Here is some text from the report describing what the academies do and why it’s important- especially right now:

As we discuss in this document, the research on the spread and mitigation of SARS-CoV-2 is expanding rapidly, leading to greater clarity on some topics while also pointing out new areas for investigation. Guidance documents for schools and districts are emerging at breakneck speed. In July 2020, opinion pieces are dominating the news media landscape, many of them staking out positions on either side of a “to reopen or not” debate and making bold claims about what is “safe”. The politics of the moment are ablaze: one need only scan the headlines of U.S. newspapers to uncover the ways in which the politics around the question of reopening have overshadowed the scientific evidence.

The National Academy of Sciences (now expanded to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine) was chartered by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 to meet the government’s urgent need for an independent adviser on scientific matters. Our organization is founded on the principle that independent guidance based on scientific evidence is essential for making sound policy. Development of that guidance needs to focus on interpreting scientific research without political influence: essentially, independence is necessary to ensure the integrity of the guidance. Further, as the committee refers to in the Epilogue of this report, we know that evidence and data do not provide policy direction on their own: evidence and data must be interpreted, and these interpretations are never neutral. For this reason, the consensus study process at the National Academies demands that multiple perspectives are brought to bear on the available evidence: while “neutrality” is never possible, including multiple perspectives at the table can support an interpretation of the evidence that reflects the concerns of multiple constituencies and is as independent from individual bias as possible.

Learning from Dr. Ibram X. Kendi

IMG_5043I’m assuming that many of us in education and science education are spending time this summer digging into (or revisiting) Dr. Ibram X. Kendi‘s book How to be an Antiracist. In future posts, I’ll share some of my thoughts and learnings from the book and some connections I see with science education. But for now I just wanted to “introduce” Dr. Kendi for those who may not know of his work.

Below you will find links to a variety of online resources that range from short appearances on talk shows to podcasts and webinars. While it’s impossible to summarize the depth of Dr. Kendi’s work in a few words I think in education a good start is the idea that it’s not enough for us to be not racist…we need to be actively antiracist and thoughtfully interrogate curricula, assessments, policies, procedures, discipline structures, (and so much more) in our educational systems.

A. Dr. Kendi on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

B. Dr. Kendi on the Armchair Expert podcast with Dak Shepard

C. Dr. Kendi on a recent 1-hour online workshop (this link may expire in a month from posting)

FREE Chapter: Toward More Equitable Learning in Science

Screen Shot 2020-07-10 at 12.54.41 PMThe National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) currently has a FREE chapter from the book Helping Student Make Sense of the World using Next Generation Science & Engineering Practices. This book is a compilation of chapters from multiple authors. The FREE chapter is Toward More Equitable Learning in Science by Megan Bang, Bryan Brown, Angela Calabrese Barton, Ann Rosebery, and Beth Warren.

The chapter lays out 3 Principles for expanding meaningful learning opportunities in science:

  • Principle 1: Notice sense-making repertoires. Attend to, listen to, and think about students’ diverse sense-making as connecting to science practices.

  • Principle 2: Support sense-making. Actively support students in using their sense-making repertoires and experiences as critical tools in engaging with science practices.

  • Principle 3: Engage diverse sense-making. Engage students in understanding how scientific practices and knowledge are always developing and how their own community histories, values, and practices have contributed to scientific understanding and problem solving and will continue to do so.

I think that some of us as science teachers might look at these principles and say, “Yes- I think I do that.” OR “I’m not sure what this means exactly.”

This chapter uses three vignettes to clarify these three principles that are crying out for examples.

Not sure how long this chapter will stay on the NSTA site as a FREE download so grab it now.

Equity & Diversity Resources Pt. 1

I know that a lot of educators are digging into books on equity and diversity this summer. Here are a few resources that have been key in my personal journey as a white male looking to become more culturally aware, equity-focused, and anti-racist. I will keep adding to this list. I’m aware that many excellent resources are currently not included here. I’m not trying to make an exhaustive list on this first post- but instead providing a ‘playlist’ of the resources that I’ve used personally and that feel like good starting places for others.

