Teaching to Learn, Learning to Teach

Monday, November 27, 2006

Science experiments + Blogging = Formula for Success

I stumbled across a blog the other day by Joseph Hartman about a neat science experiment that uses a blog to record student progress. Unfortunately I couldn't comment on his blog because it's restricted to team members, but I still thought it was worthwhile to share his work.

The assignment invovled students picking a experiment topic and then blogging daily to record progress and observations. So often as teachers we want to create and plan elaborate projects for our students, but we have a difficult time checking student progress and ensuring that they are not throwing the project together at last minute. If students had the opportunity and obligation to blog about their science experiment, they would be excited to see their progress and that of their classmates. I think Hartman really captured the essenence of using a blog when he wrote: "The unique properties of blogs is thus taken advantage of by allowing the outside world to see exactly what steps each student has taken in their experiment recreation (not to mention the students themselves having access to this information) which enables the audience to then judge the validity of the recreation almost immediately after each step has been taken (rather than after the entire experiment has been concluded)."

I also think this would be a neat addition to a science fair. Students could read up on their classmates blogs before attending the fair, and maybe even be required to prepare a few questions for certain students about their project.

Next semester when I teach a unit about the scientific method, my students are responsible for creating their own experiment. Maybe I will incorporate the blogging component to my project!


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