Curriculum Ideas

Technology is not magic and does not automatically make a powerful learning experience unless it is used with good teaching and curricula. It is not usually a good idea to simply replace a traditional lab with an equivalent one using computers and/or sensors. This kind of "substitution" is easiest to implement, but can simply make a lab more difficult and expensive by the inclusion of technology with little educational gain. Computers and sensors add capacity and flexibility that, to be exploited, requires the activity to be reconceptualized, giving students more opportunity to explore and learn through their investigations. This, in turn, often requires a change in teaching style that takes time and institutional commitment. These changes are central to the reform envisioned by the new standards and curriculum frameworks.

We have provided a list of activity ideas for many of the popular probes.

The Concord Consortium's, Information Technology In Science Inquiry Scale Up (ITSI-SU) is a comprehensive ITEST project for middle and high school teachers. In ITSI-SU we provide educators with exciting, inquiry-based science projects that use computational models and real-time data acquisition. Here we showcase grade-appropriate activities that use probes.

The probe vendors are also a good place to find activities. If you read through the suppliers' index you will notice curriculum links listed for each interface. Here are some examples: