Tech Tool of the Month: MySciLife

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Tech Tool of the Month
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Cast your imagination out and think about what it would be like to LIVE as a cell or a tsunami or a liver. This month’s tech tool encourages students to think about this type of question. MySciLife is a free social learning platform, created for grades 6-9. Participation is entirely FREE, and MySciLife offers educators training and mentoring support. The materials are ready to go and easily integrated into your already existing science curriculum, plus materials are aligned to Next Generation Science Standards. MySciLife is offered by The Source for Learning, a nonprofit educational company with over 40 years of serving educators. Are you ready to learn more?

Through MySciLife students take on a science identity and participate in exchanges (social learning posts) with a global community through research and sharing connections. Maybe Tornado Techie will be writing to Senior Tsunami, learning weather phenomena together through the words of the other students. Writing activities blend with science when using this platform. Students get to LIVE as science concepts, and engage with other students in their class and throughout the world.

This teacher-moderated environment allows teachers to pick the modules and activities that work best in their classroom. There is a full virtual library of classroom resources. Here is an idea of the included modules: Atoms, Cells, Chemical Reactions, Earth, Ecology, Force, Motion & Energy, Genetics, Human Body Systems, Moon Phases & Season, The Universe, and Weather. In addition to the modules and activities, teachers can also use the web tools listed, already-created rubrics, learning checklists, and more!

One of my favorite features of MySciLife is the badging options. This gamifies the science activities! Students earn badges, based on teacher input. Some of the badges relate to the modules, while others are more general types of badges. My favorite badges are the Eggcellent Post and Awesome Attitude. You simply click on the badge that you wish to give, click on the student’s name, and submit. EASY!

There are many reasons to consider using MySciLife. MySciLife provides students with an opportunity to learn (and practice) digital citizenship, written communication skills, and critical thinking. MySciLife’s social learning engages students with the technology that they already know and enjoy. Incorporate MySciLife easily into what you are already teaching. The work is already done and ready to go. This science treasure truly digs into 21st Century Skills (and the 4Cs) and involves collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, communication, and even digital citizenship!

Wondering how to get involved? The homepage for MySciLife has a link to click for teachers to join. MySciLife also offers JumpStarts for teachers interested in learning more about this amazing tool. JumpStarts are one-hour introductions to the MySciLife platform. The next JumpStart is on Thursday, February 28th at 7 pm ET. Training is all done online, and after the initial JumpStart, you can train when is most convenient for you. If you are reading this blog after February 28th, just check the MySciLife webinar calendar to learn when the next JumpStart will take place. Bring science to life in your class!   

About the author: Melissa Henning

Melissa Henning is the Educational Content Manager for Source for Learning, the non-profit parent company of TeachersFirst. She has over 16 years of experience in education. Melissa is a frequent presenter at national and regional conferences.

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