Heading into the next semester

For those of you who don’t know, I’m taking college courses in my free time with the future objective of becoming a science teacher. It’s a long, slow road I’m traveling, mainly because I have to keep my day job in order to keep the family fed and such. And I can’t complain about my job, as it’s a good, exciting one. So, I just try to cram in my studies whenever I can.

I recently finished up (and passed!) a semester that consisted of a biology course, a literature course, and an ethics course. This new semester I just started is strictly science. I’m taking another biology class and a chemistry class. One thing I’m really looking forward to is an online seminar that’s part of the biology class. The American Museum of Natural History hosts Seminars on Science on a regular basis. During my first biology class, I participated in the AMNH seminar Genetics, Genomics, and Genethics. It was an eye-opening experience as I learned about the history of genetics and the tangled knots of ethical concerns. For instance, your genome can be screened for serious medical conditions, which can help you prepare for the future. But what if your insurance company gets a hold of that information and thus raises rates or denies coverage?

Anyway, the AMNH seminar I am signed up for this time is Evolution. The seminar instructors will be Niles Eldredge (I bet many of you recognize that name. Are you jealous?) and Joel Cracraft. This should be fun and informative!

The college I “attend” is Western Governor’s University. It’s 100% online, kinda like Phoenix University and such. WGU is the only online university to offer a teaching program. I had attended some local colleges, but started running into problems with scheduling since my evening hours couldn’t always match up with needed, available courses. So, I shopped around for an alternative and discovered WGU. I checked with my local public school district to see if a degree from WGU would be good to go for teaching, and it is. There are some tradeoffs in attending college all online. I tend to feel very isolated and on my own. On the other hand, I can get the work done when I have the time; I’m not locked into any schedule.

With the classes all being online, I wind up doing a lot of work and reading based on Internet sources. Below, you’ll find a link dump of many of the sites I used during my first biology course. And as I venture forth through this semester’s classes and the AMNH seminar, I’ll try to remember to post other interesting links here.

The Open Door Web Site
The Biology Project
Energy in the Human Body
Cells Alive!
The Virtual Cell
The Virtual Biology Labs
The Biology Place
BioLogica Web Labs
Pea Soup
Learn.Genetics
Understanding Genetics
Understanding Evolution
PBS: Evolution
Biology in Motion
ActionBioscience: Intelligent Design?
Internet BioLabs
Synthetic Theory of Evolution
Island Biogeography and Evolution
The Virtual Fossil Museum
Genetics, A Conceptual Approach
Cool Science for Curious Kids
Bloody Character of Specific Immunity
Access Excellence Science Mystery
Shedd, The World’s Aquarium: Interactives
Sustainable Measures
BiologyMad
Australian Museum: Sea Slug Forum
Physical Geography
The Field Museum: Project E.R.
NOVA Teachers 

One Response to “Heading into the next semester”

  1. MelM Says:

    Thanks for the tips.

    There will be a discussion at Stanford University on March 9 between Richard Dawkins and physicist Lawrence Krauss. It’s entitled: “Against Ignorance: Science Education in the 21st Century”. I believe the event will be filmed but I don’t know when it might be available. If I see it around, I’ll post a comment.
    http://richarddawkins.net/article,2331,Richard-Dawkins-US-Tour-begins-this-week,RichardDawkinsnet