Computer Science in Science PD: Using Models in the Classroom - Discussion


For years their have been science programs, which use models and simulations to contextualize a concept. There are also computer simulations to bolster student learning. I think the problem with these two processes, is the lack of random outcomes. If the student has more control of the input in a computer simulation, I think they will better understand the changes in the outcomes.


The ideal classroom utilizing models and simulations would look like small groups all focusing on a given problem, but specifically each group’s aspect of interest to that problem. The role of teacher would be to coach and support, while student groups would research, design a model, and revise how ever necessary, their computer- generated simulation for presentation and explanations of their given problem.


I like how you see your science classroom. I often feel that I’m doing all the work, the students are the ones that need to do the thinking. Asking and answering their own questions. The computer is a tool, but I’m thinking the idea is to use the computer to implement and “test” the students construction.


In a successful Science classroom, the students are engaged in designing and creating from a real-life problem. the teacher is the facilitator, whereas the students are the scientists.


I think I really like my classroom as it is, fun and challenging. I hope this will add to both.


A successful science classroom would involve the students starting with a scientific problem dealing with current events. The teacher would act as a facilitator and as the students begin investigating and designing experiments. In order to encourage a positive learning environment, students would collaborate as colleagues as they approach a problem and strive for results. Computers would be the complement to their experimental designs to save time and create better visuals and more data and stronger conclusions.


My ideal science classroom has each student being challenged at a level that is attainable to them. Students are exploring concepts with their peers and connecting previous material to what they are currently discussing.


I think your post was one of the most honest I’ve read in ages - so many of the others say exactly what you’re supposed to say… I too am slightly unsure how everything is going to play out, but I’m hopeful that I haven’t fossilized in my teaching techniques!


Right! They don’t just watch something happen, they MAKE something happen.


I started teaching in the late 20th century and things have changed quite a bit since then… the main thing I can add to all the other posts preceding mine is that now my students all have chromebooks and I want to do so much more than word process and play kahoot. Watching Khan Academy just isn’t enough - computer models that the kids create and control is how I’m going to lead them into deep learning.


I envision a successful Science classroom as one of inquiry based and student-centered. Students engage in an essential question and work in cooperative groups to design and run experiments. I see the role of a teacher as a facilitator in the process and supporting students in their learning. I don’t want to tell students how to run the experiment, but rather provide them with some parameters and norms in which to be successful in their experimentation.


I like your vision of a successful science classroom. Teachers really need to allow students to experiment, fail and figure it out. The organized chaos is a great scenario.


I envision a class where learning is student-driven. As a teacher, I am only there to facilitate the process. Perhaps it can start with an introduction to a phenomenon that we see in the world, such as the spread of disease. Students then formulate questions they have in regards to the phenomenon. The students then present what they know about the phenomenon and figure out what else they need to know about it. Therefore, they can start constructing and revising a model based on what they know and their newly acquired knowledge. Students are there to critique and support each other through the process.


I think that Next Generation promotes students problem solving skills and if you are using CER as a part of your scientific writing process, CCSS will be naturally a part of your classroom experience. Finding time to do the level of thinking is my fear with the implementation of the new standards. I am with you in my hopes that the integration of computer modeling will help to tie all of the pieces together.


In a successful science classroom, students cannot wait to go to class. They think about their investigations all the time. When students first came to science, they were led to USE many different science models on multiple science fields. After experiencing these simulation models, students were asked to choose one to explore for a whole term. Students would MODIFY the model and discuss all the results of their modifications. Then, students in teams who propose a NEW QUESTION that sprang from their simulation. They would begin researching, experimenting, modeling answers to their new question. Students would have exposure to many science fields, build some connections from field to field, and have the pleasure of pursuing their own study.


A successful Science classroom is one in which students are the authors of their own learning. Modeling would involve students creating models to determine the effects of different amounts of sunlight on plant growth. They would use computer simulations of plants and different amounts of light to see how their growth is affected. Students interact not only with each other but with other students who have devised other models through the use of simulations. Students would discuss their findings and explain their theories.


My ideal classroom is is a messy, loud and energetic classroom with different levels of engagement. It is guided in part by student interest and in part by standards. Students need to have the experiences that allow them to take the information deeper but also in many different directions. Students should be allowed to explore independently and collaboratively. Students need the chance to be leaders and also be lead.


I have been reading many of the other comments. I agree with many of the comments. However, a word of caution. At the middle school age, some structure is necessary. There needs to be scaffolding or modeling of behavior for the different activities that the students participate in. I like to have the students assist me with a project of my choice that we complete together before they are allowed to test their own ideas.


Honestly, I have only an inkling of what this may look like, as I come from a background of Math/Science 6th grade teacher- where math is mainly focused on as we strive to close the achievement gap . As we make our way into NGSS and look wards implementation, I am curious as to see this new computer and science vision taking shape.


My vision of my ideal classroom is that it is student centered and the students aren’t afraid to discuss and try new things. Students are anxious to figure out phenomena and understand how to research and communicate information. They also can represent their findings well in written work and through modeling. I LOVE the idea of using computers for their modeling. I think it presents a safe platform for students to try things out and problem solve. In my ideal classroom students are discussing their thoughts backed up with evidence and helping others conceptualize concepts through these communications and modeling.