Archive for April, 2011

Tuesday, 12th April, 2011

Data sharing

I have been looking for a way to gather and share data about the use of electricity. The purpose is to provide a data set for classes studying electrical energy to use, either for interpreting and graphing activities or for comparing with calculated estimates..

I spent a while going through a few possibilities, including a google site, a blog and a wiki. In the end, the easiest and clearest presentation seems to be just to publish a google doc with the data in. This is simple and clean for me and gives direct and transparent access to the data.

Seems obvious really now that I think about it. Sometimes it seems I try and make things more complicated than they need to be.

Here is the html display for sharing.

I have also been putting some more questions on to Quia. This time I have been adding IBSL Physics questions. I have learned here that thinking through the choice of labels is important. I used some for IGCSE (e.g. mechanics) that overlap with the IB ones so that they can get mixed up in quizzes. I have now started using labels like ‘IBSL_Mechanics”. Overall this seems to be a useful addition to the resources and a good way of leveraging the past paper questions for the students. If I could think of a way of doing paper 2 questions, that would be great.

Saturday, 2nd April, 2011

Khan Academy and the Effectiveness of Science Videos | Action-Reaction

It is a common view that “if only someone could break this down and explain it clearly enough, more students would understand.” Khan Academy is a great example of this approach with its clear, concise videos on science. However it is debatable whether they really work. Research has shown that these types of videos may be positively received by students. They feel like they are learning and become more confident in their answers, but tests reveal they haven’t learned anything. [ed. note: textbook definition of pseudoteaching]

via Khan Academy and the Effectiveness of Science Videos | Action-Reaction.

This links to a recent PhD thesis that suggests that the cognitive load needs to be high to facilitate long term learning. This means it is important to include misconceptions.

Does the same apply to student created content? Is it valuable to create? Does student created content need to discuss misconception? How about with shared content – like subject review wikis?

Do things like the heart voicethread project have a high enough cognitive load? Could this be extended?