Blog posts

Can Foldit teach IB biologists about protein structure? 18 January 2014

Foldit is an online game in which humans try to solve one of the hardest computational problems in biology: protein folding. That is building the tertiary structure of proteins. Surprisingly you don't... more

Biology Guide Pre-publication 2 January 2014

The most reassuring thing is that there is no great change to the Biology content of the new guide. Lots of the sub-topic titles are familiar and there isn't any revolutionary change to the topics.... more

IB graduates have a greater chance of university success 5 November 2013

One of the highlights of teaching IB is to speak to students who return from university in the holidays. "How are you getting on?", is a question which always presents itself. Many students describe... more

Data logging dilemma 22 October 2013

Some of the best data logging equipment you can buy comes from Vernier and the Labquest interface has been around for a while. What are the advantages of the new Labquest2 and its little partner the... more

Chasing creativity in Biology Lessons 22 September 2013

After a recent workshop on differentiation, where we looked at nurturing creativity to enhance differentiation, an art teacher said to me, "It is important to remember that creativity is a set of behaviours.... more

An embarrassment to biology education? 28 August 2013

The latest advances in genetics have begun to unsettle the science behind many of the common examples of genetic inheritance biology teachers have been using for decades. Simple inheritance of characteristics... more

Using Blooms Taxonomy to Sequence IB Biology work 24 July 2013

To help students practise expressing their ideas in increasingly complex ways it may be useful to consider using the IB command terms in the same sort of structure as Blooms taxonomy. Looking at these... more

When students work hard and yet still score low marks in IB Biology Exams. 10 July 2013

I have been troubled for a number of years about those students who write a lot of correct Biology in their exams but only achieve low marks. As an IB examiner I find myself scratching around trying... more

Genetic Tools to bring back Extinct Species 17 April 2013

The idea of de-extinction, deliberately resurrecting species killed off by human activity, is challenging one of the fundamental concepts of biology: what determines a distinct species. Recently there... more

Genetic Screening Reveals 60 Genes Linked to Cancer 28 March 2013

Imagine a world where your doctor can tell you exactly which cancers you are likely to develop from a simple blood test. Would you want your employer or life insurance company to know this? Would you... more