As I mentioned before, ScienceOnline is a conference that explores the ways the Web changes the way science is communicated, taught and done. As always, there will be a nice track of sessions focusing on the “taught” part. Here they are:
Blogging in the undergraduate science classroom (how to maximize the potential of course blogs) (discussion) – Jason Goldman and John Hawks
This session will mainly feature a roundtable discussion of “best practices” for incorporating blogs into undergraduate courses. Possible topics that will be covered: Developing, evaluating, and grading assignments, incorporating blogs into syllabi, how blogging can contribute to learning goals, privacy versus openness, especially with respect to FERPA, and interacting with students with social media more broadly (e.g. twitter, G+, facebook, etc).
Undergraduate Education: Collaborating to Create the Next Generation of Open Scientists (discussion) – John Dupuis and Tanya Noel
There are two ideas here, centered around the kinds of things that faculty and librarians can work on together in undergraduate education. First: teaching undergrads about the scholarly information landscape. On the one hand, this is about making sure students can find the information they need for their school work, both formal sources like journals and informal sources like blogs. And this brings up the problem of how do we get them to think about what formal and informal really means? Students don’t just arrive at university with that knowledge built in. We might like to think they do, we might hope they do, and certainly the ones we like to hang around with at conferences already do. So, how do we — faculty, librarians and others — work together to teach students to navigate the disciplinary landscape and become productive and critical consumers of and contributors to their disciplinary conversation. Second: how do we teach students about the great big wide world of open science? How do all the various players in higher education make sure that the incredible depth and complexity of what going on out there is communicated to the next generation? How do we raise the next generation of Cameron Neylons, Steve Kochs and Jean-Claude Bradleys (not to mention the next generation of Dorothea Salos or Christina Pikases)? There’s a lot to cover here: blogs, blog networks, blog aggregators, open access, open data, open notebooks, citizen science, alt-metrics and all the rest.
Is encouraging scientific literacy more than telling people what they need to know? (discussion) – Marie-Claire Shanahan and Catherine Anderson
The idea of scientific literacy is a sometimes maligned idea, one that too often focuses on which scientific ideas the public doesn’t understand. But what happens when we think about it differently? What if scientific literacy is a fluid concept that lets us consider the skills and contextual understandings that people need to really engage with science, in the media and in their everyday lives? What does this kind of literacy mean for online science? This session will explore the scientific literacy skills and understandings that help people understand and engage with complex scientific controversies where simple scientific facts are not enough (such as the recent neutrino results). It will also ask how writers and bloggers can engage and encourage those skills and understandings in their reading community and how science education and outreach efforts can reflect this view of scientific literacy.
The Next Generation of Bloggers (discussion) – Stacy Baker and students
From classroom blogging, to blogging at Nature, these students had quite a year! They’d like to start by talking about their experience with blogging so far, what they’ve learned, where they’ve had problems, and where they’ve been successful. Then, they want to get ideas from the audience on how to start a 1 day conference in NYC for middle/high school students interested in blog
Students as Messengers of Science (discussion) – Gabrielle Lyon and Stephanie Levi
High school and undergraduate students have a unique place in engaging their communities through science, while becoming the next generation of scientists, science writers, and journalists. As an increasingly diverse pool of students engage their families in their pursuits through mentoring, research and other immersion programs, as well as writing and journalism, they lay the groundwork for making science accessible for the non-scientists in their lives, representing a range of diverse ethnic and socio-economic communities. How as educators and mentors do we nurture them as scientists and communicators? What skills and practices are key for helping young people reflect on learning while also developing effective communication skills? This session will foster a discussion of the barriers, challenges and best practices for creating the infrastructure, mentoring relationships, and building the confidence of students as they experience science to help them develop their voices. The session will also explore how we recruit readers of such sites, and will explore examples of online media connected with science engagement programs geared toward high school and undergraduate students that are creating a local culture of science, among traditionally underrepresented communities, with a local impact.
TechNyou – Building an online teaching community and developing critical thinking in students (demo) – Rob Thomas
Robert Thomas from the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research discusses the science education resource www.technyou.edu.au/education, an Australian Government initiative for high school science teachers. The resource provides materials in the fields of biotechnology and nanotechnology, and covers student learning objectives, including creative thinking and effective communication.
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