Frequently asked questions about the Issue Of The Week (IOTW).

What level is the IOTW aimed at?

The resources are ideal for lower secondary school. They are very flexible and open ended, so there is plenty of scope to use with intermediate or upper primary ākonga with support, or senior sciences with extension. Teachers can put their own focus on each issue according to the needs of their students.

How long is the IOTW going to take in class?

As long as you’d like! It’s designed to take one to two hours, depending on how deeply and thoroughly you want to go. It could take up to four or five hours! The more discussion time the better, and students may need practice to build the skills required.

Can The IOTW be set as homework?

For sure! It has been used as a very successful homework programme to engage students, build literacy skills and develop scientific capabilities.

Can homeschoolers use the IOTW?

Yes! 🙂 The IOTW is designed to be flexible and adaptable which would align with homeschooling.

How about distance learning? Would the IOTW work for students at home?

Absolutely, during the recent lockdowns hundreds of students successfully continued their science learning at home using current and topical IOTWs. They discussed and submitted their work electronically.

What if I don’t understand how to use the IOTW?

There is no right or wrong way to use these learning resources. As with all teaching and learning resources they are context and relationship dependent. No-one knows how to engage your student(s) better than you! E-mail us with any questions.

How often does a new Issue Of the Week become available?

Keep a close eye on the website – we are aiming for a new IOTW each week of the school term.

Will subscriptions be available for regular IOTWs?

Let us know by email if you would like to register your interest for a subscription, should this become an option!

Do I need to print off the IOTWs?

No! IOTWs are designed for data projectors, Google Classroom or similar electronic sharing platforms. Save resources and keep your science programme future -focused. How about repurposing your department textbook budget for up-to-date, user friendly IOTWs?

Can IOTWs be used in cross-curricular classes?

The socio-scientific issues presented in the IOTWs are an ideal starting point for investigation and extension in any cross-curricular programme.

Do we have to do the learning tasks in the order that they are set up in each IOTW?

No, consider using the IOTW like a  ’pick-n- mix’. Select the tasks and order that suits your students best. Some teachers use parts from several IOTWs to put together a lesson. However, teachers are busy and as the IOTWs have been designed to flow in a logical order, you may find the planning has already been done for you!

What if the IOTW doesn’t fit with the science strand we are working on in class?

While the IOTWs are designed with current and interesting issues in mind, many will align with the science strands and NOS. You could collect IOTWs and weave them into your existing program where they fit. Alternatively, the IOTWs can work brilliantly as ‘a breath of fresh air’ to inject opportunities for topical, future focused learning. Perhaps set aside one lesson each week for the IOTW and develop literacy skills and science capabilities while engaging students in Science.

What about the links to the curriculum?

Due to the flexibility of the IOTWs, the curriculum level links and specific learning outcomes or skill development focus can be set depending on the focus of your lesson and teaching programme. You can still write your own lesson plan and use the IOTWs as an exciting way to supplement your lessons.