Biology

For this assignment I have chosen the study of genetics, an area covered primarily in my
province’s Grade 12 Biology curriculum.

The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) provides genetic information at
http://www.genome.gov/Education/.  The NHGRI relies on peer review of the research
that is posted on its site, contributing to the validity of the content.  The focus is the study
of the human genome, research in uncovering the code within the genome, and the use
of this information to direct genetic research within the human population.  As genetics,
and particularly the study of the human genome, is an area of constant refinements in
understanding, this site is particularly useful since it is updated regularly.  The site is an
ideal source for medical-related genetics research.  One interesting feature is a talking
glossary which has sound clips of researchers giving detailed explanations of genetics
terms, ideal for oral learners in your class.

Provided by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science,
http://genomics.energy.gov provides current information, also focusing on the study of
the human genome.  The home page of the site provides an organized listing of the
content available of this site as well as links to other sites.  The site is particularly easy to
use as it provides brief but accurate descriptions within the table of contents.  It provides
free, downloadable lesson plans, activities, and posters for use by the classroom
teacher.  The activities are well designed to actively involve  students in their own
learning.

My next selection, http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/, is maintained by a recognized
educational institution, the University of Utah.  The provided content is intended for
various audiences and as such can be used directly  by students with little or no
background in genetics or by teachers that are searching for new content or lesson
plans.  The combination of print-based and interactive materials cover basic and
advanced principles of genetic research.  The authors strive to provide information free
of political or ethical bias, unlike some websites that promote certain opinions of the
research.

http://www.dnaftb.org/dnaftb/ is a well-reviewed collection of information.  Guided by a
board of researchers mostly based in highly respected American and European
universities, the site boasts the recommendations of various educational reviewers.  It is
packed with content but its true strengths are its clear organization and extensive use of
multimedia.  Most topics are presented in a variety of formats to appeal to various
learning styles.  These include text, sound, illustrations, animations and video.  It is a
great resource for teachers and also a remarkable tool for students to use on their own. 
A unique feature is that many of the animations are interactive, requiring the student to
actively engage in the process being studied on screen.

The Genetics Education Centre located at http://www.kumc.edu/gec/ is maintained by
the University of Kansas Medical Center.  The site demonstrates that it is accredited by t
he Health On the Net Foundation which is dedicated to ensuring honest and valid medical
information on the Web.  Essentially the site is a collection of submitted and reviewed
web sites or pages related to the study of genetics.  The sites are organized depending
on their content.  Unfortunately, little description is provided for each individual link. 
Besides the typical lesson plans and activities of other sites, this site also includes some
rarely seen resources such as genetics plays and cartoons and opportunities to
communicate, electronically, with real genetics researchers.  These additional features
can be very useful as set inductions and to add variety to a lesson.