I have recently discovered this wonderful app for making stop motion animated movies on the iPad. It is free to download from the App Store but includes a number of in-app purchases such as sound effects and movie themes which you may wish to invest in. Students can simply draw a sequence of images on paper to photograph or build models using plasticine, Lego or pipe cleaners etc. Most recently, my AS students (who are currently studying a unit on immunity) animated clonal selection and expansion in B-lymphocytes (below), phagocytosis and the action of antibodies.
Canva is a free online graphic design tool which can be used to make beautiful posters, infographics, presentations and many other things. It is extremely simple to use and features a vast library of templates, fonts and photographs to choose from.
My AS level biology students have recently used Canva to create eyecatching infographics summarising the structure and properties of biological molecules. I think they look great!
TED-Ed produce some really excellent educational videos. Here are just a few of my favourites…
How to speed up chemical reactions (and get a date)
Myths and misconceptions about evolution
How mucus keeps us healthy
Year 12 AS Level Biology students made these wonderful videos outlining the stages of the mitotic cell cycle using Adobe Voice.
I am a big fan of Google Classroom and although I am not completely paperless quite yet, I am increasingly using Google Docs in class and when setting assignments for homework.
I think one of my greatest discoveries when completing the Google Certified Educator courses (available here and highly recommended) was the fact that you can embed YouTube videos directly into a Google Form then share it with your students as a flipped learning activity. There are a variety of different question types available including text and multiple choice as well as more advanced options such as scales for ordering or sequencing.
The students’ responses are automatically collated in a Google Sheet document allowing you to add comments, apply conditional formatting or review their learning before the lesson.
This is a great way for students to get to know their way around the Periodic Table of Elements. Students should give their firing coordinates as Groups and Periods.
These are a great way of summarising the properties of elements, radiation, biological molecules etc. in a format that the students instantly recognise and can relate to.
I often find that really simple visual aids are all that are needed to make otherwise quite complex concepts spring to life in the students’ minds. For example, a balloon inside a cardboard box to represent the protoplast inside the cell wall of a plant cell (particularly useful when teaching plasmolysis), pipe cleaners as polysaccharide chains or for demonstrating protein structure, and drawing pins stuck in ping-pong balls as viruses or cell-surface antigens.
Cubes are great for displaying information or for modelling structures like the human skin or the cross-section of a leaf. They can be hung in the classroom so also make eye-catching displays. Templates are easy to find online.