The Changing World
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The Changing World
Good online resources for teaching a unit of work on natural disasters aligned with Stage 5 Earth and Space component from the Australian Curriculum
Curated by Melanie Tan
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Plate Tectonics

Plate Tectonics | The Changing World | Scoop.it

This site can support teaching and learning as it is from ScienceWeb Australia and supports the Australian curriculum. This resource provides various units of work, supported with resources, lesson sequences and even activities. For teaching, having a variety of resources at hand is great, as then you can alter and change them accordingly in order to cater for your students’ ability.  

Melanie Tan's insight:

This resource was selected due to the number of supporting resources that were on the site. As a pre-service teacher, having a sequential lesson timeline for a unit of work is helpful especially when going out to teach at schools. I plan to use this as a starting platform for forming lessons and getting inspiration for various activities. The activities can then always be changed to suit the topic or if you can make the activity better. 

 

Strengths:

- Large number of resources

- Greater number of activities allow for teachers to formulate more engaging activities

- Lesson plans available 

 

Weaknesses:

- Rigid Structure

- Bases a lot on technology working within the classroom 

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Climate Change: Coral Reefs on the Edge

Climate Change: Coral Reefs on the Edge | The Changing World | Scoop.it

Teaching and learning is supported through addressing the issue of Climate Change, specifically relating to the effect on coral reefs (e.g. Great Barrier Reef). Climate change is under the branch of global warming and is often further debated into class through the use of Science as a Human Endeavour outcomes. Students’ learning incorporates social justice principles in helping students to consider other perspectives other than their own. Teaching is further supplemented as the video can be used by various class abilities and it caters to even university level. 

Melanie Tan's insight:

I selected the resource for its informative value. There is plenty of information jam packed within it. Although the whole resource is too long, I think that it is worthwhile to allow students to watch snippets of the video that is relevant to the topic they are learning. I plan to use the resource as a stimulus or concluding video to sum up the unit, as it shows students how the carbon cycles can affect the acidity of the water and also then affect the underwater ecosystem. However, if there were also relevant short clips from the video which explain a certain area of a topic. This could also be of use. The resource is also from a credible site, Education Services Australia, which aligns digital resources to the Australian Curriculum.

 

Strengths:

- Higher levels of student engagement

- Relevance

- Local environments effected

- Very informative

- Shows how systems on Earth are interrelated 

 

Weaknesses:

- Time consuming  

- Some concepts are above the level of students 

- ICT can be time consuming to set up 

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Tectonics Investigator: Earth’s Structure Scootle

Tectonics Investigator: Earth’s Structure Scootle | The Changing World | Scoop.it

This site could support teaching and learning as it identifies the large concepts which contribute to the Earth’s structure within the Earth and Space component of the syllabus. There is a focus on earthquakes and seismic stations. Hence this could be relevant within a natural disaster unit.  The resource is also from a credible site, Education Services Australia, which aligns digital resources to the Australian Curriculum. 

Melanie Tan's insight:

The resource was selected as it is able to be slotted into a unit easily regarding the Earth, more specifically earthquakes and the internal structure of the Earth. There are multiple uses such as a teacher could use it at the start of a unit to test the students’ prior knowledge on the topic, or even as a concluding informal assessment. It is also a bonus the fact that there is an option of printing out a report of the students’ performance on the activity, which would then be used for later use. Then again teachers could use the same activity before the unit and after the unit as an indication of students’ learning. I would plan to use it as a starting point to establish students’ prior knowledge on the unit. 

 

Strengths:

- Use of ICT

- High engagement

- Assesses content knowledge

- An alternative way of assessing, instead of the traditional ‘test’ approach

- Is not time consuming 

 

Weaknesses:

- Does not promote inquiry based learning

- Unable to alter what is being assessed

- Can only be used as a form of assessment (not flexible)

- Content assessed cannot be altered by the teacher 

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Underwater Fountain

Underwater Fountain | The Changing World | Scoop.it

Science by Email initiative from CSIRO is very useful, as this allows teachers to be up to date with the latest science news and also be provided with resources for experiments and activities such as the one provided through the link. With the additional resources, teachers can then support students’ learning and teach with a variety of activities to improve student engagement. The activities are described to use everyday materials and explain the science behind the experiment in language that students may understand better. It is also important to know that this initiative is free. 

Melanie Tan's insight:

I selected the resource because I find the relevance of the explanation of the science concept of thermohaline currents. The explanation is very simple, and when paired with theory, students’ understanding is further promoted. I find that doing practicals when possible to explain to students how concepts work is worthwhile. This could be due to the fact that I prefer a kinaesthetic learning style approach. However, while doing practicals it is important to allocate roles to each student, so that the work is equally distributed. I plan to use this as a practical to demonstrate the thermohaline currents where the concept is when water is cooled it sinks down to the warmer water and flow out below this warmer water, which results in currents deep in the water. This resource can be used as a practical for a lesson, or even a demonstration done by the teacher depending on how much time is available within the unit. 

 

Strengths:

- High level of student engagement

- Hand on/Practical activity

- Promotes understanding

- Kinaesthetic learners

- Promote collaboration

- Relevance 

 

Weaknesses:

- More time required to plan for materials to be ready for the lesson

- Students may utilise materials to do things other than the required experiment 

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Tsunamis

Tsunamis | The Changing World | Scoop.it

This site is very informative with a video, and also various activities that could be done before, during and after the video viewing. The activities can be utilised as a guide of what teachers could do with this online resource, however it does not restrict the teacher to use it a certain way. Student learning is support by the presentation of the resource being a video, the relevance of the video in regards to the Japanese tsunami and also the tsunami that affected Indonesia in 2004. The relevance allows students to realise what triggers a tsunami and the consequence of a natural disaster such as a tsunami.  The resource is also from a credible source, Behind the News at the ABC Network.

Melanie Tan's insight:

I selected the resource due to the credibility of the source and also the video prompted me to think about students’ engagement levels. Within a class the engagement level is relatively important, without engagement the students will not listen or understand the concepts you are introducing. The resource also links well into the Stage 5 Earth and Space portion of the syllabus. It also links into a Science as a Human Endeavour outcome. I plan to use this as an introductory activity to the topic of tsunamis due to the relevance of the video describing the tsunami which devastated Bali. 

 

Strengths:

- Promotes student engagement

- Not too long

- Demonstrates the relation between tsunamis and how it may affect society

- Relevance

- Incorporates content knowledge of plate tectonic 


Weaknesses: 

- May be difficult to set up especially without ICT available

- Videos could present issues of accessibility (particularly students with a visual impairment) 

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