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Cyber-enabled technologies hold great promise as cognitive tools for engaging students in the practices of science.  This web site provides tools and resources that support  the level of planning and preparation that go into fashioning modules with cyber-enabled cognitive tools framed by constructivism at the middle school levels.  The ISIT project intentionally focuses on the following centrally important middle school level outcomes to support transformative science teaching and learning with technology:

Scientific
Literacies
New
Literacies
Information & Communication Technologies
Encompasses written, numerical, and digital literacy as they pertain to understanding science, its methodology, observations, and theories. Our specific targets include engaging in scientifically oriented questions, giving priority to evidence in response to questions, formulating explanations from evidence, connecting explanations to scientific knowledge, and communicating and justifying explanations. New forms of literacy made possible by digital technology developments. The specific forms targeted in our project include Identifying questions/Recognizing relevant information, Locating/managing information, Evaluating information, Synthesizing information to answer questions, and Communicating answers to others. Information and communications technology-“ICT” is used as a general term for all kinds of technologies which enable users to create, access and manipulate information.

The project has been built around a model of professional development that is anchored by curriculum resources and technology tools.  All of the resources developed in the project are free and all technologies created or used are open source.  The following four modules that strategically leverage cyber-enabled technologies for science teaching and learning can be accessed below.

 

Module 1 – Human impacts
This module engages students in investigating how humans impact the environment using sampling techniques, ICTs, and databases.

Module 2 – Simple machines
This module engages students in investigating how forces affect the motion of objects using slowmation video capture and ICTs.

Module 4 – Physical & chemical properties
This module engages students in investigating the nature of changes in matter though gaming and iterative cycles of inquiry.

Module 3 – Organisms & the environment
This module engages students in investigating how abiotic factors affect organisms using a 3D virtual plant community simulation and ICTs.