2009 Portland GSA Annual Meeting (18-21 October 2009)
Paper No. 192-18
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM

NEW VIRTUAL TOOLS FOR SUPPORTING ONLINE COMMUNITIES OF EDUCATORS

FOX, Sean P., MANDUCA, Cathryn A., and KIRK, Karin B., Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College, Northfield, MN 55057, kkirk@serc.carleton.edu

Resources available at serc.carleton.edu demonstrate the use of Web 2.0 technology to support discussion and synthesis of ideas in geoscience education, including virtual workshops and resource sharing across projects. This community resource reflects the integrated efforts of more than 15 projects in geoscience and STEM education and was viewed by more than 1.5 million users in 2008.

Virtual workshops capitalize on the success of small group meetings to document and share successful teaching materials, collectively review and improve teaching materials, facilitate learning from experts on a particular topic (geoscience or pedagogic), and motivate change. The SERC Content Management System is used to create integrated websites from individually authored pages, to allow authoring of pages by multiple individuals, and to integrate threaded discussion. Presentations are delivered using both real-time screen-sharing and audio/video streaming and are captured and integrated into workshop websites that allow sharing of expertise and workshop products, review and revision of teaching materials, and collaborative work.

Broad resource sharing across projects has been fostered by the adoption of common formats for describing teaching activities and pedagogic methods. Materials developed by workshop groups for their own specific use (e.g. Teaching the Process of Science; Teaching with MARGINS Data), are held in a central repository that allows for aggregation into larger collections (e.g. Teach the Earth, Pedagogies in Action) and repurposing for new audiences (e.g. On the Cutting Edge workshops about Teaching Introductory Geoscience or Teaching Climate Change). Faculty authored, peer reviewed modules describing pedagogic techniques are paired with customized collections of activities to support teaching of specific skills and for specific groups. Sharing materials developed in one context for use in another has increased traffic to the materials and promoted cross-disciplinary sharing and conversation. Common instruments for peer-review and classroom testing of teaching activities have also been developed and shared among projects and across disciplines. New site guides facilitate finding resources within these growing collections by addressing common user groups and topics of interest.

2009 Portland GSA Annual Meeting (18-21 October 2009)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 192--Booth# 376
From Virtual Globes to Geoblogs: Digital Innovations in Geoscience Research, Education, and Outreach (Posters)
Oregon Convention Center: Hall A
9:00 AM-6:00 PM, Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 41, No. 7, p. 501

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