August 9, 2012

Bringing science to life — finally!

Filed under: myscilife,Teaching and Learning — Candace Hackett Shively @ 12:56 pm

Bringing science to life.

If you’d like to see what happens when middle level students are turned loose to learn in a social learning environment for science,  peek into MySciLife.

Finally, after two years of work, scheming, and dreaming, we have launched the MySciLife science learning experience that began as a brainstorm between Ollie Dreon, Louise Maine, and me one snowy day in early 2010.  Our  proposal became a finalist in the MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competition 2010 but unfortunately was not funded. You can see the full description of our dream here. (Since the original proposal, we have shifted away from the online tool we thought might work and have instead adopted Edmodo as our platform — at least for our pilot.)

Enough history.

This week has been amazing. The kids in our pilot “Boot Camp” went crazy with MySciLife. Browse through the public stream (scroll down to the bottom via “see more”  to see the beginning of the modules as students introduce themselves) of all their identities throughout the week. Here are some intriguing or creative excerpts of their work/play as they take on and “live” science identities in a safe social learning environment:

A “Rock Band” video from one of our California groups.

A rock tour from the kids in Wisconsin.

We have seen metacognition, curiosity, student-generated learning activities, constructive and constructionist suggestions, humor, creativity, deep thinking, and some marvelous social interactions between students in 5 locations throughout the U.S. To paraphrase a popular Tshirt, MySciLife is good.

PS: One of many learning moments for all the teachers:

Even though we TOLD students to give image credits, it was not until we demonstrated it and made them go back to add the credits that they grasped what we meant. We therefore were not able to share some of their posts in the “public” stream because they have not completed the citations yet.



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