present the visual learner with pictures, videos, and interactive websites.
The teacher’s verbal explanation of
various scientific phenomena, along
with sound clips from the Web, are
likely to engage the auditory learner.
The teachers can invite those students who find kinesthetic learning to
be most effective to physically draw
on an interactive whiteboard to help
reinforce a model. Although this can
also be done on paper, the interactive
whiteboard is more engaging, and the
student gets to be “teacher” and thus
In addition, when students share
information with the whole class,
the teacher can help guide a discussion to clear up misconceptions.
When students make errors or indicate that they don’t understand, the
errors are simply wiped away. Finally,
students can walk away with audio
files they can listen to or notes on
paper. This multimodal input serves
to make classroom science material
more accessible for students with
We have found that the use of interactive whiteboards is intrinsically motivating for students of all ages. For many,
the novelty of the technology itself
The University of Colorado’s Physics
education Technology page contains
interactive science simulations such as
this one, which demonstrates how different
types of molecules form a solid, liquid,
or gas. Users can add or remove heat
and watch the phase change.
www.iste.org/making I Thappen
Congratulations to these
Ed Tech Leaders,
awarded jackets by the
Virginia Society for
Technology in Education
ISTE is …
Thank You to the
Making IT Happen
generates curiosity. Students enjoy
the ability to participate more actively
in class. The fact that the technology
responds to them in ways that traditional classroom presentation formats,
such as blackboards, LCD projectors,
or displays, do not is compelling.
The ability to move, change the
color of, and resize objects, as well
as introduce many different kinds of
digital files engages middle school students. They enjoy using the technology so much that it can be an effective
tool for developing critical thinking,
learning to follow directions, and even
doing drill-and-practice exercises.
Finally, many students have a comfort level with digital environments
that allows them to become the experts in using the interactive whiteboard. This creates a sense of ownership because it draws on student
interest in digital media as well as a
common interest in technology.
—Mette Schwartz, PhD, is a middle school science and math curriculum and instructional
coach for the Medway Public Schools in Medway,
Massachusetts. She designs science curricula and
supports the implementation of both science and
math curriculum at the middle school level.
—Joan Thormann, PhD, is a professor at Lesley
University in the Technology in Education program. She teaches a variety of courses, including
one focusing on technology and special needs,
and is writing a book about online learning.