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The Construct section of the cycle is where the students try and make meaning
of new information, where they process the new learning internally. Many of you
will be familiar with the work of Howard Gardner on Multiple Intelligences and
may be in a school where the students can complete or maybe already have
completed a learning styles analysis. In more and more schools, students are
aware of their own learning preferences – they know how they learn best and
they know how they learn less well. There is a wealth of information that is now
available on students from these learning style analyses – individual student
multiple intelligence profiles, information on the time of day that the student
prefers to work in, whether they want the room to be
light/dark/hot/cold/quiet/noisy/with or without food and water in hand. Take for
example the following set of data from a class of year 9 students at Cramlington
High School
Data shows the % of students with preferences in the following areas

Brain Processing             sequential 50            simultaneous 25

Thinking Style                      reflective 75            impulsive 0

Sensory Modalities           auditory (hearing)       listening 62
                             Auditory (external)      talking discussing 75
                             Auditory (internal)      inner dialogue 100
                             Visual (words)                   reading
                             Visual (external)        seeing/watching
                             Visual (internal)        visualizing/imagination
                             Tactile (touching)       manipulating/imagination
                             Kinesthetic (external)           experiencing/doing
                             Kinesthetic (internal)           feeling/intuition

Mobility             stationary                       movement needed

Intake               not needed                       needed

Time of day          early morning                           late morning
                                                      Afternoon
                                                      evening

Sound                quiet                            sound/noise/music

Light                bright light                     low light

Temperature          cool                             warm
Study area           formal                             informal/comfortable

Study groups         alone                              pair
                                                        Peers
                                                        Team

Authority            teacher                                    unsupervised
                     Parent

Motivation           self starting                      externally motivated

Persistence          high/systematic                    spontaneous/fluctuating
                                                        Low persistence

Conformity           conforming                         Non conforming

Responsibility                High/Strong                       low responsibility

Structure Guidance other-directed                               self directed

Variety                       routine                                  change-
oriented


What are the implications of being aware of this information? When would you
use it? Is it of any relevance?

Accelerated Learning, since it has been popularised in the late 1990‟s, has from
certain quarters, been on the sharp end of some criticism. To many, the theories
underpinning accelerated learning are a rehash of something similar that
appeared in the 1960‟s, which eventually died away and as a result has a bit of a
„fad‟ tag to it. One of the most vocal opponents to accelerated learning has been
a former Chief Inspector of Schools, who has consistently disliked the concept of
lessons which are based around the learning preferences or learning styles of
the students – describing this as irrelevant and guilty of getting in the way of
effective and efficient teaching and learning. Writing in The Daily Telegraph
12/09/2002:

„What exactly is a "learning preference"?..... Can, for that matter, anyone sensibly
deconstruct the notion of "learning how to learn"?‟……‟I have never been
convinced that we do, as individuals, have different "styles". It is more, I think, a
matter of different kinds of learning needing to be approached in a different way.
And, in any case, if there are 30 children in a class, no teacher, however
energetic, is going to be able to structure the lesson in terms of their personal
preferences.‟
There is real point that he makes there in that it is impossible to cater for all of
the multiple intelligence needs of every child, every lesson, and one should not
try to. I however do believe that we should acknowledge that students do have
different learning styles and that over the course of a number of lessons we
should ensure that students get the chance to learn explicitly in their preferred
learning style. In the same way we should also be explicit that students also need
to learn in ways they prefer less – that we want them to develop a range of
strong learning preferences and become well rounded learners.

Like many others, the former Chief Inspector of Schools believes that a good
grounding of subject knowledge is what we should be transmitting to our
students. The authors of this book however remain unconvinced that teaching 15
year old students about Ohms law or the half life of a Radioisotope will be of
benefit to many students (barring the few who make a career down these
particular paths) and believe that what may have been the right diet of learning
for a student a generation ago may not be the right one for this one. It can be
argued that this generation of schoolchildren bring a significantly different set of
qualities and experiences to their learning than those of previous generations
and this alone means we should constantly re-think what we teach and how.

