CHEMISTRY EDUCATION REINVENTED THROUGH FREE AND LOW COST TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES
Lennox School District (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:The high school or college prep Chemistry course can often be an impediment and even a deterrent to young people interested in pursuing more science education at higher levels. Often, this course will be the last science experience before students abandon any further pursuit of other higher level courses due to the discouragement and confusion that set in with their Chemistry class experience. This is especially the case for students whose demographics include poverty, learning in a second or non-native language, and certain ethnically diverse groups who are not predisposed to placing a high priority on education. Complicating this situation further is that often the schools, which serve such populations have an older, even obsolete technology infrastructure and perhaps even faculty members who are not as well equipped to teach this subject as possible. So utilizing the available resources in the most efficacious means is critical.
Research has shown that one reason for this is the structure and teaching of the high school Chemistry class. Instead of making the material adequately accessible so younger learners can grasp it, the course is frequently treated as a junior version of the university one, which is often designed to screen out marginal participants. Teacher preparation and attitude is another factor which can impede and hinder these younger learners.
In this paper, techniques and methods for modifying high school and even middle and elementary school course content will be presented. Strategies are presented that personalize chemistry education through the use of student friendly manipulatives and technology. Ways of incorporating low cost or free technology resources, which include free Internet animations and student generated animations are also discussed.
These specific means of making Chemistry content more personal and easier to understand for young learners sets the stage for their future success and affinity for this potentially challenging subject. Where these methods have been employed in some California schools, they have led to a dramatic increase in the success rate of students in high school Chemistry coursework. The impact of both affective and educational barriers are lessened through use of these strategies.