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Technology Helps Link Scientists to the Classroom

Students often complain that they don't see the relevance in class lessons. And many teachers are hard-pressed to spark students' interest in content that can be complex or dry. But here's a story about how some teachers are using technology to bring science to life and make the subject more appealing for students.

In this EdWeek piece, my colleague Sean Cavanagh writes about projects that connect students to scientists for firsthand accounts and discussions of real-world investigations. He describes how one middle school class in New Hampshire followed the work of scientists conducting research in the Phoenix Islands, in the central Pacific.

mantaray.jpg

"[The project] is just one of many aimed at connecting students through technology with scientists doing research in the field, an increasingly common practice in schools. Museums, colleges, federal agencies, and individual teachers have become more adept at putting students in direct contact with scientists, even those working in very remote locations—like aboard the NAI'A in the central Pacific, 6,000 miles away."

The students were able to ask the scientists questions and follow their adventures through a blog that chronicled the expedition, which ended yesterday in Fiji. It includes written entries and photos.

Photo courtesy of the New England Aquarium

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