software

SOFTWARE FOR MATH AND SCIENCE EDUCATION

(1) General Software Review

Starry Night

This is a very interactive Astronomy software. Students can locate a star anywhere in the universe and track its path throughtout a certain period of time. Teachers can create and infinite number of activities for students to complete, such as find the start at a certain location of your birthday, collect data about times of sunrise and sunset from march 21st to June 25st and graph it. In chemistry, this program could be useful to determine the chemical composition of a star based on the colors that it displays. Ocean wave characteristics and patterns could also determined by following the lunar cycles in the Starry Night software.

CyberEdPLATO Science

This program has very clear and colorful graphics, interactive animations, and narrations. It helps students understand complex concepts in biology such as cellular respiration, bacterial transformations, through excellent graphics and interactive simulations. Students can cover each topic by using slides of general information, interactive demonstration along with questions, and standardized tests. I have used the older version of this program and it was very stimulating for my students. Students had the opportunity to replay simulations, retake tests, and receive feedback immediately. Students were usually determined to get the best score possible scores. Sometimes we used this program before the wet labs in class and sometimes after. I found that students understood the concepts more efficiently in this program after conducting the labs in class.

Biozone

BioZone specializes on 3 biology products that help access any topic in Biology: course workbooks, modular workbooks, and presentation media. I have used the workbooks have usually two pages on each topic beginning with background information, sample problems, and problems and questions for students to complete. I found this a very efficient way to review topics and prepare for the AP Biology exam. I would like to have access to the presentation media as the demos seem to have very clear and easy to follow graphics. If the workbooks are excellent, then the presentation media series should be better. The best of Biozone is that everything is updated annually. Most themes/topics in biology are covered, from skills to cellular and molecular biology to ecology, evolution and physiology. The creators of Biozone seem to make great efforts in correlating their products to the AP program, the IB program, and general biology courses.

DataStudio & PASCO Probeware
This software is highly recommended by Pasco probeware for data collection and analysis. In SED 646, we had the opportunity to use it, along with a variety of Pasco sensors that measured temperature, pH, speed, light intensity, sound, and motion. This software was relatively easy to use in a short period of time. Two weeks ago, one of my colleagues had the opportunity to receive his purchase of some Pasco equipment that I will have the opportunity to use when C-track starts in July. I am eager to use this technology with my honors biology class. It would have been so useful for AP Biology (which, I taught last year), specifically for oxygen and carbon dioxide analysis, as well as pH and enzyme analysis. I will definitely use DataStudio and Pasco probeware this next school year.

 

SOFTWARE REVIEW

(1) Description of program

DataStudio
This software is highly recommended by Pasco probeware for data collection and analysis. In SED 646, we had the opportunity to use it, along with a variety of Pasco sensors that measured temperature, pH, speed, light intensity, sound, and motion. This software was relatively easy to use in a short period of time. Two weeks ago, one of my colleagues had the opportunity to receive his purchase of some Pasco equipment that I will have the opportunity to use when C-track starts in July. I am eager to use this technology with my honors biology class. It would have been so useful for AP Biology (which, I taught last year), specifically for oxygen and carbon dioxide analysis, as well as pH and enzyme analysis. I will definitely use DataStudio and Pasco probeware this next school year.

 

 

(2) Basic Information
(a) Title: DataStudio Software

(b) Publisher: PASCO

(c) Cost: free for 90 days, single user = $99.00, single classroom license = $239.00, site license $349.00

(3) Target Population: K-12, college
(a) Designed to be used by teachers and students

(b) Grade level: K-12 and college, Subjects: biology, chemistry, physics, earth and evironmental science, engineering


(c) This software along with the Pasco probeware will fit in many areas of biology, especially in AP biology. Six of the required AP labs can be carried out with the use of it. Some of the concepts for investigation in general high school Biology include oxygen production during photosynthesis, pH, freezing and melting points, dissorlved oxygen and water pollution, heart rate, etc.

(d) This software will definitely maintain the interest of high school students in biology because it involves interaction with real lab equipment and organisms as well as computers. At my school, we are just beginning use some technology in the classroom. In addition, I do not think the feeder middle schools to my high school use any of this type of equipment in their classes. The use of Pasco probeware and DataStudio software will be a real treat.

(4) Content Goals
(a) Concepts this program introduces in general high school Biology include oxygen production during photosynthesis, pH, freezing and melting points, dissorlved oxygen and water pollution, heart rate, etc., as well as data analysis.

(b) Effectiveness of teaching this concepts depends on the preparation of materials and the techer. The manual included in the program seem maneagable to follow.
(c) Traditional techniques for teaching concepts in biology are not very efficient in analysis of real data. Using DataStudio and Pasco probeware will definitely give students the opportunity in learning about and using modern technology. I think students will feel like real scientists when using this technology.


(5)(a) Process Goals in reasoning: knowledge of how to use the equipment, application of equipment, comprehension of concepts, data collection and analysis, synthesis of own concepts/conclusions/explanations.

(b) The use of this equipment will efficiently gained the interest of students in learning science. Learning will be more fun and hopefully students will achieve higher.

(6) Lesson Plan. Tree specific tasks, questions, goals, or projects students would accomplish or answer after using this software.

a. How did the oxygen levels change when the plant was in darkness?
b. Discuss both the light-dependent and light-independent reactions of photosynthesis. Use this information to explain the trends you notice in the data. Does this help explain behavior of the leaf being studied?

c. Were more of the test substances acidic or basic? How can you tell?
d. Does the color of the solution determine its pH level?

e. A local pond had a pH reading of 6 but then it measured 4 after a recent rain storm. By what factor did its acidity increase? What likely caused the pH level change?
f. In order to increase the pH of a solution, what kind of substance (acidic, basice, neutral) must be added?


(7) If I had access to DataStudion and Pasco Probeware, I will definitely use it in all of my general and honor biology classes. I will hopefully have equipment for at least 2 groups in the July. My students will become more engaged in learning science and hopefully they will achieve better than in the past in their science classes.