As a junior in Mr. Wood’s class, I was enlightened to the possibilities that biology had to offer in various subjects like microbiology, taxonomy, and especially genetic engineering. When Mrs. Scheffer gave me the assignment to write a teacher profile for a teacher who is integrating technology in the classroom, Mr. Wood was the perfect choice.
What Mr. Wood loves about teaching is teaching in general. He mentions that “both the high school administration and the school board support education here which makes life a lot easier for teachers.” In teaching Advanced Placement Biology, he often asks for a lot of equipment and materials for labs and the school district has always been supportive. Besides the administration, Mr. Wood has full confidence in the student body. After visiting other schools over time, he concluded that Burlington certainly has the best students. Mr. Wood also values the availability of technology to enhance education in his classes. Whenever a student needs to look up a term, the answer is at his or her fingertips through the internet. He also recognizes, however, that technology comes with its learning curve, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Mr. Wood explains that “there is a learning curve for everyone like teachers and students but it certainly has helped and given us a solid different perspective in how we teach and how we learn.”
A superficial glance into Mr. Wood’s classroom may lead to you to conclude that all he uses is the chalkboard and overhead projector. However, there is more that meets the eye. Mr. Wood utilizes technology in a variety of aspects. Mr. Wood primarily integrates technology in the labs for documentation through pictures and videos. He finds that students have an easier time writing lab reports with visual documentation of what they did. Mr. Wood also has his students submit lab reports via Google Drive, which allows for collaboration and better organization. Through collaboration, students can improve their lab reports by catching errors that one may not find on their own. Also, having all your lab reports in Google Drive keeps them in one place so that you can easily refer back to them. For example, he utilizes Edmodo to help students keep track of assignments. Edmodo is also a great way to upload and distribute lecture notes. The biology textbook also has an eBook so that students no longer have to lug around their giant biology book. Students have learned to integrate technology from Mr. Wood, but Mr. Wood also has learned new ways to integrate technology through the students (what a great example of mutualism). For example, students in Mr. Wood’s classes have utilized the eBook in apps like Notability to annotate chapters and take notes. This year, Mr. Wood has also encouraged his kids to write posts for the help desk blog. The incorporation of Google Glass in Burlington was utilized in the labs. While Mr. Wood prefers using paper and pencil, he is still open to technology.
Out of all the units in biology, his favorite is biotechnology. The labs in the unit are challenging and modern like the DNA fingerprinting and transformation lab. Biotechnology today is incredibly important and has real-life applications . Mr. Wood believes it would be good to have a semester course in only biotechnology. DNA restriction enzymes, and GMOs for example. The course is so modern that it would not require a textbook. He mentions that “students nowadays have the genetic-biotech bug in that they like these new things.”