There are pitfalls with adopting an accelerated approach, many of which the
authors of this book have seen or experienced. The first trap that teachers can
often fall into is that in an attempt to make the lessons multi-sensory, multi –
intelligence, the teacher has done so at the expense of pace, efficiency and
rigour. We can think of a lesson where the teacher was trying to teach an
accelerated learning lesson on ocean habitats. The students walked in to the
sounds of the ocean, with images scrolling past on the interactive whiteboard.
The students then went through a series of activities, each to hit a different
multiple intelligence muscle:
 – a guided visualization to imagine what it is like to be in the ocean „Close your
     eyes students and imagine you are a small fish in the sea, what does it feel
     like?, what does it sound like? What creatures can you see? Is there a food
     chain? How much sunlight gets through?
 – Interactive food webs – students were given different roles and had to
     organize themselves into a living food web
 – Reading – the students had to read a passage on ocean habitats and had to
     summarise the key points on a graphic organizer
 – Poetry writing – the students had to make their own poems on the ocean.

At the end of this 120 minute lesson, the students had certainly had fun and they
had flexed all of their multiple intelligence muscles but questions had to be asked
about the depth of learning reached and about the length of time that was spent
in class reaching this level of understanding. In this case the exercising of
multiple intelligence muscles was done at the expense of efficiency and pace and
rigour and there were lessons to be learned from this. What would have been
better would have been to put the students through one or two of the activities,
exploring the concept in more depth with perhaps some examination questions to
demonstrate their own learning.

If used intelligently, an accelerated learning cycle is a highly effective tool to
engage students and help then learn better. If it is not used in an effective way,
with efficiency and rigour kept firmly in mind then it could lead to lessons that
may be fun, but at the expense of valuable time that most teachers with a packed
curriculum to teach simply do not have. We acknowledge that students do have
different learning styles, and therefore over the course of a number of lessons we
will ensure that students get the chance to learn in their preferred learning style.
In the same way we are also explicit that students also need to learn in ways
they prefer less – that we want them to develop a range of strong learning
preferences and become well rounded learners. ICT has a big part to play in
helping students make meaning of often difficult scientific concepts. There is
unanimous agreement across the department that effective use of ICT has had
an positive impact on the level of motivation and participation in lessons, notably
from boys.
ICT can provide students with high impact visual source material for them to
interact with, provide virtual laboratories for them to experiment in and with
datalogging technology can really help put scientific enquiry at the heart of a
lesson.


Using ICT to Construct


Using ICT as interaction – inviting source material


Taking a Virtual Tour



Using other pupils work



Internet – news rooms –bbc world remember the tsunami!!

CD – Roms
Multimedia Science school
Online Video

Earthquake footage, landslide, movie clips, DVD ripping software, Ice Age,
BlackAdder, 100m hurdles, Buzz Aldrin on the moon.

Online photographs.

Google Image



Using ICT to create virtual laboratories – a playground for student thinking

Multimedia science school – diet analyser – design the perfect meal for Africa?

Crocodile science? – circuits


Every teacher must have experienced that sinking feeling as they drag the bulbs, batteries, wires
and . . . crocodile clips . . . out of the cupboard to 'do' circuits again this year. And then only to find
that half the batteries are dead, several of the bulbs got blown last year (when one or two of the
little darlings finally learnt how to put seven batteries in series and marvelled at how brightly the
bulbs shone, even if it was only for a short while), several of the clips have parted company from
the wires and . . . well, you get the picture. Doing the work, the thrill of discovery, the wonderful
discussions and hypothesising; it's all good stuff but we could really do without the logistical
nightmares.

