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The Science Teacher


National Science Teaching Association


Teaching in today’s classroom looks vastly different from 20 years ago. Today, many teachers have access to projectors, computers, smartboards, laptops and tablets, and have vast amounts of information and programs available at the click of a button. However, having access to all of these resources is not always beneficial, especially if we are not equipped to incorporate it into instruction. The 2015 Project Tomorrow Survey findings showed a number of aspects that support technology use in the classroom. Highlights of this data, related to the Center for Integrated Access Network’s (CIAN) digital comic book, include the following results (Project Tomorrow, 2016): Thirty-eight percent (38%) of students find online videos to help with their homework and 27% regularly watch videos created by their teachers. Almost two-thirds of students want to use digital games for learning in school. Teachers are using more digital content in their classroom than ever before. This year’s leader board: videos (68%), digital games (48%), online curriculum (36%), online textbooks (30%), and animations (27%).

When utilized effectively, the use of digital resources in the classroom can engage students in a way print resources may not.

At the Center for Integrated Access Networks (CIAN), an Engineering Research Center funded from 2008−2018 by the National Science Foundation, the education department worked to develop new and innovative digital resources to engage students in learning science content (Figure 1). One resource created, the CIAN Comic Book, focuses on educating students about optics, technology, and scientific discovery, and is well-aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This article suggests one way to utilize the CIAN digital comic book by incorporating it in an Argument Driven Inquiry (ADI) lesson.


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