Jon Darkow is a Biology teacher and Technology Integration Specialist at Seneca East High School in Attica, Ohio. Jon’s main teaching interests include problem-based learning and using computer models to teach the complex topics of diversity, interdependence, adaptive systems, set points, and emergence. Jon is well known for the collections of computational models for biology and ecology. This collection includes more than models on topics such as a Lactase Enzyme Simulation, Gene Linkage and Recombination, and Evolution of Populations:Genetic Drift, Natural Selection and Mutations. In 2016 Jon received both the Heidelberg University Distinguished Teacher Award and the NABT Outstanding Biology Teacher Award for the state of Ohio. You can follow Jon’s on Twitter @JonDarkow.
- Before Teaching AP Biology, the only Biology Teacher Jon knew was Paul Andersen
- The NABT Conference is a great place to see biology teacher celebrities.
- Reading “Microcosmos” by Lynn Margulis is what sparked Jon’s interest in Biology.
- Jon began building models with Excel (he has moved to google sheets).
- Jon then moved to NetLogo.
- Jon began using Simulink & MatLab
- Jon now uses the Stella Online modeling platform to create his models.
- Loopy is a fun introduction to building models.
- Jon also likes Insight Maker – modeling platform.
- Here are links to a handout and presentation slides Jon gives during PD’s on using simulations in the science classroom.
- Jon has some thoughts on the phrase “All models are wrong, but some are useful.”
- Jon recommends Caleb Bryce’s “Exploring Models in the Biology Classroom” from the American Biology Teacher
- Jon also recommends “Gene” by Siddhartha Mukherjee
- We discussed lots of models we agreed have failed, like homunculus in sperm
- For another historically bad scientific model, Aaron recommends “Blood Work” by Holly Tucker
- Both Aaron and Jon use Claim-Evidence-Reasoning and Jon uses Silent Gallery Walk so students can give each other peer review.
- Both Aaron and Jon use Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center – The Ohio State University
- Aaron recommends stratification (not vernalization) to help promote germination of Arabidopsis
Pick of the Week:
Jon – Journal Search for misconceptions