Today, instead of introducing people, I will introduce a session, or two or three.
Feedback from participants of the last two conferences indicated a lot of interest in sessions relevant to science educators at all levels. At both the 1st and the 2nd conference, we had one session on using blogs in the classroom. But this time, we want to heed the calls and provide, if possible, three such sessions, each targeting a somewhat different audience.
Online science for the kids (and parents) -- moderated by Janet Stemwedel:
Even little kids are online these days. They are curious about the world. What kind of scientific information is there on the Web that is suitable for the littlest ones? How does one find the good stuff? What works and what doesn't for that age group? What can one do to add quality science material for kids and parents? How to write blog posts with little kids in mind?
What are the strategies, methods and pitfalls of using the online technologies in science education in college? The importance of Open Access to primary research. The willingness of students to post on blogs. Text-messaging as communication. The problem of the "creepy treehouse".
And finally - and I am really excited about this:
How does middle/high school science education differ from that in college? There are also institutional problems: a) Most US pub. school networks firewall out major sources of info, such as all of scienceblogs.com, all of blogspot.com, all of youtube, etc. A teacher who finds something on a blog can't use it directly in classroom. b) Conceptually linked posts and comment threads, ads, external links, etc. are often inappropriate for PS K-12 settings (which is perhaps why 'a' is true). c) yet, some bloggers want to have some of their work used in this setting. Are the younger kids different from college students in their use of online tools? Many school are experimenting with new technologies but do not have a clear idea how to do it - did they ask the kids themselves for advice? If not, we'll ask the students in this session.
And if you look at the list of registered participants so far, you will see quite a lot of teachers and education specialists, as well as a few high school and college students, e.g., Kim Gainer and her duaghter Patti, John Dupuis' son Sam, Elissa Hoffman and a number of others. We are also expecting some teachers and students from the Zoo School and from the Duke's summer student research blogging program. Keep checking the wiki for more information....
Zoo School sounds great. I wish I could have attended such a high school.