Draft Scenario 4

Using 3d visualisations to perform biology tasks (e.g. dissecting a “virtual” fish). The virtual task is then used as preparation for a “real-life” task (e.g. dissecting a real fish). Advantages include: more immersive experience, increased efficiency (fewer real fishes are used).

A little reminder of the guiding questions:

  • How would you actually do this in your classroom?
  • What would students actually do?
  • What other tools and resources would you use or suggest?
  • What would students be learning?
  • How would you evaluate and assess what they are learning?
  • What else would you do and/or who else would you involve?

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Draft narrative overview (21 June 2012):

Mr C is a biology teacher with a passion for inspiring students. However, he is feeling increasingly under pressure due to the intense and time consuming routine of classroom life. The expectations and requirements for specific content to be taught and tested have been increasing over the last years, while a reduced budget has made it hard to buy and renew laboratory equipment.

As a result, Mr C has only limited time to engage students in more hands-on activities which he deems to be scientifically relevant and important to give them a complete understanding of biology. For instance, dissection has been gradually marginalised due to the increasing costs and the lack of suitable materials. The emotional conflicts caused by dissection of dead animals in some students created yet another hurdle that contributed to the need for suitable alternatives. Mr C turns to digital materials on selected online repositories, all og which are easily accessible through [iTEC resource].

The web offers a wealth of alternatives to live dissection with some clear advantages – most importantly a focus on human rather than animal biology, thus providing opportunities for more relevant learning. Some of these software resources use three-dimensional computer graphics and data analysis tools to allow students to explore biological processes through and enquiry-based and personalised approach.

Although some tweaking is needed to adapt some of these resources – often developed for university students – Mr C finds that the more innovative approach allows him to design more interesting and professionally rewarding lessons and activities, while saving large amounts of time and money.

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One Response to Draft Scenario 4

  1. carlo says:

    What follows is a summary of the suggestions and comments made by those who took part in the first Skype discussion on Monday 7th May 2012.

    This scenario seems to be rather subject-specific, not particularly useful to, for example, a language teacher. On the other hand, there are already several free virtual dissection apps on the internet, so it’s not entirely clear what this scenario would add.

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