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Hi, My name is Rachel and I am a fellow biology teacher in MA seeking to expand educational possibilities for our students. A number of years ago, I noticed that while working with inner-city students (and all the perceptions that term invokes!), many seemed to be quite engaged whenever I used virtual laboratories (VL) and so I decided to do my doctoral study on that specific topic, especially since there is hardly any evaluative research out there on VL. I’m looking for some volunteers (about 20 teachers who teach biology for MCAS, goal = 1,000 students) to help conduct this study. If you would be willing to participate or can pass this along to others, I would greatly appreciate it. Besides for furthering educational research to support our practices, and for personally helping me out, participants will also be entered into a raffle to receive a $100 certificate to Starbucks (or Dunkin Donuts, if you prefer!). Please post here if you are interested and see details below. Thanks! Details (this is what participating will entail): · Timing = from Feb. – May 2009 (though, I – or a 3rd party- will visit your classes beforehand to introduce the project) · Activities = half of the classes will engage in the use of VL (and the other half will not) – about 5-10 such activities that will each take up a one-period class; I WILL PREPARE THE LESSONS & ASSESSMENTS (all you have to do is monitor!) – each VL will be aligned with the MA Frameworks and hopefully enhance students’ understanding of MCAS material. All students will then have the opportunity to take a survey at the end reporting about their experiences. I may also conduct a few interviews with some (less than 10) students and teachers, on a volunteer basis. · Requirements = use of internet for students (be it a laptop cart, PCs in the room, or a computer lab in the school that you need to reserve) · Ethical issues = confidentiality will be maintained and my methods need to be approved of by an ethics committee, I will also have to ask your respective schools for permission and provide students with the opportunity for any participant to opt out at any time · Incentives = provide students the opportunity to be a part of the scientific method we all stress!, help further educational research to guide our practices, get a personalized report analyzing the data from each of your classes, 5-10 free lessons and assessments all planned out for you (ok, 50% of you), help a fellow teacher get her PhD, entrance into raffle for $100 of coffee (now who doesn’t need that!)