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SMART CLASSROOMS - Laptops a seaworthy addition

June 2009

Moreton Bay Environmental Education Centre teacher Tim Roe is using his Computers for Teachers laptop to teach students about plankton.

A Brisbane teacher is using his Computers for Teachers laptop to connect with students and teach them about the wonders of plankton.

Moreton Bay Environmental Education Centre's Tim Roe has developed a series of educational tools based on the life of plankton.

'One of our challenges as a day visit centre is that students have only a short time to engage with plankton specimens,' Mr Roe said.

'So when I found Photo Story 3 on my Computers for Teacher's laptop I decided it would be a great component for a teaching resource.

'The package includes pre-visit and post-visit CDs, which introduce students to plankton and suggests ways to present digital images of their excursion discoveries.'

Mr Roe said plankton consist of any drifting organisms, including animals, plants and bacteria that inhabit oceans, seas or bodies of fresh water. They provide a crucial source of food to fish and other aquatic creatures.

A measure of biodiversity, plankton studies are used to test water quality. As a general rule, the more plankton species that are found the better and healthier the water.

'Before working with us, most children know little about plankton, other than whales and SpongeBob SquarePants eat it,' Mr Roe said.

'The experience not only helps them learn about plankton but, it gives the kids a chance to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of modern technology.'

For more information about the Computers for Teachers initiative, go to the website.