What I learned
Last week I finished off my data collection, so I have been able to look at the data a little bit. It turns out the students did enjoy the simulations, but they felt that they were not a replacement for lab work. This was my thought all along, so their support of this thinking was very positive. Most simulations they did were received well, except by one student. This student was very negative towards the simulations where the other students were not. After reviewing this data I feel as if I need to introduce more simulations (a greater variety from several different companies). I could see how having one site could skew data in this way. If I had done all of the simulations from one site I could have obtained a completely different opinion.
What the data tells me
I discovered that the students:
- Were highly engaged when exploring science-based computer simulations.
- Interacted appropriately with students to share discoveries.
- Enjoyed the simulations.
- Thought that simulations were educational and beneficial to introducing lab experiments and/or equipment.
Applying my data to the real world
Then in applying this research to my current position, I am still adamant that I can’t use simulations in the gym. I only see my students for 45 minutes once a week. It is not enough time to do simulations with them. If I had them daily that would be different, I would then have the time and opportunities to introduce simulation games on nutrition and health or differing muscles and why it is important to stretch and warm up our bodies. This could be something that middle school and high school teachers could do. I would like to share my findings with other PE teachers. I meet with the other elementary PE teachers once a month. I can share these ideas with them there. I was also thinking of sharing my data with the teachers in my building during a staff meeting or a teacher inservice day. This information could benefit the use of simulations when teaching science in school. Scott also mentioned how I could share it with others using Google Docs, Moodle, or even Edmodo.
Impact of this week’s interactions
I was reminded of the importance of rubrics. I don’t tend to use rubrics in PE or in my reading intervention groups, though I do a lot of observation data collection. This would be a great way to justify the grades students have been receiving, and if I keep it very simple it shouldn’t be that difficult to create. I love reading other posts and responses to my own posts. They are very beneficial in reminding me about things, or giving me new ideas to build on. Just like the Twitter session this week, we were able to read posts from everyone on these really cool walls that we can go back to at any time and view. It was great to read what others were doing and thinking.