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Problem-Based Learning and Wireless Technology in the Science Classroom. George Watson ghw@udel.edu www.physics.udel.edu/~watson. Department of Physics and Astronomy College of Arts & Science University of Delaware. 125 th National AAPT Meeting Boise, Idaho Monday, August 5, 2002.

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Problem-Based Learning and Wireless Technology in the Science Classroom

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Problem-Based Learning and Wireless Technology in the Science Classroom

George Watsonghw@udel.eduwww.physics.udel.edu/~watson

Department of Physics and AstronomyCollege of Arts & ScienceUniversity of Delaware

125th National AAPT MeetingBoise, IdahoMonday, August 5, 2002


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Problem-Based Learning and Wireless Technology in the Science Classroom

Part 1. Advances in Technology

Part 2. Advances in Pedagogy

Part 3. Need for Wireless Solution

Part 4. Applications of Wireless


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2002

The Way It Was... 1973

graphing calculators,

laptops,

gigabytes and gigahertz

Computation


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2002

The Way It Was... 1973

e-mail,

voice-mail,

chatrooms,

FAX,

pagers,

cell phones,

PDAs

instant messaging,

wireless connectivity

Communication


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2002

The Way It Was... 1973

Online Information:

web catalogs,

networked databases,

Britannica Online,

online newspapers,

course websites,

CMS

Collections


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Shifting Sand:Impacts of Technologyin Higher Education

Computation and Calculation

Communication and Collaboration

Collections and Connections

Wireless


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Shifting Sand:Impacts of Wireless Technologyin Higher Education

Anytime, Anyplace Access to Info

Active Learning and Simulations

In-class Interactivity (anonymous)

CMS’s and Online Collaborations


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Problem-Based Learning and Wireless Technology in the Science Classroom

Part 1. Advances in Technology

Part 2. Advances in Pedagogy

Part 3. Need for Wireless Solution

Part 4. Applications of Wireless


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The question before us:

Given the amazing advances in technology,

the dramatic change in the first-year experience,

and knowing what we know about our students,

How can we best proceed in our classrooms?


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One possible answer:

The principal idea behind PBL is…

Problem-Based Learning

that the starting point

for learning should be

a problem, a query, or a puzzle

that the learner wishes to solve.

(Bould, 1985:13)


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What is Problem-Based Learning?

PBL is an instructional method that

challenges students to “learn to learn,”

working cooperatively in groups

to seek solutions to real world problems.

PBL prepares students

to think critically and analytically, and

to find and use appropriate learning resources.


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What are the common features of PBL?

Learning is initiated by a problem.

Problems are based on complex, real-world situations.

Information needed to solve problem is not initially given. Students identify, find, and use appropriate resources.

Students work in permanent groups.

Learning is active, integrated, cumulative, and connected.


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PBL: The Process

Students are presented with a problem. They organize ideas and previous knowledge.

Students pose questions, defining what they know and do not know (learning issues).

Students assign responsibility for questions, discuss resources.

Students research learning issues.

Students reconvene and explore newly learned information, refine questions.


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The Problem-Based Learning Cycle

Overview

Problem, Project, or Assignment

Mini-lecture

Group Discussion

Whole Class Discussion

Preparation of Group “Product”

Research

Group Discussion


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Problem-Based Learning and Wireless Technology in the Science Classroom

Part 1. Advances in Technology

Part 2. Advances in Pedagogy

Part 3. Need for Wireless Solution Part 4. Applications of Wireless


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Interactive Student Response Systems

www.educue.com


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The principal idea behind PBL is?