Now, try it again, but this time in a 'perfect world' . . . the batteries never run out, the bulbs are
indestructible, there are always plenty of wires and connectors, the pack even includes all sorts of
extra bits and bobs like buzzers, variable resistors, LED's, and all of them work every time you
use them. And it's all totally free! It might sound a bit unlikely, but this is really a pretty accurate
description of a piece of really a pretty accurate description of a piece of software called
Crocodile Clips. On-screen tools allow kids to select basic pieces of virtual electrical equipment,
it's easy to connect these together by clicking and dragging virtual wires between the terminals
and the really nice bit is that when a virtual switch is thrown (it rocks when you click on it) the
virtual bulb virtually lights or the virtual buzzer actually buzzes. Nicer still, add another bulb to the
circuit and both bulbs light, but less brightly than before, just like in real life (assuming you found
the two bulbs that still work in real life).

As pupils become more familiar with the tools and strategies, there are teaching elements
available in the package which may help more able and older children to learn about typical
applications of simple circuits more independently. They describe and illustrate how the basic
elements of circuits are used in the world around us. The descriptions use fairly simple language
and the illustrations are clear. They cover topics from a very basic circuit, to series and parallel
connections to doorbells and dimmer switches.

There is also a quiz to act as a form of self assessment tool.

Of course there are limitations to teaching primary age children about electrical circuits in this
way. Just because it happens on-screen, it doesn't necessarily prove that it will actually happen
that way in real life.
However, establishing an idea on screen, where you can drag and drop the elements of a circuit,
change elements with a couple of clicks, and then test it out in real life might be a lot quicker and
easier than doing everything from scratch with the real McCoy. Bulbs blowing up and batteries
going flat might be a learning outcome you are happy to do without!

It is a piece of American software (though its ancestors are actually buried on British soil!) and, as
such, is aimed firmly at the American schools market. This piece of software (the free bit) is
intended for 'elementary' schools; there is another piece of software, (much more sophisticated
and definitely not free) intended for High schools.

Some of the language is in American English but this is a small price to pay for a simple, robust
and effective program for tackling circuit work in Primary schools.

OK, it might not be quite the 'perfect world' we would have wished for. Clearly there are
disadvantages in trying to teach pupils about circuits this way, but with a bit of careful bridging
between the real and the virtual worlds, Crocodile Clips may prove to be an extremely useful
piece of software for teachers in Primary schools who want to provide new opportunities for their
pupils.

This is an effective use of a computer for modelling events in the real world so you're supporting
the IT curriculum, but it's good science work, too. If you want to get in on the act, why not
download Crocodile Clips from www.crocodile-clips.com




Krucible

Virtual physics simulation laboratories for studying energy, forces and waves as
well as a real time graph plotter.




Using ICT to put scientific enquiry at the heart of science lessons.

Many of the activities now built into lesson plans include a high degree of
interactivity, which offer instant feedback – change this variable, you will see
what happens straight away.


Datalogging – Long experiments – leave them overnight. Over weeks
luminescence etc (seasonal impact). Ambiguous political statement – refer to a
secondary (standards) website. Good for doing the dull things.expensive.
Sure, kids need to be taught how to read a thermometer, but who in the real
world records temperature from a thermometer every 30 seconds?


Students are watching paraffin wax melt as heat energy is added. They can see a “real time” graph on a
computer screen of the temperature changes that are occurring as the wax melts. While watching the
changing shape of the graph and the melting wax, they are listening to an explanation by the teacher of the
energy changes occurring during this change of phase. The students are then asked to investigate whether
similar energy changes take place when the melted waDatalogging is the process whereby physical data
e.g., temperature, humidity, motion, pressure or light is collected using electronic sensors, which are usually
built in to a device known as a datalogger. The data is then downloaded from the datalogger and stored to a
computer or other hardware such as a laptop, personal digital assistant (PDA) or graphics calculator.
Specialised software programs enable this data to be displayed on a computer (or other hardware) in the
form of charts, graphs and tables. x solidifies.

