Gone are the days when you would have to attend those boring classes and spend hours listening to the teacher lecturing about abstract scientific concepts that are more perplexing than illuminating. I said perplexing because they lack a very important learning principle that make them unlearnable: they do not connect to the ' embodied experiences ' of the learners and what James Paul Gee meant by this principle is that for learning to be effective it needs to connect to the learners life, experiences, and environment. When learners are able to make such connections their comprehension improves and becomes more solid.
Now technology plays a very decisive role in learning because it provides learners with simulations to connect their learning with virtual experiences that they do not necessarily have to have lived in real life. Take the example of second life learning and see how those simulated virtual worlds improve students comprehension and understanding through the enactment of different real-life like scenarios.If you are interested in learning more about this topic , I recommend reading What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy. Second Edition: Revised and Updated Edition.
Right now iPad has even made it way easier for people to learn about science and right from the comfort of their couch. There are several science apps out there that can make your science learning a joyful journey.
Here is a list of some great science apps I recommend for students and teachers . Enjoy
"Molecules is an application for viewing three-dimensional renderings of molecules and manipulating them using your fingers. You can rotate the molecules by moving your finger across the display, zoom in or out by using two-finger pinch gestures, or pan the molecule by moving two fingers across the screen at once."
2- 3D Brain
"Use your touch screen to rotate and zoom around 29 interactive structures. Discover how each brain region functions, what happens when it is injured, and how it is involved in mental illness. Each detailed structure comes with information on functions, disorders, brain damage, case studies, and links to modern research"
3- 3D Cell
"learn about the cell and all its structures using our new 3D Cell iPhone application tool. Enjoy the ability to rotate the cell 360 degrees and zoom in on any cell structure. Visit the cell structure screen and learn more about how each structure functions. In this application you can also watch videos from our live cell video library as well."
4- Skeletal 3D Anatomy
"Skeletal 3D Encyclopedia: It is a medical application to show the 206 bones in the human body, each category of bones, and every human bone, which separately can be seen in 3D, and manipulated with a finger and rotate in all directions"
5- GeneIndex HD
"GeneIndex quickly provides information about genes from various sources. It also includes a RSS reader for journal feeds as well as a PubMed viewer."
6- Moon Atlas
"Moon Atlas is an astronomy application that lets you use pinch and finger gestures to manipulate a 3D globe of the Moon. This is a rendered sphere and not a static map image. As you zoom in more labels appear as finer detail comes into view. You can double tap on the labels to get more information about a particular feature."
7- 3D Sun
"A major solar flare erupts on the sun. Before long, your phone chirps in your pocket to let you know! Pulling out your phone, you see a 3D view of the sun — a digital reconstruction of satellite images freshly downloaded from NASA's "STEREO" satellites, orbiting millions of miles away."
8- Mars Globe HD
"Take a tour of the mysterious Red Planet. This virtual globe combines a high-resolution satellite map with laser altimeter data and advanced topographic lighting to present the planet Mars as it appears from above. "
9- Science Glossary
"A glossary of scientific terms and short biographies that support our science education website, http://www.visionlearning.com. All definitions link to related terms and to free, detailed science learning modules. Though geared for high school and undergraduate students using our website, the glossary and modules are appropriate for anyone generally interested in science."
"Remember the Star Trek computer? It's finally happening--with Wolfram|Alpha. Building on 25 years of development led by Stephen Wolfram, Wolfram|Alpha has rapidly become the world's definitive source for instant expert knowledge and computation. "
"Papers, your personal library of Science, and winner of the Apple Design Award for best Mac OS X scientific computing solution on the Mac, is now available for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Papers puts your entire research literature database in your pocket, available at your fingertips wherever you go; whether you're at a conference, in class, visiting your peers, on the couch or on the road."
12- iLab Timer
"Harnessing the simplicity found in physical laboratory timers, iLab: Timer brings accurate, simple, and easy timing to the iPhone. "
"iCelsius, a temperature probe, turns the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch into a digital thermometer. "
14- Pocket Heart2
"Pocket Heart redefines what engaging medical education content truly is. Our award-winning realtime beating 3D heart app, with its elegant design, contains quizes, clinical cases and over 20,000 words of learning material."
15- Monster Anatomy HD
"Monster Anatomy HD - Lower Limb is an interactive lower limb radiology atlas presented at the 2009 Radiological Society of North America annual meeting. "
16- Kids Can Match
"An interactive, adaptive and fun memory game for children of all ages. This app contains an amazing, one of a kind, collection of over 70 authentic animal images and sounds. The perfect way to engage children in a fun game while they learn about a broad range of animals from all over the world."
17- Touch Physics HD
"Touch Physics HD is a collection of 89 new and beautifully hand drawn levels devised by the professor in his lab. They are as progressively challenging as the original Touch Physics and Touch Physics 2. "
18- Vernier Video Physics
"Video Physics brings physics video analysis to iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Take a video of an object in motion, mark its position frame by frame, and set up the scale using a known distance. Video Physics then draws trajectory, position, and velocity graphs for the object."