Classroom Blog and Website Creation Tools

Lesson Idea Name: The Story of Water (in-depth look into Proctor Creek through student-led experimentation)
Content Area: Environmental Science
Grade Level(s): 11th/12th

Content Standard Addressed:
SEV1: Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to investigate the flow of energy and cycling of matter
within an ecosystem.
SEV4: Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to analyze human impact on natural resources.
SEV5: Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the effects of human population growth on
global ecosystems.
SB5. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to assess the interdependence of all organisms on one
another and their environment.
a. Plan and carry out investigations and analyze data to support explanations about factors affecting
biodiversity and populations in ecosystems.

Technology Standard Addressed:
ISTE-S 1: Students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving and demonstrating
competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences.
ISTE-S 3: Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce
creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others.
ISTE-S 4: Students use a variety of technologies within a design process to identify and solve problems by
creating new, useful or imaginative solutions.
ISTE-S 6: Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the
platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.
ISTE-S 7: Students use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating
with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally.

Selected Technology Tool:
☒ Blog ☐ Wiki ☐ Other: Website Creation Tool (list):

URL(s) to support the lesson (if applicable):

Bloom’s Taxonomy Level(s):
☒ Remembering ☒ Understanding ☒ Applying ☒ Analyzing ☒ Evaluating ☒ Creating

Levels of Technology Integration (LoTi Level): (Level determined by the specific lesson idea)
☐ Level 1: Awareness ☐ Level 2: Exploration ☐ Level 3: Infusion ☒ Level 4: Integration
☐ Level 5: Expansion ☐ Level 6: Refinement

Lesson idea implementation: The use of the Edublog will extend into a prior experiment that the students
started use the BBPT tool ArcGIS. In this lesson students were introduced to watershed ecology through a
flipped classroom assignment (BPT tool) and then asked to explore the Proctor Creek watershed via ArcGIS to
gather information and make observations. After this introduction students created their own hypothesis
regarding the built environment and its effects on the water quality of the environment. Once students
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Classroom Blog and Website Creation Tools
developed a clear hypothesis they were asked to begin designing an experiment with all components of the
scientific method addressed. My vision for this project is that students would work on it over the entire
semester. Students would begin with this basic framework but would then utilize outside resources
(watershed departments, city records, previous scholarly research) to collect information about watershed
quality analysis. They would then use this knowledge to inform their experimental design. Once the design
and methods were clear students would begin actual experimentation using ArcGIS software. In order, to
extend student learning even more it would be possible to take field trips to sampling stations in Proctor
Creek and gather real time water quality data to be used in the final write-up of their experiment. In addition,
students will be encouraged to think of new areas of research that will be needed to continue to ensure
water quality. They will be encouraged to draw connections between issues of environmental quality and
social justice as well as share ideas for how issues in environmental justice could be tackled in this particular
watershed (they can draw for what the community is already doing).

This lesson builds on all levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy through learning, understanding, and creating original
experiments using the scientific method. Through the use of an ArcGIS data platform students reach a LoTi
level of 4. Students build knowledge on a local watershed (Proctor Creek) and build connections between
the health of this watershed and the health of the community. This allows the students to make meaningful
connections to these concepts of watershed ecology. In addition, students take on a lead role in this
experiment and are allowed autonomy on design. This lesson has the possibility to reach a LoTi level of 5
through the sharing of this original research to blogs or at local community gatherings (town meetings,
advocacy groups). Also inclusion of water professionals and public health professionals invested in the
clean-up of the Proctor Creek watershed could be invited to the classroom to share their knowledge.
Students would also possibly have the opportunity to collect water samples in the field as an extension to
this mainly web-based activity. ISTE-S standards that are met by this lesson include 1, 3, and 4.

Importance of technology: The use of a classroom website/blog for this experiment adds a great way to help
students share their research with a wider audience. On the class website this project will have its own tab
and students will make weekly posts about the progress of their semester long project. In addition, this is
where their final write-up will be along with the multimedia tool they ultimately decide to share their
research through (all students will gain experience writing up a lab report for their experiment but they will
also have freedom to choose how they ultimately want to deliver their research to their audience).

Inspiration (optional): I drew inspiration for the current Proctor Creek website as well as a project being used
to monitor the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Through National Geographic classrooms
from all around the Chesapeake area are using their GIS called FieldScope and actual student collected water
data to gather information on watershed quality through one collaborative website.

Internet Safety and Student Privacy: My main concern with this project would be the sharing of student
collected data via the Edublog website. I would want to ensure that this data is credited to the student as well
as make sure no personally identifiable characteristics are shared by the student since we want to share this
data with the local community and wide-audience on the internet. I would ensure that all students are the
appropriate age for the terms of use of the website and also obtain parent-consent for both allowing students
to display their work on the class site and also for fieldtrip activities. Parents will be able to stay informed
about this project and anything else going on in class via the parent’s tab on the website. I will also obtain

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Classroom Blog and Website Creation Tools
permission from my principal as well as make sure all school policies and guidelines regarding internet use
and safety are being met. CIPA and FERPA will guide much of my activities to ensure that students are staying
safe while gaining access to the ArcGIS data, researching existing data, and when posting to the class site.

Describe your personal learning goal for this activity. I think this is a very student-centered experiment.
Actually really it is all student led with the teacher providing consent and structure as the student’s progress
through researching, designing, and implementing their experiments. I am really just providing frames of
reference so students understand what is scholarly research, what are appropriate variables, ways to collect
data, and etc. However, the students ultimately make all decisions regarding what research they will use and
how they will implement their experiment.

Also the idea of this being a semester long activity could make it difficult to pace. However, I like the idea of
this being a cumulative project that students can feel really proud of at the end of the semester. Not only will
they can confidence from that but I would also love to provide them a platform to present their research
outside of school and the class website. Possibly at a university or local non-profit that deals with issues of
water quality and environmental justice.

Other comments about your proposed activity:

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