The process of measurement and data gathering is a common feature of practical work in a school science
laboratory or as part of a maths or geography lesson. Datalogging automates this process so that tedious
repetitive tasks are removed and there is a stronger focus on the procedural aspects of practical work. More
specifically, datalogging may be used to:

        Record data accurately and instantaneously, i.e., in “real time”, in the classroom, science laboratory
         or on field trips
        Store data in the memory of the datalogger with a view to connecting it at a later time to a computer
         (or other hardware) for presentation, analysis and manipulation
        Produce a “real time” graphical representation of an investigation or experiment on a computer
         monitor
        Pause an experiment in order to add text to a graph to mark actual events within the experiment
        Focus on the development of students‟ scientific enquiry and higher order thinking skills such as
         data analysis, interpretation of graphs, result prediction and reflecting on the control of variables
        Enable students to repeat experiments several times due to the speed at which data is collected
        Collect data at different intervals, for a specified time or at a time of a particular event, such as a
         threshold of sound, temperature or light
        Promote collaborative learning
        Enable students with special educational needs to easily carry out and complete investigations




Benefits of data logging

  As events happen, results are instantly displayed on the screen, prompting
discussion.

   It is easy to measure rapid events and slow changes with accuracy.

  Software provides a range of aids for analysing and getting information from
data.

   Data can be stored for later use.

   It is easy to repeat an investigation.
                          Unit
                          1F Sound and hearing
                          2B Habitat


      Within KS2 the following units lend themselves to datalogging:


                          Unit
                          3F Light and shadows
                          4C Keeping warm
                          4D Solids, liquids and how they
                          can be separated
                          4F Circuits and conductors
                          5D Changing state
                          5E Earth, Sun and Moon
                          5F Changing sounds
                          6F How we see things
                          6G Changing circuits


ICT STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS

Pupils should be given opportunities to apply and develop their ICT capability through the
use of ICT tools to support their learning. Here are the statutory requirements to use ICT
in the science programme of study:

Key stage 1

Sc1 Scientific enquiry
Investigative skills
2g: communicate what happened in a variety of ways, including using ICT (for example,
in speech and writing, by drawings, tables, block graphs and pictograms)

Breadth of study
1c: Pupils should be taught the knowledge, skills and understanding through using a
range of sources of information and data, including ICT-based sources

Key stage 2

Sc1 Scientific enquiry
Investigative skills
2f: make systematic observations and measurements, including the use of ICT for data-
logging

2h: use a wide range of methods, including diagrams, drawings, tables, bar charts, line
graphs and ICT, to communicate data in an appropriate and systematic manner

Breadth of study
1c: Pupils should be taught the knowledge, skills and understanding through using a
range of sources of information and data, including ICT-based sources
Key stage 3

Sc1 Scientific enquiry
Investigative skills
2g: make observations and measurements, including the use of ICT for datalogging (for
example, variables changing over time) to an appropriate degree of precision

2i: use a wide range of methods, including diagrams, tables, charts, graphs and ICT, to
represent and communicate qualitative and quantitative data

Breadth of study
1d: Pupils should be taught the knowledge, skills and understanding through using a
range of sources of information and data, including ICT-based sources

Key stage 4 (Single science)

Sc1 Scientific enquiry
Investigative skills
2g: make observations and measurements, including the use of ICT for datalogging (for
example, to monitor several variables at the same time) to a degree of precision
appropriate to the context

2j: represent and communicate quantitative and qualitative data using diagrams, tables,
charts, graphs and ICT

Breadth of study
1d: Pupils should be taught the knowledge, skills and understanding through using a
range of sources of information, including ICT-based sources

Key stage 4 (double science)

Sc1 Scientific enquiry
Investigative skills
2g: make observations and measurements, including the use of ICT for datalogging (for
example, to monitor several variables at the same time) to a degree of precision
appropriate to the context

2j: represent and communicate quantitative and qualitative data using diagrams, tables,
charts, graphs and ICT

Breadth of study
1d: Pupils should be taught the knowledge, skills and understanding through using a
range of sources of information and data, including ICT-based sources
Children should be taught to appreciate why we use ICT in measuring, analysing and
interpreting data. The computer enables large amounts of data to be stored and displayed
in graphical form. But we also need to judge when digital sensors are an unnecessary
sophistication. For example, we can trust our senses in making simple comparisons.
Inexpensive testers will display spot readings, if that is all that is required. Teachers
should provide all these experiences, and discuss the choice of measuring device.

				
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