In September, Greg Laden posted a piece with the intriguing title “How can science teachers use blogs?” I responded in Twitter “Ok, but HOW would sci bloggers like to see science blogs used in sci ed?” The piece got me thinking about the possibilities of science blogs as a resource for science education – beyond just a resource for teachers to read to improve their understanding of science (which is primarily how Greg Laden was discussing them). The question stuck in my head and I came back to it recently when planning the assignments for my fourth year physical sciences education course. It’s a course that integrates pedagogical education as well as physical science content. I thought that the best way to try to answer the question of how science blogs could be a resource for science education was to try it myself and, better yet, to ask my students.
As a result, yesterday I gave my students the outline for their final paper (the course has two cumulative assessments – a more theoretically oriented final exam and a more practically oriented final project or paper). For their paper, they have to choose a science-related blog to follow and comment on for one month. For their paper, they have to reflect on what they’ve learned from reading, describe any interactions they’ve had through the comments and make connections to specific course content. The piece I’m most interested in, however, is the application. I’ve asked them to use their experiences to prepare a lesson sequence inspired by the blog. It’s completely open and they can use their reading experiences in any way that suits the blog they’ve been reading. I’m really excited to see what they come up with. Perhaps some will let me share their ideas here?