If you are a K-12 science educator and you are not on Twitter… you may be missing out. Click HERE to see a guide for getting started on Twitter.
If you would like to see what some educators are talking about regarding the Next Generation Science Standards- click HERE to see the conversation of a recent NGSS Chat #NGSSCHAT (you do not need to have a Twitter account to view this)
Thanks to Fred Ende for capturing the conversation on Storify.
The AAAS journal Science has released a FREE special issue all about science education. You have to register for FREE access before you can download/view the articles- but it will be worth your while.
Click HERE to see the Table of Contents for the issue. For those of you (like me) who plan and conduct professional development for K-12 science teachers, there is an article titled Professional Development for Science Teachers by S.M. Wilson that could be useful. Enjoy!
Concord Consortium has a variety of excellent online interactives and simulations for K-12 science education. Concord Consortium also has a dashboard for using the Three Dimensions of the Next Generation Science Standards (Practices of Science and Engineering, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas) to select interactives. I highly recommend checking out the dashboard and the resources. Click HERE to get started with interacting with the Three Dimensions of the NGSS. Engaging with the dashboard is not only a helpful way of finding resources but also helps to illustrate how the dimensions of the NGSS might work together in instructional tools.
You will also find a cool printable “NGSS Fortune Teller” as a way to use a different form of technology to interact with these ideas.
I just purchased an “e-book” of the NSTA Reader’s Guide to the Next Generation Science Standards by Harold Pratt- and have given it a quick skim (about the time it takes me to consume 16 ounces of iced coffee). Here are my thoughts on the resource so far:
- Provides thoughtful advice for learning about the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the NGSS
- Advocates for learning and thinking about NGSS and starting small before jumping to full implementation
- Cautions us not to “hand off” the NGSS to teachers and expect them to implement
- Provides a framework, planning tools and resources to guide our thinking about implementation
- I wish that this was in fact a true “e-book” (iBook?) and not just a pdf. For example, there is a great list of existing resources on the NGSS, however, the resources are not hyperlinked (hello!) and therefore requires the reader to hunt down the links. NSTA could have created a very dynamic and user friendly tool with embedded video and links.. but they didn’t.
- It doesn’t feel like there is a lot new here (I could be wrong).. perhaps this could have been a FREE resource like the NSTA Reader’s Guide to a Framework for K-12 Science Education
Audience: This resource would be useful for district curriculum directors, science coordinators, science professional development providers, and teacher leaders.. anyone who is planning to make a plan on how to implement the NGSS.
Please let me know your thoughts if you grab a copy.
Attention all readers in the Puget Sound region- The Institute for Math & Science Education at the University of Washington is holding a Summit on K-12 Science Education on May 22, 2013. Phillip Bell (Framework for K-12 Science Education) and Andrew Shouse (Ready, Set, Science) will be leading the institute.
There will be two sessions- one at 3pm and a second at 7pm. Click HERE to view the full online invitation. I am unable to attend that evening so I’m hoping that many of you will be able to share your learning from the event
Imagine scientists attempting to describe their work to the public… using only the 1000 most common words in the English language. Well, that is exactly what is happening. A program inspired by Up Goer Five a strip by online comic xkcd (if you do not follow- you need to check it out) is promoting graduate students in science fields to attempt this challenge. Read a blog post HERE to learn more about the challenge and read the outcomes. Below is the winning entry by Yasmeen Hussain- note the scientific conference language versus the 1000 word challenge language:
Yasmeen at a scientific conference: I study the link between sperm chemotaxis and fertilization success. Eggs in animals such as sea urchins release chemicals that act as sperm attractants. Sperm use chemotaxis – that is, orientation towards the source of a chemical gradient – to find the eggs. However, it is unknown whether sperm chemotaxis directly contributes to reproductive success.
Yasmeen’s 1000 entry: I study tiny things that are man and woman parts of an animal. The woman part talks and the man part listens. The tiny things have a conversation so that they can find each other and make babies. Some man things are better at listening than others. I want to know if the man things that are better at listening are also better at making babies.
I think this work has implications for us in science education- How can we take vocabulary-rich and conceptually dense ideas and help students to explain them in everyday language?
The original plan was for the final draft of the Next Generation Science Standards to be released during March 2013.. well you may have noticed that the end of March is quickly approaching. According to the NGSS site, the standards will be released April 2013. I’ve heard “through the grapevine” that the more exact range is during the second week of April (8-12), 2013.
I’ve also heard rumors that the number of performance expectations has been reduced by about 1/3 since the last public draft. This sounds encouraging since I know multiple individuals and groups were advocating for a reduction in the number of ideas/standards.
Keep checking the NGSS site and I’ll post any news I hear as we approach the final release. And just for fun, below is a short video of Karen Ostlund discussing the 3 Dimensions of the NGSS.
National Environmental Education Foundation just released an educator toolkit titled: Using Technology to Connect Students and the Environment. This will be a perfect set of resources to get prepared for Environmental Education Week April 14-20, 2013. Check out the eeweek.org site for lots of other resources for getting kids outside to do some science.
Click HERE to download the toolkit.
Click HERE if you cannot see the embedded video overview below.
My copy of Design, Make, Play: Growing the Next Generation of STEM Innovators by Margaret Honey and David E. Kanter just arrived today. I’ve given it a good skim and started to read the first few chapters. So far, my impression is that any leader, curriculum director, teacher, professional development provider, policymaker, etc looking to better understand the design process (think engineering) will find this to be a useful read. This is not a book of activities or design challenges but a compilation of chapters and case studies from experts in STEM education. There is a chapter by Dale Dougherty discussing Make Magazine and the Maker Faire movement. Then Phil Bell and Helen Quinn (of Framework for K-12 Science Education fame) contribute a chapter on how designing, making, and playing relate to the upcoming Next Generation Science Standards.
Click there link HERE to preview a copy of Design, Make, Play on Google Books.
One aspect of the book I’m very interested in is the focus on designing, making, and playing versus a focus on “engineering”. Nothing against engineering per se, but engineering may conjure a very specific role/image/career path for many of us. Whereas the idea of designing, making, and playing seems applicable to all learners.
Let me know if you pick up a copy and want to do a “virtual book study” or just share some learnings. Enjoy.
Achieve and the US Education Delivery Institute have created a FREE guide to assist states in adopting and implementing the Next Generation Science Standards. I have only given the guide a quick skim but it looks like several of the included tools could be useful for regional agencies, informal science providers, districts, and individual buildings looking to move forward with NGSS in a thoughtful way.
The guide provides tools, resources, and protocols for building a strategic leadership team and guiding them through planning a successful implementation of the NGSS. Click HERE to download the workbook.