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Elementary Science

Computers in the Classroom

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Rachel Webber Rachel Webber 255 Points

Hi friends, I've been wondering: How do elementary educators use computers in the classroom or libraries for science lessons? How often do you use computers? Are there other ways you engage your classroom with web resources? I checked out these great ideas about websites for students: Are there any kinds of websites you wish existed for students that don't exist already? What would be on your wishlist for a science website that would be most useful for your classroom? Thanks. 

Autumn Morrison Autumn Morrison 735 Points

Hey Rachel,

I am a pre-service teacher, my placement is in the first grade, and I find that my mentor teacher uses the computer a lot in our science lessons. The computers are often used to show videos and pictures that the county provided or recommended be shown. The videos are not just for lessons but also used as extensions so that students who have grasped the material can learn more and students who are struggling can still learn the material or have what is being taught reinforced. There are a lot of great videos on youtube about a variety of topics that are catered to students. Also you should try asking other teachers what videos or websites they have used or see if the county has recommendations. Overall I think the use of the computer is very useful in the classroom. Even at a young age most of my students are very familiar with the computer and outside of the classroom they learn a lot of information through the computer. I find using a medium that they are used to helps gain interest and makes the students receptive to the information the teacher is trying to teach them. In addition, just from personal experiences I find that using the computer in the classroom to be beneficial especially when running simulations for experiments.
The kinds of websites I wished existed are websites that promote science in everyday life. I find that students have a lot of trouble connecting what they learn in labs to everyday life and I think that more games that represent the science in day to day life will help students know that they are scientist and that being good at science does not require a skill set.

Whitney Pomeroy Whitney Pomeroy 615 Points

As pre-service teachers we just went through a WebQuest of our own, then created a WebQuest. WebQuests use an online format for students to complete an interactive research project guided by the teacher's WebQuest form, but allows students more freedom to personalize in which direction their information gathering heads. Based on experience with before and after-care children I care for, I would say groups of fourth graders and up would do fine completing this kind of activity, if it is outlined sufficiently and kept simple. The link below is from and is a search engine for lessons about a multitude of topics. The best part is that the previously mentioned website will walk you through creating your own WebQuest, which can be as long or short as you like, and can cover literally any topic. I also tend to use government agency websites often (from any country really), although they do usually have an agenda to push, they also provide links to many resources that I wouldn't have thought to look at otherwise. They also provide a real-life component to which students can relate, which is always a bonus.

Briyanna Alexander Briyanna Alexander 765 Points

In the school that I student teach at teachers try to use computers whenever the time fits. In my classroom students are able to access approved educational websites for each content area. I have noticed that the science websites are limited in comparison to reading or math. I would like students to have a fun yet educational website to help broaden their knowledge on things such as seasons. The students in my classroom love getting in the computer and are are to navigate it with little to no assistance. I just believe that we need more websites for students in regards to science.

Angelica Lara Angelica Lara 1415 Points

I am a pre-service teacher and I have not yet observed computers being utilize in a science lesson. In my future classroom I will like to use computers in a science lesson during workstations. I think computers are helpful during science lesson because students are able to understand science in a different format. Sometimes students need more explanation understanding certain material, but with the computers they could explore what they are learning in science using different websites or games in order for them to understand what is being taught.

Yara Botello Yara Botello 1115 Points

I am a student teacher, so far all I have seen for science in the classroom is Brain Pop. Last year I was in a classroom where the teacher would put up a website where the students could go up to the computer and write their answer to the major question she had that morning. It allowed you to edit the different views of the website as well. Unfortunately, I have been trying to think of which one it was for the past year and I am not able to remember.

Laura Jane Posner Laura Posner 220 Points

Thank you for the center options!! I like that idea :)

Kayla Fearrin Kayla Fearrin 595 Points

I think that having technology in the classroom is great for students to expand and explore their learning in science! I would use computers in the classroom for center activities where they children could be on several researched websites that promote their learning in science. I would use the BrainPop website in my classroom where there are videos, activities, and examples of different subject matters. I would like to try and incorporate computers as much as possible that would be beneficial for learning. As a teacher, you could use web resources to find videos that would grasp students attention and get them prepared for the upcoming lesson. As far as websites that I wish existed that don't as far as I'm aware of would possibly be a website where students like mine are doing experiments and modeling the science that goes along with the experiment. I think that these videos would be very interesting for my students to watch and then do, with safety precautions of course.

