"HOBOS is a Prime Example of a New Teaching Culture"
Secondary-school teacher Christoph Bauer from Deutschhaus-Gymnasium (DHG) in Würzburg and HOBOS project manager Professor Jürgen Tautz talk about their HOBOS cooperation for the first time.
When a schoolteacher teams up with a university professor, there is usually a deeper underlying reason behind it. With HOBOS (HOney Bee Online Studies), both of them are able to pursue their goal of awaking students’ enthusiasm for science and research within the classroom, since science and technology are extremely important to our society.
Professor Tautz, how would you define HOBOS?
Tautz: On our online platform HOBOS (www.hobos.de/), students can access state-of-the-art technology and can login to a real live honeybee colony. They can use HOBOS to discover their fascination for investigation because HOBOS is science. In its own way, HOBOS is a prime example for a new culture of teaching that is appropriate for schools of the 21st century.
Mr. Bauer, for how long has your high school been collaborating with the academic HOBOS project?
Bauer: For over a year now.
What exactly have your students been doing with HOBOS?
Bauer: They have been working independently in small teams to collect data for the task “Temperature Regulation inside a Beehive”, which was published by HOBOS. As a next step, they depicted the data graphically in order to provide answers to questions about temperature regulation inside a hive. By doing this, they were able to acquire and practice key competences, such as working independently, working in a team and analyzing large amounts of data.
For how long have you been using HOBOS in your teaching lessons and in which grades?
Bauer: In three different 6th grade classes, we have compared the temperature management within the hive with the outside temperature. With the help of data gathered via HOBOS, the students were able to answer various scientific questions with a practical orientation.
Professor Tautz, how can one incorporate HOBOS into a traditional teaching curriculum?
Tautz: HOBOS is an innovation for the classroom. New types of media and work on computers have developed a much larger role compared to earlier. Students are no longer motivated as easily by old fashion methods and topics. The idea of live streaming used in HOBOS thus meets the expectations of today’s students. HOBOS supplements the subject matter and provides new approaches for teaching. There is a heavy emphasis on biology, mathematics and physics, which opens up a wide scope for interdisciplinary work. This brings the young students in direct contact with scientists and their field of research. HOBOS is suitable for individual as well as group work and is appropriate for both slow learners and highly-talented students.
Mr. Bauer, what does HOBOS have to offer for school children?
Bauer: HOBOS provides school children with a vast array of possibilities. In primary school, students acquire basic competences, such as handling large amounts of data and filtering out the important pieces of information. Later on in secondary school, they will be challenged to work independently in project-oriented lessons. When doing so, the students are confronted for the first time with scientific questions and learn how to work out answers to them. In high school, HOBOS can bridge the gap to university learning. In the web-based seminars, the students address current scientific issues and are introduced to university thinking. There is no doubt that HOBOS has many more possibilities to offer for other types of schooling.
Professor Tautz, what does HOBOS have to offer for teachers?
Tautz: Students studying teaching and teachers of various subjects are supplied with free teaching material and are invited to attend HOBOS events. The HOBOS platforms for learning, teaching and investigation and is so versatile that teachers can find a range of exercises, from ones that require very little time to ones that are quite extensive and rich in variety, which are guaranteed to keep the school children occupied for the entire day. All university students and teachers are invited to contribute to this offer.
Interview by Kristina Vonend
Würzburg's HOBOS Project at the European Teaching Festival
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