Harry Keller Interview in AJDE

Jim ShimabukuroBy Jim Shimabukuro

Harry Keller, ETCJ’s science education editor and president of Smart Science® Education Inc., was interviewed by Jim Shimabukuro in The American Journal of Distance Education July-September 2011 issue (v. 25, no. 3, pp. 192-200). The interview, “Speaking Personally — with Harry Keller,” focused on the company’s online labs.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

JS: What about support for project-based learning? Group learning? Field experiments?

HK: Anyone can use our online labs as part of projects: as preparation, as a resource during a project, and as a comparison after project completion.  The curriculum designer or teacher chooses how and when to use our lab units.  We could build a series of modules that include hands-on or field trip activities along with supporting online experiences.  If focused on a real-world challenge, these should qualify as project-based learning and evince active and engaged learning that inspires students to achieve deeper knowledge of their subjects.

We provide a number of features that support or work in tandem with group work, which we strongly support.  For example, students can share the prediction process, the experiment selection process, and their data. Once experimental data has been collected, students can download the lab report in PDF format – ready for sharing. These lab reports contain all collected data in three different formats, making the sharing process more exciting.

The Smart Science® system has hands-on experiments built in across many different lab units.  That capability can readily be extended to the field.

The advantages of this method for hands-on and field work are that students have a straightforward way to input and see data, and both students and teachers are working with a standard lab report format.  Combining hands-on and online experiments allows for deeper and more scientific investigations. (197-198)

One Response

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