More Free AP Biology Stuff

APMaterialsQR Text of a recent note that I posted to the AP Biology Teacher Community:

As one of my major initiatives this year is my SBG realignment, and the subsequent realignment of my course sequence in to my 7-unit structure, I have produced some materials that I am happy to share with the larger AP Biology community.  Before I post the link, I would like to make some comments as to the content that I have created.

I was lucky to be invited to participate in a project wherein I was recently recorded discussing the content of the course for the "Get a Five" AP Biology project.  I don't feel particularly comfy discussing the nuts and bolts of this project, as it was for a "test preparation" product and I was compensated for the work that I have done for it.  I am sure that once the materials are completed, a link to access will be posted, as the current plan is to offer the video materials and ancillary items to all students for free use and access, but that's a while off.  I was quite happy to agree to participate once it was established that the work that I did in terms of preparing AV materials and content discussions could be made available to the larger AP Biology teaching community for free to use and modify as they see fit.  This material comprises the vast majority of the work included at the below link.

The work that is provided includes the following materials:

  • Previously posted curriculum organizers reflecting my new structure, aligned to the learner objectives and EK-level understandings in the Curriculum Framework, along with some other, ancillary, CB-provided material suggesting activities that students should engage in while preparing for the course.
  • Eight Powerpoint presentations, reflecting my seven content units, along with another presentation dealing with the Science Practices, and some other material that I created to review pertinent features of the exam, and the course.  This material was created to serve as the basis of AV materials that would supplement the videos of my discussions.  All images and graphics in these presentations are from open-source repositories (particularly the wikimedia commons, and the OpenStax Biology textbook project), so as to try to avoid as many usage issues as possible.  As long as the work created from modifications of this source material is done so for educational, non-profit, purposes, I do not anticipate any issues with any modification or usage of that materials.  A ninth Powerpoint is also included, which serves as a series of larger-format, pertinent graphics which were printed out for my notations during the videos.
  • A word document that has my personal discussion notes (I don't really like the term "script"), which I used while the videos were recorded.

At this point, I have some understanding of how the Community uses materials like the ones that I create and share, and to that end, I feel that some additional comments are warranted:

  • I really think it is a terrible idea to take these materials, and use them as is, unmodified for your own classes.  I created the materials for a specific project, and even I will be modifying them from the form that they are currently available in as I use them with my own class.  Essentially, what I have made are the basis of the short (5-15 minute) in-class content input discussions that I plan on having during the year with my students.  These materials supplement the other materials that I use with my students, and are part of a major attempt on my part to make sure that the way in which I discuss the content of this course with my students in-class does not duplicate the modes in which I am expecting my students to interface with the course content outside of class (via my prezi's, the textbook, etc.).
  • To that end, as I modify these materials from their current form over the course of the coming year, the "vanilla" versions that are currently available will be changed.  I note that only because there are assuredly a variety of formatting, grammatical, and other quirks in these originals, and I take no responsibility for any issues that instructors might encounter if they use these materials without double-checking the work.  This is particularly true of the notes, which are written by me, for me.
  • These materials have a very austere design, with very few "bells and whistles".  This is partially due to my own aesthetic sense about what an appropriate slideware presentation should look like in an educational setting (and even then, many of these slides are FAR TOO TEXTY), and partially due to the fact that the company that I created these materials for will use them as the basis of a more polished series of slides that they will create.
  • Long-time colleagues will appreciate the subtle irony of the fact that I created the majority of these materials on MS Office tools.  I acknowledge the seeming contradiction with my normal ethic, but google docs presentations are extremely clunky, and word was the word processor of choice for the company I was working with.  I apologize if the use of expensive proprietary tools is a hindrance to your use and modification of these docs, but I imagine a program like LibreOffice will work well for you (though I assume there will be some formatting issues).  While we are on this subject, the slides were created using Open Sans, and the course notes use both Open Sans and Crimson Text.  These fonts are available for free download and usage at the google fonts website, and I have no idea what the materials will look like in a computer that doesn't have these two fonts available.

Enough already!  Here's the link to the google drive collection containing these materials.  I hope they are useful for members of the Community.  Please share whatever you might create with them with the rest of us!  And remember, you DO NOT need individual permission to access these documents, and you can dl them directly to your computer or use the file menu in google drive to make copies for yourself.

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