When you hear Dr. Michael Carter speaking on a panel discussion, don’t expect him to wear a suit. He’ll probably be wearing a comfortable pair of jeans and flip-flops; but don’t let his mild-mannered style deceive you. When he starts talking you’ll want to start listening to focus on what he is saying. He didn’t work with Steve Jobs by chance and he didn’t write 150 lesson plans for Lifeliqe out of the blue. He’s a true expert at what he does.
Dr. Carter’s lesson plans are NGSS and Common Core aligned and correlated to major US science text books. What’s more, they are just like him: creative and innovative. Read on to meet the unconventional man behind the lesson plans for Lifeliqe’s middle school science curriculum.
“I love learning so I just kept going to school until it was time to start teaching,” he reveals. He joined the world of educational technology to find better ways to help students learn difficult, but important concepts.
Dr. Michael Carter works with Lifeliqe as a senior advisor who shares his expertise on U.S. education, curriculum and lesson plans. He’s a well-known author, researcher, renowned educational expert and former advisor to Steve Jobs and Apple Education in the early days of the Macintosh and NeXT.
He’s been working in the field for more than 40 years, collaborating with teachers, researchers, and professors, harvesting the knowledge about what helps people learn, no matter if they are in kindergarten or college.
Dr. Carter’s lesson plans reflect his innovative and creative personality
“Michael is one of the most creative people I know. Plus, he has a gift for inspiring others,” says actor Martha Luehrmann who worked with Dr. Carter directly when he was a history professor at Dartmouth College.
We can’t agree more. Every comment he shares with us and every document he sends proves this. Want an example? Check out his lesson plans!
They follow the 5E’s instructional model that is commonly used for teaching STEM subjects nowadays. It is based on these 5 phases in leading instruction and learning: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate/Extend, and Evaluate.
“The important thing about lesson plans is that the teachers figure out how to help the learners become scientists — ask questions, scrutinize information to see what the answer might be, make up their own hypothesis and then test them and defend them,” he describes.
One of the activities he suggests in his lesson plans instructs: Have students study the 3D models of the “Snail” and “Swan Mussel” in the Lifeliqe Animal Biology Library. Then ask them: Which do you think would win a foot race? And why?
“When I was describing the activity to my friend at Common Sense Media, she said ‘that’s so cool because the middle school kids will actually act out a race between a snail and a swan mussel,” reveals Dr. Carter.
It would be great to see a group of students organizing a speed race for mollusks!
One of the best decisions
“Asking Michael to write the lesson plans for Lifeliqe app was one of the best decisions we made in 2016,” says Ondrej Homola, CEO of Lifeliqe.
Thanks to him, in the first months of 2017 Lifeliqe will have lesson plans that cover the middle school science curriculum.
“Our idea here was to provide teachers the best options for incorporating interactive 3D models into their lessons while creating engaging content that helps to spark lightbulb moment in students,” explains Martin Bukacek, Lifeliqe’s community shaman.
To reach this goal Dr. Carter put together Lifeliqe’s interactive content and correlated it with the major science textbooks used in the US* and OER resources used by teachers worldwide, such as cK-12. You can find the specific correlation of every lesson plan in its summary information.
“For the Life Science course I used 236 models, from the African Bush Elephant to the Zebra in the collections to draw in students in the 5E pedagogical model,” describes Dr. Carter about his approach. Still, when creating the lesson plans, he considered all the 1,000+ models available in Lifeliqe.
“So many models were used in different ways that, in the course of the course, a kid my granddaughter’s age could go to the Lifeliqe libraries 466 times studying life science. And, she, who is wicked smart and a voracious learner, would be in heaven there,” he claims.
Let’s create real scientists!
What is the best approach? Dr. Carter started with Life Sciences for middle school and now he is working on the Earth and Space Sciences course. They all will be implemented in the first months of 2017.
“So far, it’s been great fun, I’ve learned so much that I hadn’t known when the Catholic nuns were teaching me in the fifties,”he laughs.
Are you looking forward to using them? We can’t wait. As Dr. Carter says, let’s get out there and create real scientists! Open Lifeliqe, set Dr. Carter’s name into the filters and start sparking lightbulb moments.
- Interactive Science. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Life Science, 2013.
- Life Science. Austin, TX: Holt Science & Technology, 2005.
- Science Techbook. Silver Spring, MD: Discovery Education, 2016.
- Brainard, J. (2016) Middle School Life Sciences Flexbook. Palo Alto, CA: cK-12