Biology + technology = biotechnology?

The thing is, having been a biology teacher for some 17 [eek!] years, I have seen a lot of changes in syllabi and curricula with respect to incorporating new aspects of biotechnology.  But I am noticing a massive shift, much more recently, in the use, application, relevance and importance of actual information technology in my biology classroom.  The more I learn, the more I realise I have to learn.  This is both exciting and daunting at the same time.

Let me elaborate….

It used to be, not so very long ago, that preparing a powerpoint presentation including images and even videos, was considered quite progressive.  Nowadays this is not only passe, but considered poor teaching.  Booking a computer lab for students to research infomation on the web is almost unnecessary, as they show up to class with laptops at the ready.  Watching dated videos is a thing of the past.  Even many “wet” labs are being replaced with bigger and better online simulations that allow students to manipulate and control a wider range of variables.  This saves lengthy experimental set-ups, clear away time, and the inevitable inexplicable results that ensue.  I am reminded here of that old science teacher adage “If it smells, it’s chemistry.  If it moves, it’s biology.  If it doesn’t work, it’s physics.”

Back to the point…

So, with students who are tech savvy, it is vital for teachers to keep up – or at least attempt to keep up – with the latest technology out there.  I feel the need to learn how I can improve my teaching using all these exciting new tools.  I find myself ready to adapt lessons I have taught 17 times before, and bring them into the 21st century.  So in my classroom, biology and technology will become the new biotechnology.

This led me to conduct some research – again – the internet at my fingertips and within 10 mins of searching I have links to several wonderful websites and the opportunity to expand my PLN (shameful new term name-dropping).  Here is one of the more interesting posts I came across.

 http://onceateacher.wordpress.com/2009/01/28/blooms-taxonomy-20/

I like this blog  for what she has to say – and there must be some kind of deeper connection as I chose the identical theme when setting up this blog.

To conclude then, not only can my learning about teaching biology through the use of technology improve my students learning, it can help me grow to. 

This is fun.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Biology + technology = biotechnology?

  1. Great thoughts, Nadine. Your thoughts on technological relevance really resonated with me. As teachers, it seems we must constantly be adapting to new IT in order to remain relevant. And yet, one does not want to jump on to every technological “bandwagon” that comes rolling past. It’s almost difficult to know where to start and where to concentrate those efforts. But blogging is certainly a good start!

    – Mike

  2. Kate Klingensmith

    As a former biology teacher, I completely know what you mean about the need to keep up with technology in the classroom. Unfortunately, those of you who teach don’t have very much extra time to completely overhaul your delivery methods and your curriculum (if you had that choice, in the first place). It is a great idea, if not a vital one, to share with and learn from others. I’m happy that you found something useful on my blog!

    Here’s another biology teacher doing amazing things: http://blogging4biology.edublogs.org/

    Also, my life has been transformed by Twitter. I’d say that it’s the center of my PLN. It can be difficult to get into, in the beginning, but it will be worth it from all of the contacts you will make and resources others will share with you. Here’s a great directory of education-minded people you can connect with: http://www.c4lpt.co.uk/socialmedia/edutwitter.html

    Keep up the good work!!

  3. dickinsonn

    Kate,

    Thanks so much for the comments. I have only just begun to connect with other like-minded teachers through blogs, and already my universe is exploding with possibilites. Exciting times!

    Nadine

  4. Twitter… I was thinking I wasn’t going to bring that up in our course, but we may have to, now that the cat’s out of the bag.

    I’m personally very on-again, off-again about twitter. While it helps me find so much useful stuff, it’s voraciously parasitic about my 84.600 seconds a day. For anyone concerned about the impacts of excessive “multitasking” and the risk of addiction, twitter will provide rich fodder for discussion.

  5. contej

    We share similar ideas Nadine on science education. This is opening up a new world where we can talk with teachers in our field.

    I’m just seeing if I can link my site here.
    http://contej.wordpress.com/

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