I teach science at Midwest Central High School. I love teaching! I have my masters in educational administration. I have two young girls and don't have time to go back to school so I write grants. It is my new hobby!
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Julie, Most "software" that I use is really interactive online applications. I like free the best. I have done what you are doing, so here are my recommendations for what software to get.
1. imaging software: including the hardware, such as one of my favorite tools, the entire line of Ken-A-Vision microscopy line, including the MVP, Video Flex Camera, microprojector and traditional microscopes. The MVP comes with software to use in particular circumstances (including media managment), but it can also be used without software. The MVP and the Video Flex Camera can not only be used as microscopes, they can also replace an ELMO type device. This company's headquarters are in Kansas City, MO, and they have a long tradition in cutting edge optics for science education.
2. Software that keeps track of data from scientific probes for chemistry, physics, biology, etc. Much of these materials can be used from K-12 classes.
3. My number one recommendation for finding the best software that people are using now, is to look through your Flinn Scientific catalog. They also have consultants that can work with you. I don't know if you know this, but the company was started by the two Flinn brothers who were HS Science teachers.
I wish I could be more help, but I really haven't seen any science software that outperforms the old stuff like Explorapedia, Tom Snyder software, and other software no longer available.
Personally, I would invest in software that interacts with other software...in other words....don't let anyone convince you that proprietary stuff is where it is at. In Science, students need to develop knowledge through the scientific method, not fight the software they use for experiments and presentations. You are looking for smooth integration..
*Do the file formats use a standard, such as mp3, .wav, .cps, xls, ,rtf etc?
*Will the software work on a network? ...if that is what you want.
*How much can you do with the software?
I am doing a workshop on using technology in the high school science classroom. Can you possibly list some of your favorite ways to integrate technology into the science curriculum? Thanks so much.
Happy New Year! I was wondering if your colleagues or students would be interested in participating in a nationwide Vocab Video Contest @ MIT university. We'd really like to get more students involved from Illinois!
You can view contest details at BrainyFlix.com Please let me know. Thanks!