Technology Brings Cells to Life

Middlesex School

The cells that our biology students examine are microscopic, so it’s a good thing textbooks provide enlarged diagrams. But wait, what is that tiny dot inside the cell labeled “ribosome”? What does it do? Surely it isn’t a mere static dot. Wouldn’t it be nice to just tap a finger to this curiosity, enlarging it and putting it in motion? With our new iPad initiative in AP Biology, our budding scientists can do just that.

This fall each student enrolled in AP Biology was given an iPad to aid in their study both in and out of class. Through the interactive eBook “Inkling,” we now bring a more vibrant and dynamic educational experience that caters to all different learning styles, whether auditory, visual, or kinesthetic. On their iPads, biology students can take notes and highlight text with a swipe of a finger. Instructional videos, guided tours, and 3-D interactive models are just a tap away. When students want a stress-free way to test their grasp of a specific concept, self-assessments are embedded within the chapters of the eBook.

Of course technology can never replace the value of interpersonal learning, but even here the iPad can help. When AP Biology teacher Kerry Magee explains a new concept in class, a video of her demonstration is recorded on an iPad and shared with the class to be reviewed whenever a student needs a refresher. Students also prepare their own presentations on the iPad, which are then shared across the class. The fusion of bright minds with cutting edge technology is making our science labs come to life in increasingly exciting and lucid ways. After all, isn’t making microscopic worlds more accessible what science is all about?

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