As an author, and educator, and especially an innovator of changes in the way that content is being produced, it is always nice to be acknowledged for your work. So here is a partial list of some of the awards that my projects have received.

McGraw-Hill Product of the Year – 2019

The Why Biology? product won Product of the Year at the 2019 McGraw-Hill National Sales meeting against some tough digital competition. This is my third award in this category ( previous were Essentials of Biology 3e and Inquiry Into Life 14e), but this is one especially important as it represents a fundamental shift in how introductory biology education is being taught in the classroom.

The project also represents a massive effort not only in authoring, but also in the production and marketing of the content. I am very fortunate to work with a dedicated group of individuals who are not only professionals in their craft, but also share my vision of making a difference in the world. Thank you to all of you!

Codie Awards – 2019

If you spend any time on this site, you will quickly discover that one of my major themes is making a difference. When that comes to my career as a science educator, textbook author, and member of the National Association of Science Writers (NASW), nothing makes more of a difference to me than attempting to make science engaging, and relevant, for people who are not scientists.

My Why Biology? project, the product of years of teaching non-majors biology courses, is my answer to the need to integrate relevancy into the textbook-authoring process. According to my marketing people at McGraw-Hill, this project

“is the first-ever theme-based product for the introductory biology course which associates biological processes to topics relevant to students’ lives. This approach enables non-science majors to create connections, become more engaged with the content, and make informed decisions as scientifically-literate citizens. Rather than starting with biology content and fitting in relevant topics, Connect Master: Why Biology? starts with the relevant themes and threads in the biology”

I think that this is a good overview, but there is a lot more associated with my values of innovation and perseverance, so I will be posting much more about this project on this site, but for now you can learn more about it here.

While I have been thrilled about the response from my fellow educators on the need and usefulness of this project, I am also please to announce that Why Biology? was selected as a finalist in two of the 2019 SIAA Codie Award categories :

  • Best Cross-Curricular Solution which “Recognizes the best software tool for students, educators or administrators that can be used in multiple curriculum areas in the PK-12 or higher education market. Includes productivity and creativity solutions that support learning across different courses or subject areas, such as document creation, graphic design, problem-solving or web development.”
  • Best Science/STEM Instructional Solution which “Recognizes the best instructional solution for science, technology, engineering and math curricula and content for students in the PK-12 or higher education market. Includes managed classroom/course-based instruction or online supplemental instruction for individuals. Provides for deep and personalized learning experiences for students, supports standards alignment and reflects current curriculum practice”

HyperDrive – DevLearn 2015

As a science educator for over 20 years, one of the biggest obstacles that I have tried to address is the fact that students don’t know what they don’t know. If we are going to truly change the education ecosystem, including the development of innovative digital teaching resources, we have to be able to not only get inside the minds of our students, but also generate the data that allows us to make informed decisions on the types of learning resources and content that we need to build.

In 2015 I submitted a proposal to the DevLearn HyperDrive competition entitled “Getting Inside the Minds of Students” in which I explored how I am using data from the LearnSmart adaptive learning program to gain an insight into how the students are interacting with the content in the books I author. In addition, I explained how this is analysis is allowing me to generate microlearning resources that address specific knowledge deficiencies and its potential to ultimately allow for the construction of continuously updated content.

There were some truly great presenters at the event, and some great examples of innovative approaches to solve e-learning and  corporate training problems. I was very pleased, and completely suprised, when our presentation was selected from the field as the winner of the event.

For those of you who weren’t there, the brief presentation below summarizes that talk.