QuarkNet at ISE Blog
Submitted by ShaneWood
on Thursday, June 30, 2016 - 15:45
After summer travel and my regional QuarkNet meeting I am finally home for a few days. I am gearing up for the new school year and ready to integrate the things I learned at ISE into my curriculums.
I really appreciate the opportunity I was given to attend ISE in Greece. Each day we were presented with inquiry based education ideas and online resources we could use in our classroom. Each of the attending teachers were to draw up a new lesson and use some of these resources. I enjoyed using Celestia for my new lesson. I look forward to integrating it into my class. I hope to be able to improve my lesson once I present it to my students for the first time. I also value having access to the many new lessons from the other teachers in the workshop. We deposited our lessons on the Open Discovery Space which is a rich resource for teachers (http://portal.opendiscoveryspace.eu/ ). Many of the topics presented by the teachers are applicable to my classes.
The international aspect of the workshop was amazing. I always find it so enriching to talk with people of various cultures. Getting to know more QuarkNet teachers and other physics and astronomy teachers from Europe and Portugal was a great experience. With modern communications and transportation, the world seems a little cozier and I can embrace the uniqueness of each culture and individuals from all over the world. Programs at CERN exemplify this.
Best wishes to everyone for a wonderful new school year!
I met some great teachers at ISE. I was able to take mental breaks through outdoor large scale chess games with John. My wife and I enjoyed the company of Peter and Sandy many times at meals or on excursions. I got tips and suggestions from Larry and Warren and Joe. I just gave a one and a half hour presentation Monday at our annual SMU QuarkNet get together on ICE that seemed to be well received. It was a fabulous opportunity and I was glad to have been able to be there. I look forward to using what I've learned with my students and fellow teachers.
I would like to thank Quarknet for this amazing experience! I learned so much at the ISE workshop through the lectures on astronomy and the differences of the European approach to inquiry. It was very interesting talking with European, and the American, teachers about the different approaches to teaching we all make. As American teachers, we take for granted all of the resources that we have readily available to them. Talking with one Greek teacher, he didn't touch any lab equipment until he reached the university! One very neat experience during the workshop was a virtual tour of CERN through a teleconference. A big take away for me was the friendships and connections that I made throughout the week. I am so grateful for being able to participate in this week!
Pictures of the John Bardeen's Nobel Pizes in Physics
As I'm sitting here at my local QuarkNet workshop and a week away from seeing students again I am reflecting on all that I was able to do and learn at the ISE Summer School in Greece. We obviously had a great time running around Marathon and Athens while we were there but the most important part was what we learned (although that doesn't make for great photos).
The focus of the week was Inquiry Based Learning. The European system for inquiry seems to be much more structured. The inquiry system breaks down every lesson/activity into five disticnt sections: orienting and asking questions, hypothesis generation and design, planning and investigation, analysis and interpretation, and conclusion and evalutation. These five sections have since been condesed down into four sections, however I think the original five are just fine and match up with the resource I will introduce later. At the end of each section a series of questions are posed to the students. All of these questions are technically correct but are designed to show varying levels of understanding; low, middle, and high. A low level understanding gets the basics of the lesson being taught and how that information applies to the experiment/activity at hand. A high level of understanding demonstrates not only an understanding of the content being presented but also its implications outside of the experiment/activity; for instance, effects on the enviroment, government, etc. Before attending this summer school I had not seen and inquiry lesson so structured, nor a set of questions with all correct answers.
We spent a good amount of time working on the Open Discovery Spcae website which allowed us to examine and create inquiry lessons within this five section format. It doest take a bit of time to create a lesson within this template, however you are able to access any published lesson that someone has contributed on this site. This is a great resource for anyone trying to bring more inquiry into the classroom.
If you are interested in the Open Discovery Space website you can find the link here: http://portal.opendiscoveryspace.eu/search/site
For information about creating your own lesson on the Open Discovery Space website you can find the information here: galileoteachers.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/.../ISE_Teachers_Guide_2015.pdf
Good luck to you all as we reach the end of our summers.
I'm back home in Hawaii following the amazing workshop in Marathon, Greece; finally back in swing with the local time zone.
