« Standards Off-Base on Reading 'Comprehension,' Scholar Argues | Main | Horticulture as Part of the Curriculum »

Showing Scientists at Work, Through Technology

I write in this week's issue about how schools and organizations are using technology to put students in direct contact with scientists in the field (on a remote research vessel in the Pacific, for example). The idea is that students get a much deeper understanding of science—maybe even a love for it—when they interact with somebody who's actually doing it.5remote_undersea.jpg

The takeaway point here, I would argue, is not the technology. Many of the tools described in the story—blogs, Webcasts, videos—are not new, and probably won't strike the techies out there as especially impressive. You'll find fancier and costlier tools elsewhere. What will probably interest most scientists and science teachers is the application of it, and the promise of presenting their favorite subject the way they see it: as a fun, dynamic way to explore and understand the natural world. The comments of Alan Friedman, a longtime museum director who I interviewed for the story, are instructive. Students don't want to just read about scientists, he said. They want to see and hear and communicate with scientists, as those researchers struggle and push forward.

In this respect, scientists in the field and students in the laboratory, who taste success one day and cope with setbacks the next, have a lot in common.

Photo from the New England Aquarium.

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments