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Enhancing Science Learning with Technology Resources

Enhancing Science Learning with Technology Resources


Many online materials exist for science teachers, but finding trusted resources that are appropriate for an individual teacher's curriculum needs can be challenging. One of the goals of the Academy's Science Education Initiative is to make resources, including online materials, easier for teachers to find, navigate, and share.

On May 17, 2010, representatives from science institutions around the New York area convened at the Academy to discuss the current state of online educational tools. The speakers presented the best online resources available through their institutions and illustrated ways that teachers might integrate them into New York State's STEM curriculum. Before and after the presentations, additional institutions presented their educational materials and programs at the Science Education Technology Bazaar.

Karen Tingley, the Central Park Zoo's Curator of Education, discussed the appeal that technology has for children and teenagers, and how that draw can make technology a powerful engagement tool. Given the projected increase in careers focusing on environmental issues and technology, as well as the increasing need to inform urban populations about the biodiversity crisis, Tingley argued that integrating technology into environmental education is vital. She then presented a wide variety of tools available from the Wildlife Conservation Society, which range from pre-visit activities and field trip planning tools to distance learning and professional development options.

Howard Lurie of WGBH Boston and Sandy Goldberg of VITAL New York and THIRTEEN WNET showcased the resources available online from Teachers' Domain. Teachers' Domain, along with its New York State-specific partner site, VITAL, is a collection of video segments from a variety of sources, including public television programs, edited to fit the classroom format. VITAL customizes the archive for New York State by linking videos to curriculum standards and requirements.

Anthony Negron, Digital Curriculum Developer for the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI), discussed the possibilities of video conferencing for the classroom, NYSCI's current video-conferencing program, as well as the Hall's online professional development and rental lab programs. He also introduced the Virtual Hall of Science, a program that engages local high school students to help develop an online environment for science demonstrations and learning.

Robert V. Steiner, PhD, the Director of Online Teacher Education Programs for the National Center for Science Literacy, Education and Technology at the American Museum of Natural History, finished the evening's presentations with a tour of the Museum's technology resources. The AMNH's extensive online offerings include professional development, online classroom materials, science bulletins, and materials for younger audiences. Steiner concluded his presentation with the Museum's first iPhone app: Dinosaurs.

Before and after the presentation, teachers mingled with a number of providers of educational technology resources. The Science Education Technology Bazaar filled the lobby of the Academy with booths and demonstrations of workshops, classroom materials, and online resources for teachers and students.

Use the tab above to find multimedia from this event.


Presentations are available from:

Karen Tingley (Wildlife Conservation Society)
Howard Lurie (WGBH Boston) and Sandy Goldberg (VITAL New York)
Anthony Negron (New York Hall of Science)
Robert V. Steiner (American Museum of Natural History)

Zoos in the 21st Century: How Technology is Utilized in Conservation Education

Karen Tingley (Wildlife Conservation Society)

About VITAL and Teachers' Domain

Howard Lurie (WGBH Boston) and Sandy Goldberg (VITAL New York)


Anthony Negron (New York Hall of Science)

Online Resources from the American Museum of Natural History

Robert V. Steiner (American Museum of Natural History)

Web Sites

Wildlife Conservation Society

Bronx Zoo Trip Planner
An interactive visit planner for your field trip.

Online interactive lessons for middle and high school students
The Wild Explorations in Science modules are online, interactive units that focus on inquiry-based methods to explore basic ecological concepts, research techniques, and environmental threats.

Teachers and Wildlife
The Education Division of the Wildlife Conservation Society offers a wide range of opportunities to enhance science curricula for grades K–12, including Distance Learning Expeditions, online programs, and workshops for teachers and students that are aligned with the National Science Education Standards.

Teens for Planet Earth
Teens for Planet Earth is WCS's online service learning and social network for ecologically aware teens.

WCS media channel
The Wildlife Consevation Society's YouTube channel can help your students learn about animal behavior.

See also:

PigeonWatch teaches animal behavior while helping scientists understand pigeon populations through self-directed or group animal observation and reporting.

Sources for more info on kids and technology:

Rideout VJ, Foehr UG, Roberts DF. 2010. Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Johnson L, Smith R, Levine A, Haywood K. 2010. 2010 Horizon Report: K–12 Edition. The New Media Consortium, Austin, Texas.

Horrigan J. 2007. A Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users. Pew Internet & American Life Project, (May 6).

Teachers' Domain

Teacher's Domain
Teachers' Domain is an extensive library of free digital media resources produced by public television, designed for classroom use and professional development.

VITAL (Video In Teaching And Learning)
Through VITAL, New York State public school teachers have access to free, online video-based instructional activities designed to support individual student needs. Short video clips, averaging five minutes in length and drawn from such award-winning public television series as Nature, Cyberchase, and Egg: the arts show, are accompanied by customized teaching activities that are aligned with New York State Learning Standards in mathematics and English language arts for grades 3 through 8.

New York Hall of Science

Portable labs
Portable labs bring laboratory experiences to classrooms that are not equipped with their own tools.

Programs for teachers
NYSCI offers innovative Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) professional development experiences for teachers of all grades.

Virtual Hall of Science
The Virtual Hall of Science is an online science exploration environment currently in development by a team of student volunteers.

Virtual visits
A Virtual Visit Program uses video conferencing to connect students in the classroom to NYSCI explainers, exhibits, demonstrations, and activities illustrating science concepts.

American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History channel
The American Museum of Natural History channel provides a rare glimpse into the Museum's exhibitions, scientific research, public programs and educational endeavors. Videos presented by the Museum highlight its global mission to advance scientific discovery and increase understanding of nature and human cultures.

DINOSAURS: American Museum of Natural History Collections
Introducing the first official app from the American Museum of Natural History, DINOSAURS: American Museum of Natural History Collections. This app lets paleontologists of all ages explore the Museum's famous fossil halls in depth.

OLogy, the Museum's Web site for kids ages seven through twelve, is based on the premise that "everyone wants to know something," and is designed as a place for kids to explore, ask questions, get answers, meet OLogists, play games, and see what other kids are interested in.

Resources for Learning
Resources for Learning is a collection of activities, articles, evidence and analysis and more, for educators, families, students and anyone interested in teaching or learning about science. There are 1202 resources to choose from right now!

Science Bulletins
Science Bulletins is a video program that brings you the latest developments in the fields of astrophysics, Earth science, biodiversity, and human biology and evolution through documentary feature stories about scientists in the field and regular brief research updates using scientific visualizations and imagery.

Seminars on Science
Seminars on Science comprises twelve online graduate courses in the life, Earth, and physical sciences. Each course is rich with essays, images, videos, interactive simulations and vibrant discussions that connect learners to the Museum's scientists, laboratories, expeditions and specimens.

The Science Education Technology Bazaar

Bard High School Early College
BHSEC is presenting a Biology Teacher Training Workshop, Tuesday, July 6 – Friday, July 9, 2010. Earn one graduate teaching credit from Bard College.

Harlem DNA Lab
High schools throughout New York City are invited to the Harlem DNA Lab for half-day lab field trips. Each lab is inspired by techniques and tools currently used by research scientists.

New York City Center for Space Science Education
As part of the New York City Department of Education's Mathematics & Science Department in Teaching & Learning, the Center for Space Science Education (NYCCSSE) offers opportunities for exploration, engagement, and sustained inquiry to students, educators, and the community of New York City.

New York Energy Smart — NYSERDA
The Energy Smart Students Program provides teachers and students with opportunities to learn about energy and its impact on the environment and economy. It offers curricula and hands-on applications-based instructional support for classroom lessons in energy and energy efficiency.

NBC News on Demand
NBC Learn is the education arm of NBC News. NBC is making its global resources and historic film and video archive available to teachers, students, schools, and universities.

