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Interactive website a new tool for science class

SND15-wk3--TCHG RES-Science website-Ben-Emma-SamScience teachers and students now have an innovative new interactive tool to work with following the launch of a website earlier this month by Carmel College science teacher Benjamin Himme.

“I started developing the idea after having a conversation with my friend, Samuel Crookes, who works in IT,” Mr Himme says.

“I was inspired by the Khan Academy website. I was making videos for my junior science and senior biology students and after watching a Salman Khan video in which he made a mistake then went back and corrected it, I started wondering if I could contribute to the website, like you can with Wikipaedia.”

That wasn’t possible, so the science teacher and the computer programmer joined forces to develop their own open access website.

“I wanted it to be free education for everyone. I saw it as a waste of expertise if teachers and students couldn’t share their knowledge,” Mr Himme says.

The site contains videos and notes for students, and teachers have the ability to add and edit content and share their expertise and resources.

“It will be really good to have teachers contributing material,” Mr Himme says.

“As with Wikipaedia, I believe that brings a greater breadth of knowledge and better quality. The system will track every change and can roll back the site to remove any errors.

“As it becomes more sophisticated, we hope to add multi-choice questions for students to answer. This will enable teachers to monitor students’ progress, and we’ll also get students to write questions, which other students will rate.”

The website’s content is organised on a tree and branches, and as content is added the tree will be restructured automatically to best display the content. One idea builds off another, Mr Himme says.

So far, response has been positive. A week after going live 70 teachers and about 240 students had registered, with 400 different people visiting each day.

This article is proudly sponsored by Delta Educational Supplies Ltd, suppliers of the exciting new BeeSpi V Light Gate for Velocity and Acceleration experiments.

www.pathwayz.co.nz

Rosie Clarke

Rosie is the managing editor here at Multimedia Pty Ltd. Feel free to contact her at any time.
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