I recently read an article about “Eureka” moments during science lessons. We strive as teachers to create lessons that lead to “Eureka”, (I always call them “a-ha”), moments for our students. Technology has kind of overwhelmed the discussion on the Internet, in IT departments and at district budget meetings. But we can still use our tried and true educational resources in the form of VHS and DVD programs. VHS and DVD were cutting edge technology, once upon a time, and it was their implementation into the classroom that led to the development of teaching techniques that maximized the efficacy of video imagery in lessons. Until all classrooms are equipped with modern systems, let’s not forget that we still have instructional materials to help teachers create more effective elementary lesson plans.
Technology has made “Eureka!” moments much more possible and I appreciated the overall intent of the article, I just couldn’t stop thinking to myself that if most schools’ technology committees decided to provide classes with twenty laptops, then we would have many more of these “Eureka” moments. But the stark reality is that in smaller, poorly funded school districts, the implementation of computer technology in every classroom is still a ways off.
So, how does a teacher faced with limitations in new classroom technology provide equally satisfying “Eureka” moments for students, especially in science?-By continuing to use educational videos and educational DVDs that provide visual and auditory support for science concepts and modeling for scientific processes being taught in science lessons. Most teachers are familiar with VHS and DVD because they have been in the classroom a lot longer. Not only are there still large video libraries at schools, school districts and regional media centers, VHS and DVD still remains an affordable resource. Computers and the networks required to support them are much more costly and more relegated to the world of the IT department.
Educational science programs can do two primary things:
1. They can present images to give students a “picture” of the term or concept being discussed in the lesson.
2. They can show a scientific process to help students understand the nature of scientific inquiry and the modeling of sequential processes for experiments and data collection.
Educational programs help teachers provide context in a classroom for the complex needs in meeting the objectives of a science lesson. Visual images and auditory examples of terms and explanations help students build their understanding of a science concept. There are many facets of a science lesson. Video should be used as a component to meet the lesson objective in addition to text, direct instruction and science experiment processes.