A. PBL challenges students to learn to learn.

B. Learning is initiated by a problem.

C. Students work in permanent groups.

Think/

pair/

share

www.udel.edu/pbl/


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Collaborative, reconfigurable workspace

Flexible furniture

Flexible equipment


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www.udel.edu/pbl/wireless/


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Wireless Laptop Carts


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Problem-Based Learning and Wireless Technology in the Science Classroom

Part 1. Advances in Technology

Part 2. Advances in Pedagogy

Part 3. Need for Wireless Solution Part 4. Applications of Wireless


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Silicon, Circuits, and the Digital Revolution

SCEN103 at the University of Delaware

www.physics.udel.edu/~watson/scen103/


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Broad Course Objectives:

Analyze simple electrical circuits to assess their function and effectiveness.

State and describe fundamental scientific principles underlying modern electronic devices.

Explain the basic operation of electrical circuits, simple semiconductor devices, and integrated circuits.

Identify the contributions of science and technology to everyday life.


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A Problem-Based Learning Approach

to Simple Electrical Circuits

Incorporating PBL problems

Other collaborative exercises

Hands-on laboratory exercises


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PBL #1

Crossed Circuits

Two roommates argue about perceived use of electrical energy;one uses the hairdryer too much and the other showers too long.Who should pay more towards the utility bill?

Energy = power x time


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PBL #2

A San Francisco Treat

Electrical wiring plans are formulated for a building conversion in San Francisco using floorplans from “This Old House”.

Parallel circuits

Household wiring

Power ratings of appliances


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Problem-Based Learning and Physics:Developing problem solving skills in all students

NSF DUE 00-89408 CCLI-EMD

The problem-based learning (PBL) program initiated at the University for reforming undergraduate science teaching is being expanded beyond the University by the development of instructional models and materials made accessible to faculty worldwide through an online clearinghouse. The project is developing a database of problems, instructional models, evaluation tools, and web-based resources that effectively incorporate PBL across the content framework of introductory undergraduate physics courses. Materials are being collected and reviewed for a wide variety of introductory physics courses, for both science majors and non-science majors, across all levels of instruction and class enrollment. In addition to collecting existing problems and material, the project is implementing problem-writing workshops as an important element in developing the collection of PBL materials needed to cover the different curricula of physics at the college level. Selected clearinghouse problems will also be adapted to the high school setting.

www.udel.edu/pblc/


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Lab #3

Batteries and Bulbs

Students work from the simplest possible circuit to the challenging circuit on the left and its companion on the right.

Series and parallel combinations


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Flash Circuit Simulator


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Motivation for This Project

Anywhere, anytime accessibility to ‘lab’.

Faster, cheaper ‘what if?’ changes.

When hands-on experiences in a physical laboratory are not available, computer simulations are often the next best option.

For some topics, computer simulations can provide an environment for active learning that is just as rewarding as the traditional laboratory.


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Implementation of This Project

JavaScript and Java applets are often employed to implement computer simulations for learning that can be accessed over the web.

Often overlooked are other software solutions that run from suitably configured web browsers -- Macromedia Flash is one such approach.

We have created a simple circuit simulator written in Flash that provides an interactive experience for introductory students of electricity.


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Features of the Circuit Simulator

The current version provides

a prototyping workspace

drag-and-drop selection of resistors and batteries

multimeters that can be configured to display current and/or voltage for each circuit element

wire cutters and wire to complete and reconfigure circuits to carry out simulated experiments.

a written and audio introduction to its use.


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Running a circuit simulation…


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Demonstration(if time permits)

http://www.udel.edu/present/showcase/watson/


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Problems We Encountered with the Wireless Classroom

Grin and bear it – a real issue with IT folks.

Cabinet bolted to wall and diligent users.

Laptop displays can be readily closed.

Real – bought a bank of spare batteries.

Worries about loss of network security;

Worries about loss of laptop computers;

Worries about distracted students;

Worries about status of batteries;


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Problem-Based Learning and Wireless Technology in the Science Classroom

George Watsonghw@udel.eduwww.physics.udel.edu/~watson

Department of Physics and AstronomyCollege of Arts & ScienceUniversity of Delaware

125th National AAPT MeetingBoise, IdahoMonday, August 5, 2002


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