Mid-term Progress Reports

We, here at Convergent Education, have been pretty busy.  Regrettably, not on this blog.  Lest you think we’ve been slacking (you know, except for our jobs as full-time teachers), here’s a little update of our goings on.

@paleoromano has been guest-blogging over at the Public Library of Science – SciEd Blog.  In September, he wrote a piece on using social media, specifically Twitter, in the classroom as a means to engage, monitor, and reinforce student participation.  Wow, typed out that sounds sinister, but it isn’t!  Twitter serves to take ordinary nature documentaries and create a back-channel for students to take notes and discuss points without disrupting the narrative of the program.  A second post in October detailed how he uses science fiction in the classroom to illustrate the application of scientific concepts and the ethical issues that arise as a result.  We’re looking forward to his future contributions now that he has been contracted as a regular contributor for PLoS.

@Mr_Ising presented “Reading and Writing Like a Scientist” at the National Science Teacher’s Association meeting in Portland, Oregon.  There, he discussed, “…formal science communication skills in a variety of settings…. presenting formal science formally, informally, and as outreach.”  You can take a look at the resources for his presentation HERE.  With attendees, Drew talked about how the scientists use of language changed in each situation, and activities that could be used to get students working in each way. The goal, he says, was to move away from traditional lab reports (i.e. summaries, lists and reflections on error) and move toward a more realistic approach and problem-solving)

@lalsox did a lot of traveling in October.  First, to Miami, Florida for ScienceOnline Oceans to moderate a discussion on “Recruiting and Retaining Diversity in Marine Sciences.” (see the Storify)  She also traveled to Geek Girl Con 2013 in Seattle, Washington to do some science outreach in the DIY Science Zone.  Con attendees were able to cycle through lab stations to take part in some kitchen science.  Lali led a strawberry DNA extraction (<– try it, you probably have everything you need in your home!).  She also joined @CurlyHairMafia cohosts @DNLee5 and @DrRubidium (together with @Sargent and @GermanCityGirl) for the panel on “The Changing Role of Characters of Color in SciFi and Horror“.

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