Climate Change
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BBC - Science & Nature - Climate Challenge

BBC - Science & Nature - Climate Challenge | Climate Change | Scoop.it
A game where, as president, you must tackle climate change and stay popular with the voters.
Kathryn Christensen's insight:

Comment – ‘Climate change challenge’ is an online game where the future is in the players’ hands. This website is produced by the BBC and caters to more able students and would be excellent as a higher order thinking game and extension activity. The player takes on the role as the president of the European nations and their mission is to tackle global climate change.  This resource draws on students own ideas and beliefs on what the best way to tackle global warming is. Students are able to put their own ideas and values forward in the game without the fear of being judged or scrutinised by their peers or the teacher. In the classroom, teachers can utilize this online game by allowing students to access it. It requires that students spend some time really getting in to the character.  The game allows students to make choices and then examine the effects of those choices. In effect it models real life and also examines values and attitudes as they relate to Science. Students would then be able to better appreciate the reason choices are made and the consequences of those choices. Students may propose alternatives and discuss the role of science in providing information which may inform and lead to technological advances in the future.

 

Justification – Having the game designed so that the player takes on a role could promote engagement with students as they may feel as though there is a greater sense of purpose to the activity. As mentioned previously, games and simulations allow teachers to put students in environments which contain the information they need to know, allows them to take risks without fear of mistakes, allows them to try new things and engages students. It allows the shift from teacher centred to student centred learning as students access content in ways which are not possible in the basic teaching practices like direct instruction. This activity also provides a direct cause and effect relationship from their choices which is not readily seen in real life. Students can therefore see the benefits of using simulations and models in science. Limitations can then be discussed. This activity is also excellent for students as an extension activity as it requires students to think and make choices using the information provided. The game also allows for discussion where students can discuss the outcomes of the game and critically analyse and evaluate the choices they have made.  This could further lead to creating their own solutions to some of the choices that society must make to combat global warming. In essence this activity allows for higher order thinking in a safe and non threatening environment. 

One downside to the game is that it takes a considerable amount of time to understand how to play the game properly. You have to sit through a fair bit of reading and waiting, which for school students could disengage them. If they are impatient they may skip the instructions and go straight to the game, without understanding the concepts needed to play the game successfully.

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Climate change | ARKive

Climate change | ARKive | Climate Change | Scoop.it
Climate change refers to man-made changes in our climate. This fact file includes information on both the causes and the effects of climate change, the species affected and what you can do to help.
Kathryn Christensen's insight:

Comment – This informative webpage could be used by teachers as a source of gathering information on the topic for themselves to implement in their teaching of the topic. The site provides information which the teacher can use to produce worksheets and activities for the students. These activities could include cloze passages and other literacy related worksheets. For comprehension activities the teacher could select a relevant passage followed by a set of questions. Students need to read the passage and extract information in order to answer the questions. Another way you could use the resource is by getting students to view it for themselves and do the same task. This site is also very useful for implementing group work where student groups select an animal and become experts on the effects of climate change for that animal. The groups research their animal and prepare a presentation for the class thus sharing their knowledge. They also prepare a summary sheet on their animal, flowcharts, maps and posters. The use of computers in the class room would lead to greater engagement and less able students, if in an appropriate group would benefit from learning with peers. This would be task which would encompass more than just knowledge. Students learn how to present information to an audience and learn how to gather information from secondary sources.

Justification

I selected this site to include a more mature resource that could be used for students in stage 5. In terms of teacher resources, this site is a good source of information for the teacher to have while planning lessons and preparing worksheets and activities. The images are also high quality and could be used in presentations or printed as stimulus material for students. The site also has related topics which are easy to access and from a teacher’s perspective would save time as you would not need to search the web again for information on these related topics which are virtually available at your fingertips on this website. The website also provides targeted age groups for the material and links provided, thus ensuring that the information is relevant to the stage of learning the students are at.

If getting students to view the website for themselves, the length of the text could be daunting depending on the individuals’ literacy skills. This could cause disengagement with certain students and an unwillingness to complete the task of extracting answers from the passage. This is where having the teacher select the relevant information to include on a hand out could be useful so that students are not faced with a mammoth amount of reading... just the relevant aspects.  On the other hand the images and information on the endangered animals is excellent and at a level that students would be able to access.  This information would be sufficient for all students and more able students would be able to use the links to access more information and images

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Global Warming - None Like It Hot!

once and for all
Kathryn Christensen's insight:

Comment- This short clip from a popular TV show ‘Futurama’ clearly and simply explains the basics or global warming and then gives some unusual and fanciful solutions to the problem. There a many ways that this short but powerful clip could be used in the classroom. For example, the teacher could show the clip to students as an introduction to the topic of global warming as it is easy to understand, students get a visual of what is happening and as it is in itself a cartoon could generate more engagement. Another way that teachers could use this clip in the classroom is by getting students to assess the accuracy of the information presented in the clip. This could be done towards the end of the topic as an informal assessment of the students learning. The teacher could delegate groups and each group needs to assess the accuracy of the clip and then present their ideas to the class. During the presentation the groups could have access to the clip, so when they need to talk about the accuracy they could pause and explain. It could also be used as a way of increasing the student’s scientific literacy skills. The teacher could explain global warming in scientific terms, then show the clip once, then re-watch the clip and pause it at certain points and explain in scientific terms what it is explaining so they can see the relationship.

