Technology can be a valuable asset in the classroom to help me facilitate my teaching goals. However, it must be used with consideration to ensure that it's adding value. These ISTE NETS-T standards outline five important goals of technology use in the classroom.

Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity
Technology is especially useful in facilitating student learning in the science classroom. It can allow students to manipulate variables in simulations (like gizmos) to model scenarios that they would be unable to work with in person. However, I also feel that it's important to provide the real thing with hands-on experiences whenever it is feasible in the classroom.


Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
Using technology also allows students to explore real world issues and current events, asking them to make connections between the scientific principle they're learning and how they are relevant to students' lives. In this lesson plan that I've created, students apply their knowledge of ecological principles to learn how invasive species affect their local environment in Virginia.
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In this lesson, I brought students to the computer lab to explore simulations of the cell membrane before formal instruction.

Technology also provides opportunities for greater differentiation of content, instruction, and assessment. When students are completing projects that allow them to use technology, they can choose topics that are of interest to them, explore them to a depth that is appropriate to their individual level and express what they have learned in multiple formats that suit their strengths.

Model Digital Age Work and Learning
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In this lab, students used the school's new pH probes to investigate the effect of acid rain on different bodies of water.

As part of using technology in my classroom, it's important to me to teach students to use technology for themselves. I will model how I research a topic, how I stay up to date with current topics in biology, how I find reliable sources of information, and how I can share information with others. In my classroom, I plan to have a twitter account and a class wiki that students can follow. On these, I will post student assignments and reminders for students, as well as helpful resources for their learning or studying, and materials that I think they may find interesting.


Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility
When I use technology (and low-tech activities) in my classroom, I will model digital responsibility by giving credit to resources that I've used in creating my lessons. I will teach students to recognize when they should credit sources and how they can appropriately use online resources. As a part of this, I think it's incredibly important in science education to teach students to recognize bias in sources, something that students will encounter frequently when searching for health or science issues online. I will ask students to explore ethical issues in biology and ask them to find sources that are biased on one side of the issue and to point out that bias and for students to find reliable sources of information. There is a lot of scientific misinformation online and students should learn how to recognize it.

Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership
I will also use technology to develop a professional learning network to help me develop and improve my education practice. In order to do this, I will follow relevant science education blogs and educational research journals to get new ideas and stay up to date about best evidence based practices. I also plan to contribute my own ideas and materials to websites, such as Curriki, in order to share what I've created with others and get feedback on my lessons and activities. In addition, I will use technology to continue to exchange ideas and problem solve with my science education cohort from William & Mary, both through the reflective blogs we have been using this year and a shared wiki where we all plan to contribute resources to adapt and use.