Portfolio: The Application of Digital Tools in the Field of Chemistry

While I may be a bit outside of the educational sector due to my main focus of study being within the field of biochemistry and french (and not education itself), I am still fascinated with the act of teaching and the best way to go about doing so. As a student and peer educator, I am always open to new ways of learning and sharing those processes with others. Through this class, I have been able to gain invaluable skills in using and applying digital tools. Some of these I have even started using for other courses.

In this ever-increasingly digital era, it is important to be familiar with digital tools, like those utilized by this course. While I have had practice with some of these tools, there were others of which I had never even heard. Over the course of this semester, I was able to explore these tools and gain confidence in my use of them. Previously, I would have described my understanding and use of technology as “beginner” or at best a “working-relationship”. Now, I consider myself closer to “novice”.

In my projects, I attempted to apply the digital tools investigated to theoretical lessons related to chemistry. The following works are ones I am particularly proud of and I believe show how I have improved my abilities in the digital world.

The first I’d like to showcase is the Google Site I made on acid-base chemistry. Through this site, students are given introductory and concluding activities, a general knowledge of acid-base chemistry, as well as a brief mention on the applications of such chemistry in the “real world”. Many fun (educational) videos are included too. I am rather pleased with this post due to how well all of the information in parsed out in small bits, making it easier to digest.

Creating “Solutions: How Basic Are They?” made me feel the most like a teacher. As a peer educator in Chemistry, I get questions all the time about calculating pH for a given solution. This post allows me to answer those questions with ease. This resource emphasizes active learning while also allowing the student to tailor it to his/her needs. I am rather proud of it because it utilizes two (or three if you count WordPress itself) digital tools: Jamboard, which was introduced in a previous lesson, and Loom, which was the main focus of this lesson. This activity asks students to watch mini “lecture” videos (recorded via Loom) regarding the calculation of the pH of a solution and then apply that knowledge to practice problems. They can then check their answers by watching the corresponding solution video for each problem. If the students don’t understand where they went wrong, they are asked to refer back to the videos or even a Google Site containing information on acids and bases (which is found in a previous WordPress post).

Finally, I’d like to highlight the book I made through Book Creator. I had so much fun writing and creating “Aqua& Fina: A Tale of Chemical Adventure”. Chemistry tends to be viewed in a negative light. I thought a story might help change that perception (because who doesn’t love a good story?). I hope this would be used in a classroom as a model for a project where students come up with their own fun illustrations explaining a chemistry topic. However, it can also serve as a way for students to think critically about the chemistry they have learned through the discussion questions provided while at the same time adding a little more fun to the subject.

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