New Directions

 

As we continued our Biology Workbench efforts into teacher education, one of us (Bertram C. Bruce) identified a chain of use, which must not be broken if a technology is to be incorporated into teacher education.  This chain includes at least the following:

  • Teacher educator needs to understand and value the technology for her or his own use.
  • Teacher educator needs to see the technology as one that can be “taught.”
  • Technology will not survive long in teacher education unless it is taken beyond the college classroom to the school.
  • Finally, the technology must be one that students can use and learn from.

Although this chain is a simplified one, one consequence of insight about this was to see how the Biology Workbench is being integrated into high school biology curriculum.  So, we decided to collaborate and cooperate with a high school biology teacher. (This classroom study is now part of an ongoing Ph.D. dissertation research by Jo Williamson under the guidance of Bertram C. Bruce.  A paper about this research will be presented at the Internet Research 2.0 Conference.)

Another instantiation of this chain of use began at the November 11 workshop held at Beloit College and directed by Sam Donovan and Kathy Greene.  Present were teacher educators, teachers, and students.  One of the participating teacher educators (Dr. Johnson, who is also a high school teacher) brought a fellow teacher and a student from her high school class.  On February 26, we (Sam and Kathy) directed a workshop for student teachers at the University of Wisconsin, using similar materals and directing discussion about relevant teaching and learning issues.  In April and May, one of the student teachers in that methods class, Ms. Anderson, was student teaching in Dr. Johnson’s classroom.  Under the supervision of Dr. Johnson, and in consultation with Sam and Kathy, Ms. Anderson designed and taught a complete HIV unit that drew heavily on bioinformatics and Biology WorkBench.

Summary of field notes and data collection from UW methods course
Collaborative curriculum development with Hillary Anderson

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