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iPad Ecology

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Keywords: Mobile Device
Subject(s): Biology
Grades 9 through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: West Valley High School, Cottonwood, CA
Planned By: Thomas Safford
Original Author: Thomas Safford, Cottonwood
Learning Objectives:
-Describe an example showing the effects of interdependence upon organisms in their environment.
-State the five levels of organization at which ecology can be studied.
-Explain how disturbances affect community stability.
-Identify three possible causes of local habitat alteration.

Materials and Resources:
-35-40 iPads

1. (8-10 min) Students watch a 2 minute scene from Avatar (that the teacher projects in front of the class) showing destruction by humans and then students do a quick 5 minute blog on their iPad about what/how they feel after watching the movie clip and what we must be learning about in this lesson.

2. (5 min) Students open an Ecology app called EcoChallenge where they participate in questions that show them how eco-friendly they are.

3. (5 min) Students blog about what they are doing right or wrong in regards to what they learned from EcoChallenge.

4. (10 min) Teacher writes the five levels of ecological organization and draws examples of them on the board while students copy this down using the Note Taker HD app and on the same notes students brainstorm any local environmental issues that they can think of in groups of four. Then go online and look up and write down the definition of interdependence.

5. (5 min) Students scan a QR-Code that is projected in front of the class and this directs them to a short video on a real-life case of interdependence.

6. (10 min) read an online, current issue, article (like "Fracking") and take a short quiz about what they read and what they learned during the day's lesson.

Wrap-up and Reflection:
7. (15 min) Have a class discussion about what happens when humans alter the habitat in an area and why we do sometimes alter habitats. Students open the T-Charts (Pros and Cons) app and list what we come up with and then the teacher tells them one way people are making a difference through "up-cycling". Teacher plays a youtube video that shows up-cycled products.

8. Students are dismissed after being assigned their homework of coming up with an environmental service idea in their group of four and by texting or emailing each other and then emailing it to the teacher so he/she can comment on and share some of the ideas in class the following day.

Cross-Curriculum Ideas
The ability to incorporate more online quick reads and discussion/writing through blogging lends much more opportunity for myself to comment on sentence structure and analyze reading comprehension from an English language arts perspective. There are graphing and calculation capabilities that I would take advantage of from a Mathematical perspective as well. I also have a colleague who would love to use the iPads occasionally in her English class.
This lesson would be expanded upon and turned into a project where students would make videos to explore their environment service ideas among other things.
Materials: Mobile Labs, High
Other Items: 40 iPad or iPad Mini, $400- $500 each