Technology Workshop

Probes in the Classroom

8:00-9:00am: Background Information/ Educational Benefits

Key Questions:

Why is the integration of technology important within the classroom?

What is thoughtful integration of technology?

Can the technology/ probes be used for collaboration and the extension of learning within the classroom, as well as outside of it?

Replace - Can I use this educational technology to replace what I've done before?
Amplify - Can I use this educational technology to help amplify or enhance what I am currently doing?

Transform - Does this educational technology allow for the transformation of how teaching and learning is currently done?

What are Technology Probes?

Educational Benefits of using Probes in the Classroom(Presentation)

Using probes in the classroom is not only highly engaging, but it saves time and allows students to explore collaboratively and efficiently. Giving students opportunities to use technology within the classroom for the purpose of learning and exploration is essentially preparing them for a technology driven world. Students are working collaboratively and understanding concepts in all academic areas through hands-on, engaging learning. Incorporating probes into your lesson allows for greater inquiry and less teacher guidance; students are learning through discovery, while the teacher facilitates and supports learning.

Key benefits:

  1. Provide learning advantage to students: differentiated instruction.
  2. Helps deepen students' understanding of science concepts.
  3. Creates engaging, hands-on data collection and investigations.
  4. Supports collaboration.

Present and discuss a variety of technological resources, such as probeware:

9:00-10:00am: Description of Probe/ TI Light Probe

The TI Light Probe is a budget light probe for measuring relative brightness. It senses both IR and visible light. The reading reported is a relative number between 0 and 1. Its ease of use makes it an excellent choice for elementary and middle school.

It can be used in the classroom for a variety of experiments, such as:

  • Measuring light levels on planets in relation to their distance from the sun.
  • The amount of light on the earth during each season: comparison.
  • Measuring light intensity through different material.
  • Measuring reflected light.

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10:00-10:30am: Examples of Activities/ Probe Use

During this time, participants will observe a variety of different lessons/activities that students can do using this probe, as well as other probes.

Other lessons using probes:

10:30-11:30am: Collaborative Task

  1. Begin thinking about content that is difficult for students to learn or perhaps hard for them to engage with the learning and consider technologies that may be helpful to address the needs of individual students.
  2. Choose a subject/topic, or an existing lesson, and integrate one of the probes that you learned about into the lesson. How does the probe enhance the lesson and learning?
  3. Create a book, using Storybird, explaining how the use of probes enhances student learning.

11:30-12:30pm: Reflection and Discussion

  1. What activities do you already do that could be enhanced with technology?
  2. What technologies do your students already use in daily life?
  3. Think about the technologies that you currently use to teach. Are there ways you could improve how your students use these technologies?
  4. What concepts are difficult for students to understand? How might technology be used to help student understanding of these difficult concepts?
  5. What technologies would you like to integrate but would like more help with?
  6. How could you use technologies, like probeware, to support collaborative student learning?
  7. What challenges do you face as you incorporate technology into your teaching? What strategies do you follow to overcome those challenges?

Workshop Coordinator

Erin McDevitt