Primavera Online High School
One of the most common questions I get when I tell people that I am an online science teacher is, “How do you do lab projects?” A joy of teaching science is having students do hands-on labs. Since Primavera is a fully accredited high school it means that our students are doing hands-on projects in all lab science classes.
The simple answer to how we do labs is that students use basic materials to create experiments right in their home. In my first semester biology class, students will make yogurt at home and determine if yogurt is best made at room temperature or in the refrigerator. My general science students will explore Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion by making balloon rockets.
Providing hands-on labs is one thing, getting student to do the labs is another. While some students can read the lab directions and jump right in, most need more help. Here is where I use Adobe Connect meeting room. Since I am not sitting in front of my students, Adobe Connect allows me to teach live and get real time feedback from them on class concepts. It also helps to personalize the class for my students. Finally, they are taking a class from a real person, not just scrolling through activities.
Adobe Connect is a web-based platform for meetings and/or teaching live to student that may be living hundreds of miles away. Some of the features I use most often include:
- Real time chat and video – I have to make sure that I am not teaching in my pajamas on live session days.
- Screen share – This allows both the student and myself to share our screens.
- Whiteboard – An endless amount of whiteboards are available that can be accessed by both instructor and student. Instructors can also limit access to select students. They can also be saved and reused later too.
- Polling – Create unique poll questions to check student comprehension throughout a lesson
- Share documents and videos – Capability to upload and share PowerPoint presentations, .pdf files and also Youtube videos.
More information for Adobe connect at http://www.adobe.com/products/adobeconnect.html
Looking for ideas that have similar features, but not the cost associated with Adobe Connect?
- Skype is a great tool to connect with students that may be home-bound but still participating in your class. http://www.skype.com/en/
- RealTimeBoard (https://realtimeboard.com/app/). Your first three boards are free.
As more and more schools and districts bring in an online component for teaching students, it is helpful to stay abreast of ways that you could interact with students that may access your class from miles away.