Page 16 - FIS World October 2018
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 FIS in 3D
New technologies are helping transform the learning process
Students are making good
use of new “3D Cell Explorer” microscopes, to examine cells from bananas – and the inside of their own cheek – in Upper School science classes
With the growing prominence of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, schools are increasingly looking to new technologies as a way of engaging students. But, how do schools know that a new technology is truly going to enhance student learning?
One way that schools can evaluate the impact of technology is through the SAMR model, which stands for: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition. At the lowest level Substitution occurs, wherein technology directly replaces a task, such as typing rather than writing. In Augmentation, technology replaces a task but also confers an advantage, such as an automatically graded test. The higher levels promote a real transformation in teaching and learning, and include Modification, where technology allows for significant project redesign, and Redefinition, where technology allows for the creation of new tasks that otherwise would not have been possible.
When considering whether to invest in a new technology, schools need to weigh the cost versus benefits – will this technology have a transformative impact on student learning in our school, or is it simply another way for us to do what we already do?
At FIS, there has been substantial recent investment in 3D technology through the purchase of 3D microscopes, 3D printers and 3D modelling software, and these technologies are having a transformative impact on STEM learning at the school.
The new “3D Cell Explorer” microscopes in the Upper School Science Department allow young scientists to explore living cells without damaging or staining them by adding a chemical marker. Students can explore real cells in real time – alive, in 3D and in motion. Images and videos can also be captured, allowing students to observe and analyze cell behavior, motion and cell-to-cell interactions over time.
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