Science, Technology and Policy
Recent advances in technology provide stunning opportunities for research programs in science education. This talk will showcase current findings, identify sound evidence for policy makers, and provide a blueprint for future research in the field. Research conducted by the Technology Enhanced Learning in Science (TELS) center, funded by the National Science Foundation, documents effective uses of technology for student learning, teaching, and assessment. Inquiry environments combined with powerful scientific visualizations can improve understanding of complex science topics. These environments gather a plethora of evidence about student learning that can inform teachers and strengthen interactions between teachers and learners. By documenting learning as it occurs, researchers gain insight into the effectiveness of specific learning activities and can begin to identify patterns of instruction that have widespread benefits. Policy makers can use the evidence from current research in setting curriculum standards, funding technology, and designing professional development programs to improve science teaching. Researchers can use the TELS instructional modules on topics like meiosis, global climate change, or chemical reactions, knowledge integration assessments, professional development activities, and open source design environment and community at no cost to enhance their own investigations. These resources offer one avenue for creating a vibrant, interconnected, and cumulative research program in science education.