Interview with Lluís Pagès Pons, Biology and Geology teacher in a Secondary School: Using XploreHealth modules in the classroom
1- Have you ever used the tools proposed at the Xplore Health portal for your lessons? If so, which one? Would you recommend it?
I got to know the Xplore Health project last year, through the CDEC (Center of Science Experimentation) Seminar on Biology and Geology Updating. At that time the module How are drugs developed? was presented to us and I could use some of the proposed tools for the Contemporary World Science students of 1st Grade of High School, such as the Discussion Continuum and the virtual experiment. Also, I participated in the elaboration of didactic sequences for module Towards a malaria-free world
This year I'm using various tools related to the human body and health published in the different modules for the Biology and Geology students of the 3rd Grade of Secondary Education, games and virtual experiments and debates (either in a Discussion Continuum or in a PlayDecide format). In addition, from the institute we participate as a pilot center, in the implementation of The biotechnology revolution module tools with the students of Biology and Geology of 4th Grade of Secondary Education.
As you can see, the circumstances have led me to use many of the tools of the Xplore Health Project. I assess them positively for various reasons. On one side, they provide access to current and accurate scientific contents. And on another side, they make possible to plan very attractive lessons for students with unknown methodologies such as debates in the Discussion Continuum or the PlayDecideformat.
2- Do you think the tools offered on the site are appropriate for science lessons? Why?
They are absolutly appropriate, especially if we take in consideration that they let you work through acompetency and enquiry-based approach. The contents offered in each module present situations closer to the students’ reality and to the characteristics of the current society. In addition, experiments, virtual games and debates, allow students to develop a variety of strategies to solve a previously presented case study.
3- The academic module is adapted to the academic level of current lessons?
As mentioned before, I'm using different tools with Biology and Geology students of the 3rd Grade of Secondary Education. At the beginning I had my doubts about it because the resources I had previously used were more targeted for high school students. However, I discovered that there are plenty of resources that can be used successfully with students of lower level. So, being able to have a wide variety of tools to be used with students from 3rd Grade of Secondary Education to higher levels of professional High School, I think it's one more potentiality of this project.
4- Have you ever used, the resources for educators proposed by Xplore Health? If so, which ones?
To prepare the Contemporary World Science lessons for the 1st Grade of High School and for the Biology and Geology students of the 3rd Grade of Secondary School, I have used quite a lot of the resources for educators.
From the module How are drugs developed I have used the Background Information, the classroom activities and the dialogue games. From the module related to malaria I looked at all the resources as I had to plan didactic sequences with all the module tools.
With the new modules I've been working I have mainly used the games and dialogue protocols. I have not used the Background information - althought I think it is very useful to get updated on the contents related to the topic - and neither the Lesson Plans and Tools Information, as I have prefered to distribute and use the portal tools according to the methodology usually I use with my students.
5- Do you think the contents are appropriate for teachers?
I think they are absolutely appropriate. Some of them because they offer current and accurate information on the raised topics. Others, such as the dialogue game protocols are very interesting because they include bioethical aspects which often appear in the media.
6- What do you think about the methodology Xplore Health proposes through its resources?
As I mentioned before, I have not used the Lesson Plans and neither the Tools Information, which are the documents guiding the work methodology. I think they might be useful to get an idea of how to plan your own didactic sequence, but I think it is necessary that each teacher can adapt them to the level and the reality of his/her students and it is impossible to compile all that in one single document. On another side, as you know the different types resources offered in the site, and as you test them with students, you become increasingly independent of any proposal which may be arisen.
7- What are the results that you appreciated when using the XploreHealth tools?
Basically surprise attitudes because they are unaware resources for students. Anything breaking the routine captures initially the attention of students and stimulates their motivation.
8- Would you recomment attending the workshops with the educational centers conducted by Xplore Health?
Of course! A good way to advance, to be updated, to get in touch with accurate, current and attractive resources and to learn methodologies in line with the real needs of our students.
9- Do you use the Basecamp tool - open from Xplore Health - to share opinions with other colleagues?
Yes. It's a good tool to share documents, debate, read statements and call for meetings. Its operation is very intuitive. I didn't know this tool.