Science Screen Report
SCIENCE SCREEN REPORT® is an award-winning DVD series created by Allegro Productions and provided to schools nationwide free of charge, through the generous support of local sponsors.

Thinkfinity by Verizon Foundation
Verizon Thinkfinity offers comprehensive teaching and learning resources created by their content partners—the most respected organizations in each academic subject and literacy. The easy-to-navigate K–12 resources are grade-specific and are aligned with state standards.


Sandy Goldberg

e-mail | web site

Sandy Goldberg is the director of VITAL (Video in Teaching and Learning), overseeing all production, professional development, and outreach for the project and helping to create a vision for the project's future growth and development. Ms.Goldberg has worked in the education field for over 25 years and is an experienced classroom teacher, technology staff developer, and educational software producer. Since joining WNET.ORG as a senior producer in the Education Department in November 2002, Ms. Goldberg has produced numerous educational projects associated with PBS broadcasts. Prior to joining WNET.ORG, Ms. Goldberg directed the American Gateways Settlement House Initiative, funded through a five-year Technology Innovation Challenge grant from the U.S. Department of Education. She received an MA in Curriculum and Teaching from Columbia University Teachers College, and a BA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University.

Howard Lurie

WGBH Boston
e-mail | web site

Howard Lurie is the associate director for educational productions at WGBH Boston. He is responsible for business development, marketing, and the cultivation of new partnerships for Educational Productions. He has led efforts at WGBH to develop and market online courses from Teachers' Domain for K-12 teachers.  Originally a teacher of history and social studies at the middle school through college levels, he has been involved in the development of online professional development services and resources since the mid 1990s. Lurie has authored educational articles and curriculum guides for a variety of curricula, including Voyager's Who Built America. Since the mid 1990s, Lurie has worked with several educational technology initiatives, including the American Social History Project, Library of Congress' American Memory, the Pearson Foundation, New Media Literacies @ MIT, Facing History and Ourselves, and the Digital Legacies Project. Lurie has a BA in Social Thought and Political Economy from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Teacher's College, Columbia University. Howard Lurie is a native of Boston, and now lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Anthony Negron

New York Hall of Science
e-mail | web site

Previous to joining the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) Digital Learning Staff, Anthony Negron was both an Explainer and Program Explainer in the NYSCI Science Career Leader youth employment/empowerment program for four years. During his time as an Explainer, Mr. Negron worked with visitors, families, and children to communicate science in informal learning situations. Presently Mr. Negron both project manages and is the chief educator for NYSCI's Virtual Visit distance learning program. Currently Mr. Negron is enrolled at Baruch College in an MBA program with a major in Human Resources/Organizational Behavior and Marketing.

Robert V. Steiner, PhD

American Museum of Natural History
e-mail | web site

Robert V. Steiner is the director of online teacher education programs at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), where he leads an array of online and blended programs that focus on innovative and effective teacher professional development. His work has also focused on research in experimental elementary particle physics and on the development of innovative undergraduate lab experiences. The author of Mathematics for Physics Students, Dr. Steiner has a BS from the University of California, Berkeley and a PhD from Yale University. He also serves as a member of the adjunct faculty of the Department of Physics at Queens College, City University of New York. Prior to his work at AMNH, Dr. Steiner created and led the development of the first web-based graduate courses at Columbia Teachers College. He lives with his wife and two children in New York City.

Karen Tingley

Wildlife Conservation Society
e-mail | web site

Karen Tingley, curator of education at the Wildlife Conservation Society's Central Park Zoo, has been an active member of informal education for more than a decade. She was previously curator of education at the Prospect Park Zoo in Brooklyn and before that managed children and family programs at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. She has presented at local, national, and international conferences on a variety of informal learning topics such as collaborative efforts of homeschoolers, zoos, and museums. She is a PhD candidate in Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England and is currently researching social networks can lead to effective governance of social movements.