Astronomy Education in the Era of Web 2.0

Astronomy Education in the Era of Web 2.0

Currently, I’m at SSU learning how teachers teach astronomy and physics concepts related to the types of high energy astrophysics that will be studied in by the recently launch GLAST telescope. I flew out so that I could teach these master teachers about teaching astronomy new media, but I have to admit that I’m picking up a bunch of content I can take back and use next time I teach science foundations for elementary education majors. Looking around the Internet for new resources for my talk, I have to admit that it is getting harder and harder to keep my new media talks into tiny pockets of time. Once upon a time, I’d give a 20-minute presentation on audio-based podcasts. Then in turned into 20 minutes on a pod/vodcasting and 20 on social...

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Silly Experiment

A few weeks ago in the middle of a meeting, Chris Lintott piped up, “One more line and you’ll have a haiku.” So, I responded “This isn’t that line,” which managed to have the required 5 syllables. For reasons that can only be explained with the much hated phrases “Just because..”, “I don’t know…” and “I thought it would be fun…” (remember using those reasons on parents?), I decided to Twitter in Haiku and see if anyone noticed. Since July 3 I haiku twittered. It was fun, but I think I should stop now. I remain quite proud of “A margarita, cold and as big as my head, has now been...

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Carnival of Space

It Flies, it Sings, its the Flying Singer hosting this week’s Carnival of Space over on Music of the Spheres. Check it out.

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Unifying Concepts and Language

Astronomy is filled with ideas that share too many different names. For instance, an Quasar is also a QSO is also an Active Galactic Nuclei. In our solar system, where we once had a bunch of specific objects, we now have terrestrial planets, gaseous planets, asteroids, and icy bodies (and 1 star too). As science starts to understand more and more about our universe, we’re finding that more and more of the things we used to break into many small groups are really different versions of the same object just seen from different vantages or in different environments. This is scientifically a wonderful thing: Being able to understand what a black hole that is actively feeding looks like as a function of feeding rate and angle of view allows us to say something...

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Summer Days Drift toward Syllabus Time

Last Friday I looked at my calendar and had the terrifying realization that I had 3 days of freedom before I started a long series of trips that would culminate in the first day of classes. Then I realized it was July 18, not July 25, and that I actually had 1 week and 3 days. Let me just say eek. My summer has been fairly productive if I ignore how little I’ve blogged. Plans for the International Year of Astronomy are coming along nicely, I got with the help of some friends colleagues frolleagues a grant written, and I have lost track of how many research projects have had steady progress made on them. Life is good (ignoring the blog). I still have a lot I want to do this summer though: 1 more grant, some website theme dress ups, and some general hard...

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