Rachel Webber Dr. Universe 255 Points

"...where students like mine are doing experiments and modeling the science that goes along with the experiment. I think that these videos would be very interesting for my students to watch and then do, with safety precautions of course." That sounds like a great idea! Almost like science videos for students by students kind of thing?

Corina Chen Xusha (Corina) Chen 555 Points

Hi Rachel, There are many ways that elementary teachers can use computers in the classroom, especially for science lessons! You could find videos that show students examples of real-life science. For example, if you were teaching a lesson on space/solar system, you could find videos that present visuals for students to see and better understand/get a grasp on the concepts of space and how big the solar system really is. As a pre-service teacher, I imagine I would use computers everyday (just as my teachers had in high school). You can also have students go to the computer lab and have them explore websites like NASA to get them engrossed in the subject. I wish there were more websites that had interactive games that would interest students and allow them to be more involved in independently learning science. This would not only build/increase their independent interests in science, but it would also bring that interest and positive view on science into the classroom.

Sandra Saint-Val Sandra Saint-Val 1475 Points

Hi! I only let my students use laptops or computers in the classroom when the students are engaging in a simulation activity. Recently, my students went on a website where they melted and froze objects. Some students believe that you can freeze solids, but a solid will always be a solid. For an example, a toy put inside a freezer will always be a solid no matter what because it has a definite shape. I know it sounds obvious, but my students have a hard time understanding that at first. You can add that in the elaborate or explore stage depending on what you have planned to teach. Engaging in activities like that will help them see firsthand why that is. Hope that helps!

Sarah Ramstrom Sarah Ramstrom 605 Points

Last semester when I did my field work and a few years ago when I was working in Howard County many of the teachers I worked with used brain pop videos for the younger ages K-3 during certain science units. For the older children they used different types of simulations, some showed videos of experiments being done, and some simply did not use a computer much at all and used more of a textbook approach. I learned that the children engaging in the videos were learning the units better than the students being taught through the use of a textbook. I think that the use of a computer can be useful when it is used appropriately and not too much. You do not want to over use a computer and not have the children reading from a textbook sometimes.

Julie Lim Julie Lim 555 Points

Hello! I thought that computer were useful in any subject area and even in science classrooms. Students who have difficulties with less hands on or with less diagram activities, you can use computer to help those students. There are numerous games that could be used with the computer. I will attach few websites for students can education science games. I also checked these websites myself and I loved the games because it quickly gets your attention and also, students can enjoy it as well!

Zachary Monroe Zachary Monroe 545 Points

Computers in the classroom are good to use every once in a while, but I have seen in my student teaching how students learn science by having hands on activities to observe and complete.

Malari Finamore Malari Finamore 260 Points

Hi! Computers are very helpful in the classroom. School districts are starting to incorporate computers into the classroom for teachers to use in all of their lessons. In order to incorporate computers in to science lessons, it would be a good idea to show students real-life examples of what you are teaching them. If you are teaching them about space, show them videos of stars or some clips that NASA has on their website. If they are learning about bugs, bring up pictures of real bugs so that they can look at them. Go to youtube and type in the type of bug and they could even see it in action.Students love seeing real-life examples of what they are learning about and computers in the classroom is a good way to show them. I hope this helps.

Victoria Wilt Victoria Wilt 1015 Points

Hello! I am a pre-service teacher currently and in previous schools that I have been in a lot of science was done on computers through simulation activities that correlate with the science concept that they were learning at the time. However, I do not believe that this should be used everyday during science, but I do believe that they can be extremely beneficial when used appropriately. I have also seen many teachers using their technology of smart boards with the whole class showing videos etc. especially if they are unable to do the project that is being shown.

Tim Kelly Tim Kelly 695 Points

Hello! I am also a pre-service teacher. All of the schools that I have been placed have never used computers for science. In fact most of the schools hardly ever teach science, or at least they did not the days I was there. I also agree with Victoria that computers should not be used everyday to teach science. Science is something that is best learned through experience and not on the computer.

Cody Ollre Cody Ollre 655 Points

I have used numerous web resources in the science class that I have had the pleasure of student teaching in. There are many ways to integrate science by using web resources. Fortunately for me, I am at a school where each child has an iPad checked out to them, so it makes using technology very easy. The resource we use most often is called nearpod. They have lots of science lessons that are great for reteaching and extended learning through interactive, collaborative lessons!

Faustino Lopez Faustino Lopez 705 Points

We have computers in our classroom but they are mostly used for math and reading activities for now. Science should work best when the lessons are interactive rather than on the computer. A great hands on activity in science can help them propel to experiment with new discoveries that they can learn in a lab.

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