Using Internet for Science teaching
B.Ed. Teaching Notes
Lecturer in Physical Science, Arafa Institute for Teacher Education
1) To understand the effectiveness of using internet for science teaching and learning.
2) To familiarize with some websites devoted for science teaching and learning.
3) To understand about ERIC as an online digital library of education research and information.
4) To understand about INFLIBNET.
5) To understand about N-List Programme.
The science teacher/teacher educator can constantly seek new ways to capture the attention of students and create active learning environments, where minds are engaged and interests nurtured. Building a learning architecture to suit the needs of a particular target audience, will rest to a great extent, on the teacher, the infrastructure available, time constraints and the school environment. A varied combination of the following list of references will help a creative science teacher cater to the needs of her students besides making her class a pleasure to attend.
Here are some suggestion for productive interactions for teachers regarding cience teaching and learning.
1) E-mail: Using e-mail, a teacher can interact individually with students or their parents send informational message or provide assistance.
2) Personal websites: Through a personal website a teacher can interact individually with students or their parents send informational message or provide assistance. Similarly he can share his resource/information.
3) Blogs: Through a personal blog (google/blogger) a teacher can interact individually with students. Similarly he can share his resource/information. It is economical and simple in nature.
4) Video conferencing: Similarly, using Internet facilities like online video conferencing, a teacher can interact individually with students. Interaction with schools and groups in different corners of the world is possible by this.
5) Formation of network/groups: Science related discussion groups on the web/mobile/email enable students and teachers from anywhere in the world to interact and share ideas with each others. We can use Social networks for this purpose.
New Sources of Information
As far as a Science teacher of Kerala is concerned the most important and resiurable web site is the official website of it@school. Teachers can download various academic e- text books, teachers hand books, digital resources and teaching material from the official web site of it@school. IT@School is a project of Department of General Education, Government of Kerala, set up in 2001, to foster the IT education in schools and which on a longer term would facilitate ICT enabled education in the state.
More over through Internet, students, parents and teachers with limited resources can have access to an extensive array of information sources. Let us analyze the different forms of e-Learning.
1) Virtual libraries and laboratories : Students and teachers can visit virtual libraries at websites like the following:
· Kids Connect @ the Library (http:/www.loc.gov/)
· The Library of Congres s(http:/www.loc.gov)
· Library Resources on the Internet (http:/www.loc.gov)
· Library Resources on the Internet (http://www.20library.nwu.edu/resources/library/)
· The NIST Virtual Library (NVL) (http://nvl.nist.gov/)
· Science virtual labs
2) Reference Sources : There are also other sources exclusive for reference listed in the following :
· Science Reference Shelf (http://www-hpcc.astro.washington.eu/scied/sciref.html)
· Research-It! (http://itools.com/research-it/research-it.html)
· Martindale’s The Reference Desk (http://www.sci.lib.uci.edu/HSG/Ref.html)
· Science FactFinder (http://www.accurate-eye.com.au/earth.html)
3) Digitized books : There are electronic books available online, for example,
· The On-Line Books Page: Science
4) Search engines and directories: To help the students in their search for materials, there are search engines such as:
· Awesome Library (http://www.neat-schoolhouse.org/awesome.html)
· Dogpile (http://www.dogpile.com/)
· The Virtual Library: Science (http://www.vlib.org/Science.html)
