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Creating Online Science Lab Notebooks


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Keywords: Web-based, Laboratory, Lab Report, Online notebook, Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Science, Lab
Subject(s): Life Science, Earth Science, Biology, Science, Chemistry, Physics
Grades 7 through 12
School: Spring Woods High School, Houston, TX
Planned By: Adrianne Stone
Original Author: Adrianne Stone, Houston
PRIOR TO LAB:
- Students should create a zoho account (can sign in using a google account, yahoo account, or facebook account as well as create a unique account just for zoho)
- Students should create a new notebook and title it per the teacher's specifications (ex. Biology I)
It is recommended that the student be encouraged to decorate this page and make it their own. This is equivalent to the student lab notebook that many students would have in a classroom.
- Students should create a new page - be sure to select "Add Writer Page" which will add a page that edits very much like a word document but can still have spreadsheets and other multimedia embedded in it easily. If you have the students complete any pre-lab questions they should be done at the top of this page.

DURING THE LAB:
- Students should use digital camcorders or cameras to record their lab experience. If they use a camcorder (such as a FLIP camera) they can edit their video down to produce a "vlog" of their lab (video log) that can be uploaded to youtube/schooltube/etc and embedded in the lab report.
- If scientific probeware is available students should use the probes to collect data that can later be incorporated into their lab report.

AFTER THE LAB:
- Students should edit their videos (if applicable) to create a cohesive video log of their experiment. Videos should provide a clear logical progression of the procedure, as well as results. Preferably students should add narration during post-production to explain what is going on - subtitles would also be acceptable.
- Students should choose pictures that are appropriate to illustrating steps in the procedure and results and embed them in their page. Students should label each illustration with either a descriptive title, reference number (ex. Figure 1.2) that is referred to in the written procedure or results, or both.
- Students should input all numerical data into a spreadsheet (select "add sheet") and use the data to graph any trends.
- Students should type up their lab report and organize it according to the standards of the teacher. In my classroom the students should write up the procedures and background prior to attending class, while the data and conclusion would be done after class.
- Many students are lacking in the ability to apply data and findings to a reasonable conclusion so they might need extra help here.

Students should "share" their lab notebook with their teacher so that the teacher has access to it. Optionally, the teacher could also open up access to each of the labs and encourage the students to analyze and comment on each other's labs (there is a comment function with zoho notebooks)
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This idea of notebooking can be extended to all of the subject areas with minor alterations.
Follow-Up
Students could create lab report posters or mini-posters presenting the results of thier labs to the class.
Links: Zoho
Materials: Video Cameras, Digital Cameras, Calculators, Scientific, Camera/Video Accessories, Flash/USB Drives, Tripods, Cables, Science, Middle, High, Inspiration, Animation, Video Tools, Internet Services, Integrating Technology