So I'm culpable of posting yet another random project to the Teacher Focus forums; yet I hope some of you might find this useful and interesting for your science classes. Your feedback would be appreciated.
While in school, I loved to explore the world through a microscope. It was fun to see things invisible to the naked eye, up close. But there was one fundamental problem with this approach; I couldn't record or share what I observed, and I couldn't return to the specimen at a much later date to re-observe what I had seen.
Last semester (in Grad school) I attempted to resolve these issues through the use of an inexpensive digital microscope - but unfortunately, the quality just wasn't good enough to be of use for practical curriculum. Instead, it turns out that your everyday flatbed scanner is just as good -- or in some cases, much much better -- than the microscope I had tested (Digital Blue, I believe it was called).
So my proposal is to create a curriculum to take advantage of the tremendous resolution of modern flatbed scanners, and a project to assist students in sharing and reflecting upon their products. A very brief project overview can be found at [url]http://www.bitculture.org/upclose/[/url] and beta images can be found at [url]http://www.bitculture.org/photodb/index.php?album=Up_Close_Project/[/url].
I'd love to hear feedback about how science teachers might use such a curriculum in their classroom; is it practical to expect that some teachers have access to flatbed scanners and computer time? Is there a significant different between traditional microscope-based curriculum, and what digital technologies might offer? What should we think about while developing this project further?
Thanks for your comments and insights!