5) Seeking assistance: It is possible on the Internet to get clarifications for certain concepts and ideas. Some such sites are:
· Scientific American : Ask the Experts (http://www.sciam.com/askexpert/index.html)
· Ask Jeeves for Kids (http://www.ajkids.com/)
· The Mad Scientist Network (http://www.madsci.org/)
6) Home tutors: Students can learn, just sitting at home from sites such as:
· The CSMEE Homework Companion (http://www.ericse.org/homework.html)
· The Biology Project (http://www.biology.arizona.edu/)
7) Career Information: Access to career information and firsthand accounts from people who have succeeded can help students in planning their career. The most popular sites of this kind are:
· Science Web: Career Descriptions (http://scienceweb.dao.nrc.ca/can/careers/describe.html)
· People in Mathematics and the Sciences (http://coolschool.edu/goto6.htm)
· Directory of science education websites
8) Staying informed : Here are the websites that relate science to the news, daily events, issues, television and the like:
· The Why Files (http://whyfiles.news.wisc.edu/)
· Science NOW (http://www.sciencenow.org)
· Science in the Headlines (http://www.nas.edu/headlines/)
· Earth Alert (http://www.discovery.com/news/earthalert/earthalert.html)
9) Magazines: For Students who prefer online magazines, the following list may be useful:
· Science News Online (http://www.sciencenews.org/)
· Discover (http://www.discover.com/)
· Scientific American Explorations (http://www.explorations.org/)
· Sky & Telescope (http://www.skypub.com/skytel/skytel.shtml)
10) Issues and events of the day: Students need to be aware of the day-to-day events happening around the world. There are sites that exclusively give latest information. Some of them are:
· EPA Global Warming Site:
· Endangered Species (http://eelink.net/EndSpp/)
· Interactive Weather
· FEMA for Kids (http://www.fema.gov/kids/)
· Today’s Earthquake Activity
11) Online learning centers: These interactive sites provide access to unique resources to capture the attention of students.
· The Learning Studia@ The Exploratorium
· Thinking Fountain (http://www.sci.mus.mn.us/sln.tf/nav/tfatoz.html)
· Explorer’s Club (http://www.epa.gov/kids)
· Exploring the Environment (http://www.cotf.edu/ete/main.html)
12) Activities : Many websites offer simple activities that can enrich the knowledge of the students as for example,
· Whelmers (http://www.mcrel.org/whelmers/)
13) Online Courses: There are some websites offering online courses to be used as a supplement to classroom learning. An example is,
· http://www.cnde.iastate.edu/staff/jtroeger/astronomy.html which conduct a course an astronomy on the net.
14) Getting involved in projects: Internet provides opportunities for the learning community to participate in a wide variety of projects that involve collecting and analyzing data. Some of the sites are given in the following list:
· GLOBAl Program(http://www.globe.gov/)
· Journey North(http://www.learner.org/jnorth/)
· Frog Watch USA (http://www.mo2-pwrc.usgs.gov/Frog Watch/)
· Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology (http://birds.cornell.edu/)
· Global Water Sampling Project
· Houghton Mifflin Project Center (http://www.eduplace.com/projects/index.html)
· Seds.org (Planets and the solar system are the focus here)
15)Science fairs and Competitions: Students have the opportunity to participate in science fares and competitions in the following sites:
· The CSMEE Science Fair Companion (http://www.ericse.org/scifair.html)
· Odyssey of the Mind (http://www.odysseyofthemind.com/)
16)Project ideas: If there is a need for guidance and ideas to prepare science projects, the following sites can be useful:
· Science Project Guidelines
· Experimental Science Projects
· Amateur Scientist (http://earth.thesphere.com/SAS/SciAm/SciAm.html)
17) Enrich Personal Experience
With a strong on active learning in science, the range of experiences that a student brings to the classroom will have an effect on his learning. Here is a sampling of resources that can increase an individual’s awareness of nature and the world beyond his experience.
