Author: Limor Ben shitrit Haimi
As an education technology integrator, I am more than happy to have the opportunity to teach my students online, even though I didn’t like the circumstances that led us to online learning – the Coronavirus.
The crisis hit us in the 4th-grade curriculum on animal sorting. A topic that the students and I love very much. Despite the Coronavirus, it was important for me to continue and promote scientific activities to my students. Due to the situation, I looked for more interesting tools for my students to be involved in the learning process.
I asked my students to observe. They took a deep look into their very close surroundings: shared with some information about their pets with their friends, searched for insects in their homes, listened to animals outside, took photos, etc.
The information gathered from the students was accompanied by watching various nature videos to define and characterize each species. Still, we lacked much information and examples to encompass all the material required by the curriculum.
I have accessed great sources of free information on the web from the “real world”: museums and zoos around the globe that are open for virtual visits.
- The Smithsonian Museum – National Museum of Natural History. Founded in 1910, it is one of the most popular museums in the United States and worldwide. In the museum, students could see vertebrates, invertebrates, and different species.
- At the Atlanta Zoo, students observed the lives of panda bears.
- At the Georgia Aquarium, students watched live through the webcam African Penguins and Jellyfishes, Sealion, and more.
- At the San Diego Zoo, students used the webcam to watch many species of animals: baboons, koalas and more.
I recommended my students incorporate movement into their learning and mimic the animal movement. In addition, I asked the students to search on Google browser their mammal family member, then tap on the 3D viewer option. The resulting picture pleased the students very much!
The students studied the animal sorting out of curiosity and interest and progressed independently in the tasks I assigned. They were very enthusiastic and shared with their friends the unique characteristics gathered in the various observations.
The profit for all of us was great because learning took place with great joy and pleasure!
Thanks to the Scientix community that made experienced online professional development me online teaching felt natural for me as a teacher. That was great modelling!