Social Media in the Science Classroom

social-media-science
Image Credit – genomicenterprise.com

Below is my curated content on social media in the science classroom.  While I found some fantastic examples of social media being used effectively, I was surprised at how difficult it was to find actual projects.  Most sites simply listed ideas of the ways social media could be used but did not give specific examples of projects.  I extended my search beyond science and looked at a few STEM projects. The projects I did find involved using Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and Blogging sites to build a science lesson or unit.

Pearltrees – Social Media in the Science Classroom

#Organellewars and ‘Blogging about diseases’ were my two favorite projects.  I am hoping to get my entire science department involved in #organellewars this year when we teach about the cell. Upon a recent check of Twitter #organellewars, I noticed the Tweets have continued all through this past spring. The blogging about diseases inspired me to think about how I can use a class blog as an instrumental part of my science curriculum. I believe writing should be a central part of all academics and blogging is a great tool for critical thinking and reflection. Both Skype and Facebook would be interesting ways to open up the classroom to other parts of the country and world. Unless I found a really fantastic example, I do not believe I would use Snapchat in my classroom. The few projects I located using Snapchat offered little educational merit. This project opened my eyes to some great opportunities to bring social media into the science curriculum.

I would love to hear from other educators in the comments below about how they use social media in their science lessons.

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Project or Problem-Based Learning

Annotated Bibliography – Project Based Learning

Project-based learning (PBL), sometimes called problem-based learning, has been a topic I have been interested in for the past few years.  Last year in my science classroom, I redesigned our school’s traditional science fair to fit the components of PBL.  Students, working collaboratively with a partner, were asked to:

  1. Write a driving question focused on making a change in their world
  2. Conduct research
  3. Write a research paper
  4. Create an informational action poster (Infographic)
  5. Create a presentation either in Powerpoint or Google Slides
  6.  Present their work to an audience

For the most part, things went very well.  The students (and the teacher:) concluded the project by writing their reflections of the entire process.

I chose project-based learning as the topic for my annotated bibliography because I hope to incorporate more PBL activities into my curriculum this year.  As I read the articles, it was interesting to note the various views of what PBL is. The core elements were basically the same, however, not all projects included all the components of PBL. I enjoyed reading the different studies ranging from a kindergarten class in the US to an undergraduate online class in Taiwan.

Two tools that I used to complete my annotated bibliography were Diigo and Zotero.  Zotero is a tool to help users collect, organize, cite, and share research sources. APA citations were a requirement of this assignment.  Zotero made that requirement fairly simple. Diigo is a social bookmarking, research, and knowledge sharing tool that I found very helpful.  Users of Diigo can upload articles, highlight, add notes, and share their annotations with other Diigo users.  I found this tool extremely helpful as I read each of the articles. Both Zotero and Diigo are web-based devices that I will continue to implement in the future.