COMMUNITY-BASED RESEARCH PROJECTS WITH PODCASTING IN INTRODUCTORY-LEVEL GEOSCIENCE COURSES (Invited Presentation)
Another project was completed in an introductory-level course titled “Water: Science and Society.” The students developed an idea during the semester to conduct a two-week awareness campaign of global water issues with podcasts and social media tools including Twitter, Tumblr, and Delicious. The students generated twenty podcasts that ranged from water conflicts and pollutants to interviews with leaders in non-profit water organizations. The goal was to spread the word about water issues to the campus and to a larger online community.
Podcasting projects targeted for the community can result in student learning beyond the content and effective use of the technology. For the Ridley Creek State Park project, the students presented their work as a poster at NCUR (National Conferences on Undergraduate Research) and published a project summary in the Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science (Woodruff et al., 2009). The water issues podcasting campaign was picked up and shared by the Science Centre Singapore. Most importantly, students learned how their original products were of interest and of use to others beyond the classroom walls. At the introductory level, students are quite capable of creating new material that can contribute to an identified community need.