Using telecommunications to enhance the grade 8 science curriculum

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Lewis, Sharon
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 1996
The primary objective of this study was to implement a project that utilizes telecommunications as a tool to enhance the grade eight science curriculum. The process of becoming prepared to undertake this study was examined and documentd so that teachers in all subject areas at all grade levels could use it as a guide for similar projects. It was proposed to do this by conducting a collaborative project in which the students would use the scientific method to develop research questions that could be used to discover why the incidence of asthma is so high in Central Alberta. These questions would be sent out to schools across Canada and then the data would be analyzed and interpreted. The results would be shared with all participants as well as asthma researchers. The study met with many barriers whcih impeded the progress as well as made it impossible to fulfil the original goal of having the students collaborate with the experts and contribute their own research to the field. Whe embarking on a new project using technology it is inevitable that there will be barriers. Through repeated reconnaissance we were able to adjust our goals and still pursue very worthwile, but very different computer and telecommunications projects. The students attitudes towards learning science, science in society and computers were measured by pre and post surveys. The findings showed that the students were aware of the importance of all these factors in their lives. Without completing the asthma study, it is impossible to know how much of a difference there would have been in the results. The qualitative results showed very clearly that computers are a motivator for students. They enjoy working on them and the challenge they present. Many of them will do extra homework so that they can take advantage of every opportunity to work on the computer. Unfortunately, many teachers do not have the time or support to learn enough about the Internet/Schoolnet and what is available to take full advantage of what is has to offer our students and ourselves. For the most part, there are few teachers in each disrict becoming involved. This will change over time only if there is a support system in place and the pioneers share what they have learned. We cannot run the risk of the forerunners becoming discouraged and giving up. The Internet is a global community. For that community to grow and flourish we must share what we have learned and provide the means to make the path smoother for those who follow. Through this study, the projects have been documented and resources have been prepared that are intended to help others get online and access a wide variety of resources that are sure to enhance all programs and professional development.
xiii, 228 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.
Telecommunication in education -- Alberta -- Case studies , Science -- Study and teaching (Secondary) -- Case studies , Education -- Data processing , Dissertations, Academic