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Using Tablets for Project Based Learning in Science

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Keywords: Tablet, Project Based Learning, Presentation, Research, Science
Subject(s): Science
Grade 6
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Randall G Lynch Middle School, Farmington, AR
Planned By: Melissa Miller
Original Author: Melissa Miller, Farmington
Student Expectations:

Use tablets to research specific science content using a variety of sources.
Use tablets to create presentations of compiled research using some type of visual model.

The student expectations listed above can be used in a variety of science areas. According to the Common Core State Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects, this will address the following standards:

Key Ideas and Details

RST.6-8.1. Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

RST.6-8.7. Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
RST.6-8.8. Distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment based on research findings, and speculation in a text.
RST.6-8.9. Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity

RST.6-8.10. By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 68 text complexity band independently and proficiently.


Students will be provided with topics to research within a unit of study. They will work together in pairs to read and analyze web-based material for relevance as well as looking at reliability of the source, ultimately gaining information from a minimum of 3 sources. Pairing is to encourage collaboration.

By using tablets, students will have access to enhanced eBook features such as additional images, video, and audio presentations not available in a standard printed text. Use of programs such as DropBox or Evernote will enable students to share folders with each other as well as with the teacher, compiling digital portfolios which will showcase their work.

After students have collected and analyzed sufficient sources, they will use this information to produce presentations for the class, choosing from a variety of presentation apps and models.

These can be shared digitally using DropBox, MyBigCampus, and other similar venues.

By using appropriate technology, students are able to independently locate, read, analyze, and present relevant scientific information, thus deepening their understanding of key scientific concepts.

Assessment - ongoing throughout the process, with teachers having access to shared student files. Final assessment - Performance Based Assessment on finished presentations.

This particular lesson can be modified to fit any curriculum area.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This is an integrated lesson plan, utilizing both science and literacy standards.
Hands-on labs that correlate to the research being conducted.
Links: Classroom Aid - free ebooks
Course Smart Apps for Tablets
Google Scholar (relevant scholarly research)
Sweet Search (websites evaluated by researchers)
Materials: Mobile Labs
Other Items: 15 Lenovo Think Pad Tablet (16GB), $349.00 each, total of $5235.00
1 Tablet Mobile Lab Case, $349.95 each, total of $349.95