The Big Idea from AACT: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

text: The Big Idea - AACT Multimedia Resources

When the first image of a black hole was recently revealed, at least one student in every class period asked me if I had seen it. They enthusiastically held out their phones to show me. That day was a reminder of not only the power of a picture, but also of how connected today’s students are to video and imagery. As a teacher, I am always looking for uses of video and images in a lesson. The  is my number one source.

One great way to keep the  theme going is to incorporate videos on different elements into your lesson. There are 11 videos in the  series. Each short video (under ten minutes) tells an interesting story about a particular element. There are worksheets for each video that can be used as printed or easily modified from the MS Word format.

The  series consists of 12 videos that highlight famous historical figures in chemistry. These videos also come with worksheets. My students usually want to watch these videos twice. The incorporation of history into the development of current concepts and models has given some rich opportunities to discuss argumentation from evidence.

The  and  video series give excellent ways of contextualizing concepts being taught that range from oxidation-reduction to structure and light interactions. The  video is also an excellent way of showing students how the fundamentals being learned in class explain technologies that we use today.

The newly added  is a great resource for teachers. Whether you have been teaching for many years, or are a first-year teacher, knowing current safety protocol is of utmost importance. There is also a video that is designed for students to view.

In addition to videos, you can find a variety of  on the AACT website. Each simulation has an accompanying lesson plan. The lesson plans are all written by teachers and can be used as they are or easily modified.

Finally, AACT also offers a variety of . Because these animations have no sound, I originally did the voice for the animations that I would show. However, I have turned the animations into more of a formative assessment by asking the students to provide the script. It has generated questions they have about models as well as concepts.

Exploring creative ways to include these resources is one of my summertime goals. I not only want to spend time reviewing the resources on line, but I also want to hear ideas from Kim Duncan at her  where she explores this topic. If you are attending , be sure to stop by the AACT booth. You can find out more about AACT resources and membership benefits.

I hope you will check out our website or connect with us through  . I enthusiastically invite you to get involved.

Thank you for the opportunity to share information about AACT with the ChemEd X community. I wish everyone a fabulous summer and hope you will choose to incorporate a new resource or two into your curriculum.

Jenelle Ball
AACT Past President