TITLE Overview Author Link
Culturally Responsive Teaching & The Brain THE book on culturally responsive teaching. Provides tools and strategies to dig into CRT. Clear discussion of how a lack of CRT affects students. Zaretta Hammond Click HERE
Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People Describes the Project Implicit implicit association tests. Discusses how we all have unconscious biases (even ones we don’t want) and how these may affect us. Makes the case that we must confront and think about these “mindbugs”. Mahzarin R. BanajiAnthony Greenwald Click HERE
For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…and the Rest of Y’all Too Provides stories, a framework, and strategies for effectively teaching urban students of color. Lots of wisdom here. Christopher Emdin Click HERE

My Statement to My Fellow White Folks

The horrific murder of Mr. George Floyd, caught on video for all to see, is a graphic and disturbing reminder of what communities of color have had to navigate for centuries. While we absolutely must seek justice for the Floyd family we cannot stop there. This moment must be bigger than that.

For some white folks it is more comfortable to conceive of this event as the result of just a few “bad apples”. This is the result of a system that clearly needs reform. By the way- all of our systems need reform. From education to health care and beyond- people of color experience a different reality from what I experience as a white man navigating the same systems.

I’m so discouraged when I see white folks in my community, online, and on TV who just don’t believe or don’t accept the experiences of people of color.

I believe people of color when they share about their multiple negative encounters with the police.

I believe people of color when they share their experiences of walking down the street in America.

I believe people of color when they share what it feels like to be monitored and followed when shopping in a clothing store.

I believe people of color when they describe how they prepare their sons and daughters for that inevitable encounter with a police officer.

I believe the teachers of color who fear losing their jobs after continuously speaking up about injustices in their school.

I believe my former elementary students of color when they describe the low expectations (and worse) that they have experienced in our school systems K-12 and beyond.

I believe my college students of color when they describe their experiences navigating relentless biases and prejudices in and out of school.

I believe the data on the difference in health outcomes that people of color experience in our hospitals.

I believe the white woman who doesn’t want her black husband going for a run here in my own community because she fears for his life. He runs near his work in Tacoma instead.

I believe the woman of color who didn’t want her young son to ride his bike home this past Monday because there was racial profiling happening in her neighborhood. She picked him up in her car instead.

I believe my wife when she decides to not have some of her staff come to her workplace this week when there was a militia of heavily armed white men just a few blocks away. I believe that she felt afraid for their safety.

I believe it is time for us as white folks to step up. The case has been made. People of color are pleading with us to finally act. I also believe that many people of color are beyond exhausted with us. We need to stop being silent. We need to stop expecting the oppressed to be the only ones to fix the very systems that oppress them. WE need to fix this!

Climate Science Assessment Tasks

The Phenomenal Assessment site features three assessment tasks created for the Climate Science Proviso which has provided climate science education funding in Washington state. You will find an elementary task, a middle school task and a high school task.

Elementary: Comparing & Critiquing Energy Sources grade 4

Middle School: Analyzing Patterns in Wildfire Data

High School: Climate Impacts after 1492

These assessment tasks are not intended to be solely used as summative assessments. Think about how you might use these as objects of study for your own professional learning and how these might be used as assessments WHILE learning. This site provides examples of ways that these tasks might be used in equitable and rigorous ways. See below:

Do-Talk-Revise

Reflect on Argumentation

Analyze Data

 

 

Online PD: How to Support Home-Based Science Learning

The STEM Teaching Tools team/site recently hosted a Zoom professional development session titled- ClimeTime Professional Learning Session: How to Support Home-Based Science Learning During School Closures…it’s a catchy title to be sure.

Click the link HERE to see the presenters, goals, and resources. The video is embedded below. Enjoy!

Climate Clock

Screen Shot 2020-05-05 at 1.56.43 PMI’m assuming you are coming to grips with a global pandemic and the introduction of murder hornets. So there is no better time to add on by sharing the Climate Clock. This site features a real-time clock that displays the total global warming to date, the time left to a 1.5 degree celsius increase, and the tons of CO2 emitted.

This is a powerful image to have projected while presenting information on climate science to students, adult learners and/or the community. Could be interesting to have learners discuss why these metrics were selected to be a part of the clock. Enjoy!