Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Online Anatomy?

Harvard X started a new course today...AnatomyX.

This course is covering the musculoskeletal system by using a case study approach.  You will have 5 patients to diagnose and treat while learning about muscles and bones.  The course is geared towards the general public and is free--are you curious enough to check it out?

Here is the challenge for my students:
Take the course.
I will use your progress average at the end of the six weeks and count it for our second six weeks assessment, assuming you want to use the grade. They are covering what we are covering, and "they" are Harvard. If you can pass a Harvard course on the muscles and bones, you certainly don't need to take a test in my class! 

Even if you don't like the course or want to continue after you start, you have nothing to lose. Check out online learning from one of the best schools in the country.  

PS, I am taking it too - bonus points for getting a better grade than I do :)

Image from edx.org 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Create Your Own Project

Day 1 - What do you want to learn?
Day 2 - What do you want to do with what you learn?
Day 3 - Today...

Today was awesome. Kids have amazing ideas on how to improve our world.  I really wish more educators would let them create their own pathway and learning objectives.  Or maybe I wish more politicians or decision makers would let us determine what is best for our kids in our classrooms.

Today we looked a the project last years students created, Health Without Borders in iTunes U.  We determined the pros and cons of creating an online course in iTunes U.  We discussed designing and creating things that have not been created yet and what the needs of society really are. We tweeted with TEDMED about how we imagine a healthier world.  FOUR students were added to the TEDMED Imagine Mural!!

See the full tagboard of tweets here!
We looked at ways to improve the health of our community and tried to come up with ideas of how we can tie in what we are doing in class to global health issues.  We thought of ways to help kids in developing nations break the cycle of poverty and hunger.

These are a few of the ideas from my classes today in our brainstorming.  We will revisit all the ideas tomorrow and students will decide which project they feel most strongly about and create an implementation plan and timeline.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Science Transformations

This summer I worked with the fabulous Casey Helmick and TASA to create courses in iTunes U for science educators across the nation.

Our purpose:  To create free, transformative teaching resources for science educators.  All content is aligned to our TEKS, or state standards.  I worked on 6th, 7th, and 8th grade science, Anatomy and Physiology, and Principals of Health Science. Last year we created the Biology course, which was updated this summer.

Download the courses to get some new ideas for teaching science this year! 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

PBL Planning

Day 2 of design your own syllabus continues...

I started with the question, "Which do you think is more of a global health concern, starvation or obesity?"  They overwhelmingly chose starvation.

Next, we revisited the questions they posed on the first day that revolved around diet and nutrition. They had some pretty awesome questions and things they wanted to learn. These are all student generated questions to the question "What do you want to learn in Anatomy?"

Next, I asked them to come up with some project ideas on one of these topics.  I find it interesting that the majority of their ideas are focused on decreasing the obesity epidemic, while over 70% of them felt starvation was a bigger concern globally.  Do they think starvation is a bigger problem, but obesity is easier to solve?  I have a guest speaker coming in next week, someone who did a TED talk on malnutrition and obesity issues so we will see what information he provides to give them more knowledge on the subject.

Here is our padlet wall of project ideas...

We will revisit these after our guest speaker and start putting ideas together on how we can impact society with our knowledge.  Once we have a few big ideas, we are going to talk to Sarah Weldon of the Oceans Project to hear what she is doing to help improve society on a global level and see if she can inspire and challenge us to think bigger.