Justification - I believe that this clip is a great way to get students interested in what they are learning as many students would be familiar with the TV show and would love a chance to watch it at school. This would help promote engagement of students as it would make the learning more relatable and relevant to their lives. Another strength of the resource is its simplistic explanations.  If the clip was used as an introduction to the topic the students would quickly understand the basics of global warming in simple terms, understanding which they can build on as the topic progresses. The end of the clip gives a fanciful solution to global warming which provides students an opportunity to come up with their own solutions to the problem. If used as an assessment of the accuracy of the explanations the students can assess whether the solution is plausible or not and can then give their own ideas on a solution to global warming. The fact that it gives a visual representation is yet another strength demonstrated in the clip; this would be useful for visual learners who need that representation to really connect the concept with what is actually happening.

Overall, this short but powerful resource can be used in the classroom as ‘teaching in disguise’. Students sometimes need to hear information in different forms to understand or appreciate it and this clip, with its simplistic and contemporary nature allows for just that.

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Case of the Warming Planet

Mr. and Mr.s Cool hire the 'Rain or Shine' Detective Agency to investigate why winters are getting shorter on summers are getting longer.
Kathryn Christensen's insight:

Comment – This resource allows students to take on the role of a detective in researching the case of the warming planet. It could be a great resource for teachers to use with students in stage 4 or 5. It is a way that teachers can incorporate ICT in their classrooms. It can be used as a form of informal assessment of student learning after the concepts have been taught. Students can then go on and test their new found knowledge in a fun and engaging way. This would reinforce what they have learnt over the course of the topic and allow students to be exposed to the information in different forms to help cater for the different types of learners you may have in your classroom.  The website provides further games and activities which include an alternative transportation game, CO2 effect, climate change puzzlers, weather and climate eco quiz, causes of climate change eco quiz, wildlife and climate eco quiz, effects of climate change eco quiz. These activities can provide extension material to students who are able to work quickly. This keeps students engaged and on task and allows them to explore at their own pace areas that are of further interest to them.

Justification- The website is engaging as the students enjoy being detectives and using their skills to solve real life problems. The fact that it is a game leads to better engagement for students who enjoy playing games on the computer.

Edutopia (2010) raises an interesting point, in that, games and simulations allow teachers to put students in environments which contain the information they need to know, allows them to take risks without fear of mistakes, allows them to try new things and engages students more so compared to just sitting in a classroom. This is the real transformational nature of games and simulations in the science classroom. It allows students to access the content in ways in which are not possible in the basic teaching practices like direct instruction. The students are able to manipulate things, see direct cause and effect of their choices and also explore things that they cannot within texts. This creates a more authentic learning environment for the students as they are able to see connections between the content and the real world more easily. The website also allows for differentiation as there are more activities related to the topic which can be explored

Weakness – The game displayed quite small on the screen, could be hard for students with eyesight problems. Students  

 

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NASA's Climate Kids :: Carbon's Travels

NASA's Climate Kids :: Carbon's Travels | Climate Change | Scoop.it
Kathryn Christensen's insight:

Comment – ‘climate kids’ is an interactive website tailored for young people. This website is produced by NASA and as a consequence it uses quality graphics and imagery. The information is also reliable and current as opposed to less reliable sites such as Wikipedia.  The site provides an entertaining way for students to explore global warming on their own and at their own pace. This activity could be used in the classroom as a way of incorporating the use of ICT. Students could be given a lesson to explore the website and play the games included. It could also be used as a way of assessing the students literacy skills; for example, the teacher could set a task where the students need to explore the website and answer questions which the teacher has given to the students (the answers to the questions would all come from the website). This would give students practice in extracting information from a given source. By assessing the students’ answers the teacher would know which students struggled with the activity. This would allow the teacher to develop strategies for the students to help improve their comprehension abilities. The website also allows for differentiation of tasks so that lower ability students can work at their own pace on modified activities.

Justification – As mentioned earlier, the site is tailored to young people and is a fun way for students to explore on their own. The design of the website allows students to be in control of their own learning through the use of links added throughout sections, so when a student reads a paragraph that mentions something they may not be familiar with (e.g. rising sea levels) they can simply click the link and be directed to information about that. This gives students access to a broad range of information ‘building blocks’ that allows them to make their own connections between the different areas of global warming. This would allow students to get a better grasp on the concept being covered. The website also uses icons which can help students, with low literacy levels and students who may have English as a second language navigate the website.

Another strength of the website is that it allows the teacher to take on the role as the facilitator for learning as it is student directed activity as opposed to teacher directed. Student engagement could also be increased due to the fact that it is on the computer. The activity is more hands on and there are games and other activities to use, not just a website where they need to read information.  

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