The range of web-based resources to teach science is overwhelming. I have summarised as follows some websites and portals. This list is by no means exhaustive.
Scootle is an Australian Government sponsored (DEAG, 2013) web portal providing access to a collection that includes over 9,000 science teaching and learning resources and supports teaching across all stages and topics. The resources include images, audios, videos, games, datasets, collections and teacher resources. The resources can be sorted by type, student stage and topic and include links to Australian Curriculum learning outcomes. The quality and range of the resources means that Scootle is a valuable tool in lesson planning and supporting objectivist and constructivist pedagogies.
2. TES (https://www.tes.com/au)
TES is an international education company providing a website from which almost 50,000 science resources can be accessed; some 38,000 of which are free. Like Scootle the TES website allows resources to be sorted by topic and age. For example, a search of free science resources, suitable for 11 to 14 year-old students and focused on Aboriginal knowledge generated 47 resources. TES is also a valuable tool in lesson planning and supporting objectivist and constructivist pedagogies
3. YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=science)
YouTube is a platform providing access to an extensive range of science videos including documentaries produced by high quality producers such as BBC, Discovery Channel and National Geographic, videos about how things work and videos to help conduct experiments, activities and projects. These videos can be used:
· to engage students when introducing a topic including developing understanding of how science relates to real world;
· to research experiments, activities and projects that can be conducted by students;
· to deepen understanding about topics;
· to conduct virtual experiments where these experiments cannot be conducted physically in a school laboratory.
4. Khan Academy (https://www.khanacademy.org)
Khan Academy is a not-for-profit foundation providing high quality tutorial videos and quizzes covering a wide range of topics including science and mathematics. In respect to science the tutorials are selectively suitable to senior high school students. The tutorial can be used to develop learning mastery by firstly instructing students to watch a video and take notes, secondly hold a structured class discussion and then follow up with individual or collaborative problem solving exercises that may require students to re-view the tutorial video. Students can also then complete quizzes to assess their learning.
Khan Academy also provides access to the Crash Course science videos (https://www.khanacademy.org/search?page_search_query=crash%20course). The Crash Course videos provide excellent topic overviews but the pace and language is too challenging for most high school students. They are selectively suitable to engage students because the graphics and commentary are engaging and amusing. They are also useful to help abler senior students develop mastery learning.
Absorb Learning and Explore Learning are subscription based services providing an extensive range of models to support science learning. Both provide simple and elegant graphic models that can be used to support learning across all years at high school. The models are particularly helpful for students with low literacy skills or struggling with abstraction and complex learning concepts. The models can be integrated into class instruction or accessed by students to solve problems.
6. Syngenta Periodic Table (http://www.syngentaperiodictable.co.uk)
Sygenta plc is a UK based chemical company that provide an interactive and engaging website to help students develop understanding of the Periodic Table and Group properties. I have used the website successfully several times with an accompanying worksheet.
www.bestsites.com is a US website and portal whose aim is to promote rich and easy web-based learning experiences. The site provides links to some very creative and interactive science resources such as www.howestuffworks.com. The linked sites include structured learning activities and are suited to constructivist, discovery learning. It also provides practical information about website design.
8. American Chemical Society – Education Resources (https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/students/highschool/chemistryclubs/activities.html.html)
The American Chemical Society provides a range of resources to help students conduct projects. The website also provides ideas and support to teachers and students interested in starting Chemistry Clubs.
9. Royal Chemical Society – Education Resources (http://www.rsc.org/Learn-Chemistry)
The Royal Chemical Society provides a wide range of learning resources for students and teachers. The site includes an index for age related activities. The site is particularly helpful for students and teachers exploring more complex projects.
10. about.com – education (http://www.about.com/education)
About.com is a portal providing access to wide range of interesting and well designed learning resources. The science resources are well suited to help students develop concepts for projects.
11. Polymer Science Learning Center (http://pslc.ws/macrog/kidsmac/wiap.htm)
The Polymer Science Learning Center is an example of a specialist website. As the name indicates the site is dedicated to polymer science. The site includes a range of activities and is well suited to discovery learning activities and projects.
12. TED Talks (http://www.ted.com/topics)
TED Talks provides high quality video presentations that can be used to engage students about science. I find the videos useful after completing a learning unit to engage students as to why learning science is important and can lead to interesting careers.
13. Science Bob (http://science.bob.com)
Science Bob provides a range of easy instructions and quality videos for simple experiments and projects for junior high school level students.
14. Chem Collective (http://www.chemcollective.org)
ChemCollective is a website created by the US-based National Science Digital Library (NSGL) to support chemistry education through interactive and engaging activities. The website offers a range of virtual laboratory experiments, scenario-based modelling activities, tutorials and concept tests.
15. Chemistry Drills (http://www.chemistry-drills.com)
Chemistry Drills is part of a website, meta synthesis (http://www.meta-synthesis.com) offering science teaching products and services. Chemistry Drills is a free resource suited to senior high school students and university undergraduates seeking to develop mastery of chemistry topics.
Digital Education Advisory Group (DEAG). (2013). Beyond the classroom: A new digital education for young Australians in the 21st century. Retrieved November 16, 2016 http://apo.org.au/files/Resource/deag_beyond_the_classroom_2013.pdf