As we try to not only engage students in meaningful educational activities, teachers needs to be engaged in the discovery process and to change their methods of instruction. As you have probably personally experience, change is never easy and there is a process that people must go through to bring the changed state into their everyday existence. There are multiple examples of this process:
- Marc Prensky discussed this on Edutopia (http://www.edutopia.org/adopt-and-adapt-shaping-tech-for-classroom)
- The theory surrounding LoTi (Levels of Technology Integration by Moersch in 1995)
- Even my paper for grad school combining LoTi with Kubler-Ross' Stages of Greif (which has an eerie congruity)
Case in point: there are many digital representations of the periodic table of elements. One that caught my eye is this one. It is not the colors that caught my eye, but the fact that the 2nd sheet of the Excel file contains ALL of the data (and more) that is in the periodic table. If we utilize this periodic table in class, we can not only have students develop a better understanding of chemistry, but of 21st century skills and skills that can even (*GASP*) help them on standardized test, by having students manipulate the data to have Excel create the graphs.
Another example that got me thinking is an open source game from MIT called "A Slower Speed of Light" which helps put relativistic principles in a format that might be easier to understand.
For those who have been reading (and I thank you for doing so), look at an activity that you have done for the past 3 years...how can you flip it to make it something new and engaging? Leave a comment or mention it to me on Twitter (@misterabrams). Once you have flipped a few activities, it may not seem so scary to go waist deep into the change pool. :)