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Sites and resources for ICT activities

EDMARK The RiverdeepEdmark site has some splendid resources for science. Its virtual lab means that children can experiment online with batteries, light bulbs, and switches to build circuits and explore electricity.



Every primary school should have a small voltmeter. You can use this to measure electrical current and, in particular, electrical resistance through a pencil lead (use 4B). By varying the connection length along the lead, the voltage changes. Graph results. You can run a similar experiment by measuring current flow through a beaker of water. Watch what happens as you add salt. Children could then use this information as a simple analysis tool. Try this: you are dying of thirst and the mad professor has left two beakers of liquid near you. One is fresh water, the other is salt. Use the voltmeter to find which is which.


Every primary school needs a small, accurate, inexpensive digital scale. Try making a cake mix, then weighing it before and after cooking. The results are dramatic and lead to the question, "Where did those 25 grams go?"


Quite basic experiments can be brought to life using ICT. For instance, almost every school takes part in "let's measure and mark a shadow throughout the day" activities. But you create far more interest in the work when you compare your results by email with a school at a different latitude.


Identification keys are good for database work. There are many examples online. has a good one. Using such a key really comes to life with an interactive whiteboard. It's also quite easy to set up your own ID key using PowerPoint.


Junior school keys nearly always focus on species that the children already recognise, thus defeating the purpose of the activity. I always cover some work on lichens. Although the children are aware of their existence, they haven't usually looked at them in great detail.


Many people stopped using multimedia CD-Roms because they had limited potential when used on a single machine. Once you get an interactive whiteboard, they can be used to tremendous effect as a whole-class teaching aid.


Sign up for Robert Krampf's free weekly email science lesson. These are science experiments that can be done with household items. Topics vary from physics, chemistry, biology, earth science and others. Most are easy enough for young students, and most can be adapted for older students.


Additional information on the birds.



WHITEBOARDS Philip Edwards's notes on the use of whiteboards

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