1. Virtual field trips like the following can be undertaken through the net:
· Virtual Tours (http://www.dreamscape.com/frankvas/museums.html)
· The Jason Project (http://www.jasonproject.org/)
· Galapagos Quest (http://quest.classroom/galapagos1999/splash.asp)
2. Students can be made to virtually visit zoos, museums and labs such as given in the following list:
· American Museum o Natural History (http://www.amnh.org/)
· Smithsonian Museums (http://www.si.edu/organizal/)
· Science Adventure (http://www.scienceadventure.org/)
· Zoo Links (http://www.ala-net.com/zoos.html)
3. It will be really enjoyable for students to go on tours to places like the following:
· The virtual cave (http://www.goodearth.com/virtcave.html)
· The Nine Planets (http://www.seds.org/billa/tnp/)
· Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/)
4. Remote cameras and robots are available in some of the following sites:
· Animal Cams (http://biology.miningco.com/msub2.htm)
· Bradford Robotic Telescope (http://www.telescope.org.rti/)
· Telerobot Controller (http://220.127.116.11/cgi-win/telerobt.exe)
Ø ERIC (Education Resources Information Center)
The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) is a digital library of education-related resources, sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education. When the ERIC digital library opened to the public on September, 1,2004, the collection consisted primarily of electronic bibliographic records describing journal and non-journal literature selected by ERIC from 1966-2003. The collection has expanded to include full-text articles. In years ahead, the collection may include other electronic resources such as audio and video materials.
ERIC’s mission is
1. To provide a comprehensive, easy-to-use, searchable, Internet-based bibliographic and full-text database of education research and information that also meets the requirements of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002.
2. A Fundamental goal for ERIC’s future is to increase the availability and quality of research and information for educators, researchers, and the general public.
3. The Institute of Education Sciences is committed to continuously improve the efficiency and utility of ERIC so that it becomes a premier Web- based library for accessing current band historical education resources.
4. Among these resources will be the studies produced by the what works clearing house in support of the Department of Education’s initiative to identify the best scientifically based evidence of “what works” in education.
5. To realize its mission and goal and to meet rising user expectations in the digital age ERIC is undergoing significant change.
6. Nearly all aspects of ERIC operations are being revamped, including the online system, resource acquisitions and processing, the list of journals indexed, and the delivery of full-text materials, ERIC is leveraging new technologies to streamline processing and speed delivery of timely information.
7. Redesigned online services are being released to the public in phased implementations including the centralized Website, enhanced search and retrieval functions, and website personalization tools such as the capacity for users to save searches.
8. ERIC is adopting metadata standards to help users refine their database searches, and it adding metadata tags to new database materials to provide information about resource quality.
9. ERIC full-text materials, previously sold by the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), are now available free-of-charges.
Two expert advisory panels provide research, technical, and content expertise to support this major modernization effort. The ERIC Steering Committee recommends standards and guidelines that will shape the ERIC acquisitions model and help guide direction on technical issues surrounding system design, digital archiving, metadata, and search and retrieval technologies. The advisory panel of Content Experts provides recommendations for selecting journals and non-journal materials for inclusion in the ERIC database. Their advice is helping to guide the continued growth of the database and outreach to the ERIC use community.
Ø INFLIBNET (Information and Library Network)
A Gateway to India’s Academic and Research Community
(INFLIBNET) centre (IUC) of University Grants Commission (UGC) involved in creating infrastructure for sharing of library and information resources and services among academic and research Institutions. INFLIBNET works collaboratively with Indian University libraries to shape the future of the academic libraries in the evolving information environment.
INFLIBNET is a major National Programme initiated by the UGC in 1991 with its Head Quarters at Gujarat University Campus, Ahmedabad. Initially started as a project under the IUCAA, it became an independent Inter-University Centre in 1996. INFLIBNET is involved in modernizing university libraries in India and connecting them as well as information centre in the country through a nation-wide high speed data network using the state-of-art technologies for the optimum utilization of information. INFLIBNET is set out to be a major player in promoting scholarly communication among academicians and researches in India.
The primary objectives of INFLIBNET as envisaged in Memorandum of Association are:
1. To promote and establish communication facilities to improve capability in information transfer and access that provide support to scholarship learning, research and academic pursuit through cooperation and involvement of agencies concerned.
2. To establish INFLIBNET : Information and Library Network a computer communication network for linking libraries and information centres in universities, deemed to be universities, colleges, UGC Information centres, institutions of national importance and R & D institutions, avoiding duplication of efforts.
In order to fulfill the broad objectives, INFLIBNET will do the following:
1. Promote and implement computerization of operations and services in the libraries and information centers of the country, following a uniform standard.
