Many concepts require the use of science-specific software, videos, simulation, etc. when developing activities in science for kids. Through visualization, modeling, and multiple representations, appropriately implemented educational technologies can make scientific concepts more accessible. When developing learning strategies that address science standards, here are seven ideas for integrating technology into science for kids.
Ideas that Support Authentic Science Experiences – Items that fall into this category provide resources needed for doing each phase of authentic science activities.
1. Virtual Field Trips - Many science centers and museums, such as the American Museum of Natural History in New York, offer virtual tours of their facilities and exhibits.
2. Webcams - For the study of weather, wxnation.com includes weather radars, live outdoor webcams, and local weather forecasts for more than 100 cities.
3. Videos/DVDs – Titles such as All About Light from the Physical Science for Children Video Series available from an online school video site includes real-life demonstrations and hands-on activities.
Ideas that Support Scientific Inquiry Skills – These help students locate and obtain information to support inquiry. To be included here the item should make data collection and analysis easier and more manageable and make it easier to visualize and understand phenomena.
4. Search Engines – Use both Google and Bing and see how the results differ. Change the wording of the search phrase and see what different results occur.
5. Video/DVDs – The Scientific Inquiry video series from schoolvideos.com introduces elementary students to biology, geology, astronomy, and physics.
Ideas that Support Science Concept Learning - Items in this group allow simulating and modeling of scientific processes and provide opportunities to engage in problem-solving activities.
6. Online Simulations - Sites such as phet.colorado.edu/ and cse.edc.org/products/simulations/ (chemistry) offer interactive simulations for science activities
Ideas that provide Access to Science Tools – These allow access to unique tools and collections of information thereby expanding opportunities for learning.
7. Google Earth - a virtual globe, map and geographic information program
8. Innerbody.com - fun, interactive Study the anatomy of the human body
In most schools, integrating technology into the curriculum is a priority. This article has provided just a few ideas for using technology in science for kids in hopes of inspiring those who read it to develop even more creative ways to do so.