Biology Junction is an extensive collection of materials from a high school teacher. The materials are primarily aimed at both general biology and AP classes, and there is also a newer section for the physical sciences. It is divided into two primary sections. The first is "My Classroom Material." This section contains everything from teaching notes, online labs, and vocabulary to worksheets and advice for students and their parents. There are pacing guides for courses as well. The second section is labeled "Help for Teachers" and contains daily and unit lesson templates as well as hints for successful note taking, how to read a text and get the main ideas (with exercises), learning styles information, and safety information. There are collections of links to other biology sources. There are also sections on end of course practice exercises and exams as well as science fair information. There is so much information here that the biggest challenge will be locating it. The collection is evolving as new materials are being added.
Type of Material:
This resource provides a collection of text, links to animation, and live web-cam feed. Materials include assignments, notes, teaching aides, student aides, online laboratories, links to videos and how to obtain them. The site also includes tutorials and lesson outlines. There are collections of links to other biology sources. Essentially, this site has everything you need for a high school biology course.
This site is a resource for science educators, parents, and students looking for ideas on developing a science fair project. Some of the materials are suitable as supplements for lecture and labs both online and face to face classes. Primarily, this site can be used to organize and supplement a biology course at the high school level
Materials are accessible in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari. Browsers need to be Flash, Shockwave, and Java enabled.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
This site is so broad there is no easily determined or listed set of learning goals for the site as a whole. There are learning goals for both regular biology and AP biology matched to standards, although the specific standards are not identified. The school is in Arkansas so the standards probably relate to state standards there.
Target Student Population:
The target population inclues teachers, parents, and students in elementary, middle, high school, and college level classes. The AP materials are especially useful for lower level college courses, especially freshman level biology
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Prerequisites include and interest in science and the ability to navigate a web page with online instructions.
Materials appear to be high quality; the sheer mass of material makes it impossible to assess every item, bu those checked are well done
author continuously updates/adds new materials to the portal
The pacing guides appear to be very well done
Design is colorful and playful
Information on success in classroom for students is excellent
This site may be difficult to maintain and over time
The animation that follows the cursor can be annoying at times, although this may be entertaining to secondary education students
Some links are broken
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This portal is an excellent resource especially for beginning teachers who are just starting to develop a collection of resources for instruction
A great aide for newer teachers looking to organize course materials and find the "tricks" that bring the classroom alive
Many hints to pass on to students to improve study skills as well as how to get prepared for exams
Basic outline of how to set up a science fair--both for organizers as well as materials for students
Learning styles chart and test available to help students understand how they learn teachers address as many styles as possible in a given lesson
Content of some of the modules are not as rigorous as they should be
Maintaining this extensive a site will be difficult; broken links already exist
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The learning objects are short which is suitable for the short attention span of many students
learning objects geared for faculty are useful and will come in handy especially for new faculty who are just beginning to create a portfolio of teaching and learning resources
There is an organization by unit of study for specific course materials relevant to that unit--makes it easy to find materials for specific unit uses
Many of the labels are specific, especially hints for success in notes, studying, using text, safety rules.
The band of labels across top of pagehelps to give user a quick overview of what is on site
A very busy site; very many animated objects and the swirl following the cursor becomes annoying
Some of the materials are not as rigorous or challenging as they could be
Labels on sections do not always give a good idea of what is in each section; users may find they have to look at all of the items to fully grasp what is available
All materials are copyrighted directly to the author and I saw several statements stating "Do NOT MODIFY without permission & do NOT POST to another website!"; certainly the modification statement is appropriate but not being able to post to another website will greatly restrict use
Other Issues and Comments:
This is an excellent one-stop portal especially for beginning teachers and for parents who want to help their children with their science work.
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