Wednesday, March 9
4:00 PM-5:00 PM

Making Science Meaningful: Using Open Educational Resources to Create Blended Science Classrooms

Roundtable ID: 31682
  1. Colleen Worrell
    Virtual High School Global Consortium

Abstract: This session is for teachers eager to develop technology-infused science classrooms. While research has established the effectiveness of blended learning and demonstrated its positive outcomes for students, the process of moving to a blended approach can be challenging for teachers. Many educators struggle with how to the identify quality content and develop fully integrated lessons and assessment to use in a blended learning environment. This session is designed to help science teachers meet this challenge!


Teachers who come to this 3.5 hour workshop armed with a content-idea in mind will leave with a blended lesson plan they can put into practice when they return to their classrooms. This session will provide participants with a practical approach to evaluating what types of materials can work in a blended environment. Teachers will be exposed to a variety of Open Educational Resources (OERs) and will be shown how to use these resources in their classrooms. Types of digital media include educational games and simulations that can serve as review tools to reinforce challenging concepts in ways that are fun for students, as well as websites, podcasts, and videos that help connect science to everyday life. The session will also touch on ways to incorporate Web 2.0 tools in order to create student-centered, collaborative learning environments where students can exchange ideas and share data. These dynamic resources help to make content more meaningful to today’s tech savvy students who use a variety of online tools in their own daily lives. Exposure to the broader scientific community through the internet allows students to examine the impact of science on society. By making science more relevant, teachers can use their blended approach to generate excitement about career opportunities in STEM fields.

Topical Outline

THREE HOUR WORKSHOP OUTLINE ? Instructor and participant introductions Participants will learn about the workshop leaders and get to know each other through some short "ice-braking" activities. ? Why “blended learning”? Particpants will be exposed to research and rationale that supports blended learning. We will also discuss example and ways to "go blended" in K-12 classrooms. ? Using Web 2.0 to foster collaboration Participants will experience a tutorial on Web 2.0 tools and will spend time exploring those that might be relevant to their blended lesson ideas. ? Incorporating OERs to make science relevant Participants will be introduced to the history and mission of Open Educational Resources and will be provided with a guide to using them in their classrooms. This segment will also involve taking a "virtual field trip" of OER sites and resources. ? Brainstorming and guided practice on integrating Web 2.0 tools and OER into blended lessons Participants will be given a brief tutorial of best practices in blended learning. Following this, participants will work in pairs or small groups to brainstorm ideas for their blended lessons. Workshop leaders will provide on-site coaching to help guide their plans. ? Planning your blended lesson Participants will work on developing their lessons, following a planning tool provided by the workhop leaders. ? Workshop reflection and sharing: summary and lessons learned The wrap-up session will allow participants to share what they learned, achieved in the workshop, and plan to implement in their classrooms going forward.


Teachers should come to the workshop armed with content ideas to start creating a blended lesson. No other prerequisites required.

Experience Level



COLLEEN WORRELL brings over 10 years of teaching at the secondary and post-secondary levels to her job as Educational Programs Coordinator for the Virtual High School Global Consortium (VHS). At VHS Colleen is reponsible for managing professional development offerings and other stragegic initiatives. She has successfully partnered with a number of school districts to create and implement online and blended learning programs. Colleen also has a proven record of success in working with pre-service teachers and earned high praise as a part-time lecturer in the Master of Arts in Teaching program at Tufts University (Medford, MA). She holds a MA and PhD in American Studies. AMY MICHALOWSKI is the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the Virtual High School Global Consortium (VHS). As Director of C&I, Amy manages a team of 8 professional staff members and maintains oversight for VHS course and teacher quality. She has had a role in development of many online courses, including professional development courses, training courses, and high-school science courses. Before joining VHS, she worked for the Westborough Public School system in Westborough, MA and for Genzyme, Inc, in Allston, MA. Amy holds her BS in Biotechnology and a MEd in secondary-education.
No presider for this session.


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