The workshop was amazing - I have lots of ideas for projects and resources to pull them off. Our hosts were excellent. And lots of amazing conversations and idea-sharing with fellow teachers from around the world. It was a lot of fun hanging out with teachers as passionate about science education as I am. I also had the opportunity to see some of the sights.
We had a wonderful week at the European Summer School program called "Discover the Cosmos." Presenters from all over Europe gave talks about current technologies that can be used to present material to our students in new ways. Marge Bardeen from Fermilab even presented some Quarknet tools that we Americans have been using all along.
I observed that the European teachers have to plan their lessons following certain prescribed protocols just like we do. For example they needed to include "asking inquiry-based questions" according to a certain format. This format was foreign to us. We American teachers had trouble understanding how these questions would improve student comprehension. I could relate it to a time when my district required all teachers to use a new method of classroom management, although I had no problems with classroom management. I was glad that we were able to find resources that we could use to improve our science teaching without having to adopt all the European standards. It was interesting to see that all teachers, European and American, have to deal with the same kinds of political intrusions into our jobs.
In talking with teachers from various countries I was glad that I teach in the USA. Many teachers in Eastern European countries have no say in where they teach. The Government assigns them to a school and they just have to move to that city to teach there. Often the curriculum is prescribed by the government and no change is allowed. Teachers had no say in what they taught and how it was to be presented. We Americans have a lot more freedom to create the best learning environment for our students.
I cannot believe this week is coming to a close. This is my first (but certainly not last) visit to Europe and I’m very thankful to Marge Bardeen and all of QuarkNet staff for this opportunity. Not only have I had the opportunity to meet wonderful European teachers, but also many new faces from the United States.
Today it is presentation day!! Everyone from the Discovery of the Cosmos Summer School created a lesson plan (aka scenario) in the Open Discovery Portal and shared what he or she has been working on. Many great ideas have been shared and many excellent resources collected for the upcoming year. This has been a wonderful experience and a highlight of my professional career.
Totally awesome week of science and community!!! So much was provided in terms of access to technology supporting our teaching, other teachers' methods and activities, and resources creating exciting experiences for our students, not to mention the facilities and cultural opportunities.
I'm really excited to share what I learned with a number of other teachers at my school, and can't wait to see the impact it has on the level of participation among the kids.
If I can get it to work, I'll attach a couple of shots I took on our group field trips.
Thanks again so much to everyone who created and participated in the incredible opportunity.
Greetings all! Just wanted to drop a line and tell everyone what a great trip this has been. It has been a real privilege to meet and work with all the other teachers here not only from the states but the other countries as well. You know, you spend so much time in the classroom by yourself, doing the best that you can, you can forget that there are a lot of other people out there in your same boat that can become some great resources.
I did learn a lot from the seminars and will be bringing that knowledge home to see if i can make it work. I also look forward to the day when Angelos gets his augmented reality apparatus on the market. That was amazing and I can see that becoming a big seller. Our presenters were wonderful and I would have loved to be able to observe them in their natural classroom settings. Rosa was truly wonderful to learn from, her enthusiasm for astronomy was contagious. I actually loaded stellarium on my computer and intend to find a way to use it in my physics classroom.
I would advise all to apply next year to come. Not only were the seminars great, but the introduction to Greek life was eye opening. Last night they had a fair well dinner with live music and authentic greek dancers. I have 3 left feet so I stayed on the sidelines but really enjoyed watching my fellow americans get into the swing of things. Proof positive that some americans really do have rhythum!
We have been fortunate to see the Temple of Poseidon and have dinner on the beach in its shadow. At night, when it was all lit up, it looked truly like it was a home of the gods as it was surrounded in light yet floating in the black sky. Our trip to the acropolis was humbling. In the states we think a building a couple hundred years old is worthy of protection. Yet there, standing in the ruins thousands of years old, one realises the true meaning of time. Our republic is but a blink of an eye to this wonder. After leaving there we had a wonderful dinner in downtown Athens. I can't tell you where as I was lost the entire time. But we did walk down a street full of tourist shops that called to us. I used to think Disney was a master of separating you from your money, but they have nothing on Athens! :)
well, tomorrow we fly home. It has been a pleasure and a priviledge to be here. Hopefully next year i will get to read your blog about your time in Greece.