2. Evolve standards And uniform guidelines in techniques, methods, procedures, computer hardware and software, services and promote their adoption in actual practice by all libraries, in order to facilitate pooling, sharing and exchange of information towards optimal use of resources and facilities.
3. Evolve a national network interconnecting various libraries and information centres in the country and to improve capability in information handling and service.
4. Provide reliable access to document collection of libraries by creating on-line union catalogue of serials, these/dissertations, books, monographs and non-book materials (manuscripts, audio-visuals, computer data, and multimedia) in various libraries in India.
5. Provide access bibliographic information sources with citations and abstracts through indigenously created databases of the Sectoral Information Centres of NISSAT, UGC Information Centres, City Networks and such others and by establishing gateways for on-line accessing of national and international information networks and centres respectively.
6. Develop new methods and techniques for archival of valuable information available as manuscripts and information documents in different Indian Languages, in the form of digital image using high density storage media.
7. Optimize information resource utilization through shared cataloguing, inter-library loan service, catalogue production, collection development and thus avoiding duplication in acquisition to the extent possible.
8. Enable the users dispersed all over the country, irrespective of location and distance, to have access tp information regarding serials, these/dissertations, books, monographs and non-book materials by locating the sources wherefrom available and to obtain it through the facilities of INFLIBNET and union catalogue of documents.
9. Create database of projects, institutions, specialists for providing on-line information service.
10. Encourage co-operation among libraries, documentation centres and information centres in the country, so that the resources can be pooled for the benefit of helping the weaker resource centres by stronger ones.
11. Train and develop human resources in the field of computerized library operations and networking to establish, manage and sustain INFLIBNET.
12. Facilitate academic communication amongst scientists, engineers, social scientists, academics, faculties, researchers and students through electronic mail, file transfer, computer/audio/video conferencing.
13. Undertake system design and studies in the field of communications, computer networking, information handling and data management.
14. Establish appropriate control and monitoring system for the communication network and organize maintenance.
15. Collaborate with institutions, libraries, information centers and other organizations in India and abroad in the field relevant to the objectives of the Centre.
16. Create and promote R&D and other facilities and technical positions for realizing the objectives of the Centre.
Ø N-LIST Programme (National Library and Information Services Infrastructure for Scholarly Content)
It is an Initiative of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) Under the National Mission on Education through ICT. The Project entitled "National Library and Information Services Infrastructure for Scholarly Content (N-LIST)", being jointly executed by the UGC-INFONET Digital Library, INFLIBNET Centre and the, IIT Delhi provides for
i) cross-subscription to e-resources for universities and UGC-INFONET resources for technical institutions;
ii) Access to selected e-resources to colleges.
The N-LIST project provides access to e-resources to students, researchers and faculty from colleges and other beneficiary institutions through server(s) installed at the INFLIBNET Centre. The authorized users from colleges can now access e-resources and download articles required by them directly from the publisher's website once they are duly authenticated as authorized users through servers deployed at the INFLIBNET Centre.
N-LIST: Four Components
The project has four distinct components
i) To subscribe and provide access to selected UGC-INFONET e-resources to technical institutions (IITs, IISc, IISERs and NITs) and monitor its usage;
ii) To subscribe and provide access to selected e-resources to selected universities and monitor its usage;
iii) To subscribe and provide access to selected e-resources to 6,000 Govt./ Govt.-aided colleges and monitor its usage;
iv) To act as a Monitoring Agency for colleges and evaluate, promote, impart training and monitor all activities involved in the process of providing effective and efficient access to e-resources to colleges.
1) Mohan, R (2007). Innovative science teaching for physical science Teachers.
Newdelhi : Prentice Hall
2) Official websites of it@school, ERIC, INFLIBNET and N-LIST Programme.
3) Mathew, T.K., Mollykutty, T.M.(2013) Science Education. Thiruvananthapuram : Rainbow Books.