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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

What can we do?

What can we do?

Related Tags: STEM
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Online communities only grow if the members are engaged and actively participate. What can we do to build this community? I have a few ideas... (1) We can start an online "book club." We can select a book, read and discuss over a couple of months. I would be happy to organize & start this...in late January. (2) Live webinars. We could organize live webinars with a brief presentation, followed by Q&A. I could find a scientist (or other expert) on a monthly basis. For example, I have a colleague at UWO that does research in China related to the late Permian mass extinction (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permian%E2%80%93Triassic_extinction_event). (3) Topic of the week. Members can suggest "high interest" focus questions to guide our discussions. I would say that 2 per month would be a good start... ---> Are you interested in any of these? If so, please leave a comment. If not, give us more suggestions!

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Will Nowall's picture

Can you set up an online section so people can post lesson plans using STEM or links to lesson plans? They would have to be detailed and include materials lists, websites, equipment needed etc...

Once people tried them they could post problems they had and their workarounds. This should get people involved.

Eric Brunsell's picture
Eric Brunsell
Asst Professor of Science Education @ UW-Oshkosh
Blogger
Facilitator

Will,
I am constrained to the discussion board format, so I don't know how well attachments will work. I'll take a look and possibly start a new discussion for activities.

Eric

[quote]Can you set up an online section so people can post lesson plans using STEM or links to lesson plans? They would have to be detailed and include materials lists, websites, equipment needed etc...

Once people tried them they could post problems they had and their workarounds. This should get people involved.[/quote]

Kelli Hulslander's picture
Kelli Hulslander
Charter High School Math Teacher & Community Outreach Coordinator, NM

I would love to be able to talk, via the internet, with other instructors. Teaching math is my 4th career. I started off as a chemical engineer. I was fortunate to have parents that valued both education and my love for science and math. I haven't found many teachers that love math. And, I haven't found many teachers that have found time and practical ways of enhancing math and/or science lessons.

Maybe we could PLAN a day and time to all meet online to discuss a topic. We could still use this blog site as the meeting location.

Your suggestion for a webinar sounds great, however, I might be the slow learner. (Unfortunately, my few attempts at interacting on a webinar have been unsuccessful.)

I'm willing to try almost anything.

Betty Ray's picture
Betty Ray
Director of Programming and Innovation @Edutopia
Staff

We could also create a chat on Twitter for STEM educators to network. If you've never participated in #edchat, it's worth checking out as a model.

Eric Brunsell's picture
Eric Brunsell
Asst Professor of Science Education @ UW-Oshkosh
Blogger
Facilitator

I'm game & willing to moderate #STEMChat...

Cheryl M. Tokarski's picture
Cheryl M. Tokarski
High School Math and Computer Science Teacher

I just joined this community and am looking for these types of collaborations, so I am definitely game to be part of an effort like this. I am also a 2nd career teacher - my first career in Software development/Electrical Engineering and management.

Looking forward to hearing how we might put some of these ideas into real activity. I think that webinars and sharing of lesson plans both specific and ideas on how to develop are a great start.

Kelli Hulslander's picture
Kelli Hulslander
Charter High School Math Teacher & Community Outreach Coordinator, NM

Hi Cheryl,
Sounds like you and I might have a few things in common...especially entering teaching after other careers.

SO?? With summer upon us, maybe we could try this topic discussion idea...or a chat....I'm not sure I'm going to be gung ho about twitter...I've just gotten used to texting.

But, this community site seems a bit bare and I'm interested in it being a bit more active or lively.

Carol Hacherl's picture

I'm also a chemical engineer now working & volunteering as a 7-12 grade math tutor in a small rural low income school district. Next year I'll be doing some substitute teaching as well. After a lot of hours in the high school classroom this year, I'm trying to decide how to best use my time to help math education going forward. A big issue for me in this district is the poor math fundamentals of our high school kids. Maybe 30% come in weak in multiplication tables and basic integer addition/subtraction. Fractions, forget it. So even though I can teach them solving equations and factoring, they just don't have a good framework to hang it all on. If we're going to get kids who are comfortable with math, I'm thinking something has to change sooner than high school? I've started sitting in on some elementary school classes to better understand how this earlier learning process should work. How important is parental involvement at the early stages? Can community or school programs fill in where parents aren't? I'd love to hear from anyone with ideas or experience in this area! Kelli, sounds like you had some great success at your school, did you do that all at the high school level, or did it require changes at lower grades too?

Betty Ray's picture
Betty Ray
Director of Programming and Innovation @Edutopia
Staff

Hi Kelli, Cheryl, Carol and others -

Wanted to let you know a couple things. First off, we're launching a science chat on Twitter starting on Tuesday June 8 at 9ET/6PT. Use #scichat. This will be moderated by Eric Brunsell (Eric Brunsell, Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction at University of Wisconsin, and our facilitator here in this group) and Dr Jeff Goldstein, (Center Director National Center for Earth and Space Science Education). I will be posting a primer for how to use Twitter shortly, so if you're not a Twitter user but want to become one, this should hopefully help.

We don't have a #mathchat yet, but if there's interest, let me know and I'll make that happen.

Finally, we're in the early planning stages of a project-based learning camp - an online collaboration that will happen in July for teachers to brainstorm together and develop a project-based unit plan. Stay tuned for more about this in the coming weeks.

Great to have you all here!

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