Learning Area: biology, informatics, physical education, civil society education, computer and science
Age level: ages 11-15
- learning school curriculum not only in the classroom but also outside of it – in a real environment
- using of modern technology in the research project
- developing critical thinking and reasoning
Learning activity is oriented to research the connection between our nutrition and diseases of the blood circulation and digestive organs. Students explored how inadequate nutrition increases the diseases in their environment, of their friends, relatives, fellow citizens.
The first part of the learning activities consist of lectures on YouTube using „flipped classroom“ where students got familiar with circulation and digestion parts of body, through their computers, laptops or mobile phones (author Irina Damnjanović, biology teacher at Belgrade’s primary school). After that, groups made a plan and classes were moved outside the classroom – in the street, their homes, clinic, at the doctor’s and in the health food store where they acquired new knowledge and information through lectures, presentations, interviews and discussions. Students got opportunity to obtain informations from the people of local community and record all through cell phones, tablets and cameras.
Further classes were moved to the school – gym and classroom, where students, through discussion with the physical education teacher, figured out interesting conclusions about importance of regular exercise, proper breathing and physical activity as a lifestyle to avoid diseases mentioned above. There was Skype video conference among our school and other schools in Belgrade realized as well, through which we exchanged our experience on diseases related to improper nutrition. In this way, students worked with a peer in another school to develop their common product, using Microsoft Office and Skype.
Students, through on-line questionnaires, collected data, processed them and made comparisons, analyzed and concluded why the diseases such as diabetes, stroke and heart attack are increasing in our community.
All the material is placed on OneDrive, sorted and processed and this group of students is developing MovieMaker real movie as well. It was really hard for them to choose the best of all the video-material available.
The second part provide an analysis of the information obtained, when biology teacher directs the discussion and sets them a challenge – they must make their own workplan and set up individual roles in order to make the final product, that will be helpful to their community. Their activities and roles are different and all students must participate in order to their team succeed.
In class informatics to use all available technology to ensure that all four groups have done their tasks:
- first group formed its own product – Pyramid of healthy nutrition,
- second group – Pyramid of our (unhealthy) nutrition,
- third group compiled a table of nutritional value of specific nutrients of meals students usually consume according to a survey,
- fourth group made recipes of meals that sold in health food store, with help of the internet and their grandparents, to raise awareness of our citizens about healthy eating in the modern lifestyle.
While they worked, their work was interacted, they have learnt from each other and have shared responsibility, they had to negotiate and agree on the process while they worked in pairs or groups and also they made substantive decisions together.
After teaching, parental meeting was organized, at which students presented their products and results of research through the film and presentation, answering questions and serving healthy meals they made for their parents.
The school organized Press conference to show the results of their work to entire local community. Their work was presented in Hungarian, Romanian, Slovak and Serbian language on local TV.
Students also shared their activities on blogs in WordPress, Facebook page and OneDrive, which was part of their homework.
Technology: digital lab with computers, tablets (ASUS T100), cell phones, digital camera, interactive whiteboard, projector, laptop
Applications: Office 365 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Windows Movie Maker, Outlook.com, OneDrive, Skype, WordPress
Innovation in teaching
Students obtained informations about the consequences of improper nutrition in project based sequence of activities using mobile technology (tablets with WIFI) for exploring and processing data, recording videos and pictures, on the spot, in real time. This is the novelty made possible by availability of new mobile devices that can support novelty in teaching, that is based on the project based learning model also not used too much in Serbian education system, where curriculum is not always connected to real life and real life problems. Project activities include: making and filling out surveys on the nutrition of their relatives, listening to the lecture in the Health Center by a doctor introducing diseases of digestive organs and circulation organs to students, and also terms like thrombus or diabetes, which represent direct consequences of the fast food etc. That is followed by activities of Skype video conference in which students-peers from other schools showed their examples of connected diseases. Large part of educational work is thus placed outside the classroom, in the real world, and mobile ICT technology helped make this in real time.
Seventh graders are greatly interested in physical activity, sport, their appearance, body and mind beauty, and thus in quality of the food they eat. Since some parents offered cooperation (one parent is the head nurse at the Health Center, another one is a biology teacher and the next one owes a health food store), it was extra motivation for students to conduct a survey on the topic of proper nutrition and try ECG, blood pressure cuffs and get answers to questions in the survey. Through the „flipped classrooms“, the second year already, students acquainted themselves with the biology subject matter and they wanted to „personally“ meet the teacher who sets these teaching materials.
Learning Activity Goals
Overall educational goals
In the course of the activity students will broaden their knowledge on how to:
- recognize high quality food for body and to prevent diseases
- explore the real world around them and identify the diseases-related bloodstream circulation and digestion
- collaboratively create cookbook of recipes and bilboard projects
- be encouraged to introduce their research to the public and the wider community
Specific educational goals
In the course of the activity students will:
- investigate the most frequent diseases in our community, get familiar with ECG and pressure measurement;
- interview patients, their friends, family, fellows, community members and fill the survey
- interview students from other school in Belgrade about their food habits via Skype and interactive whiteboard and learn how to realize video conference over Skype
- connect sport, exercise and physical activity with nutrition
- collect recipes and quality ingredients and shape them into a cookbook that will be sent to their parents and interested buyers in a health food store
- learn how to make a film with Windows Movie Maker
- enable students to work independently
- “build” the pyramid of healthy eating (“should be like this…”) and the pyramid of current eating (“should not be like this…”)
- be encouraged to recognize and understand the concept of nutritive values