Catching up: IYA and Building Tomorrow

This semester has been my busiest since, well, hmmmm…. I’ve never been this busy. It has been a mad and fantastic rush toward the International Year of Astronomy. In the past 4 months I’ve been part of numerous grants (we got 1 too!), numerous papers (two submitted and others in various stages of draft), lots of new media projects (Portal to the Universe with ESO, 365 Days of Astronomy lead by Michael Koppelman, and Second Astronomy lead by Adrienne Gauthier), and, oh yeah, I’m teaching and Astronomy Cast went to two shows per week. Eek! I am working with the most amazing group of people, and we are building several really great projects, but lately I’ve had to periodically let a few things slip between my fingers as I’ve tried...

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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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AAS New Media Resources

AAS New Media Resources

I’d like to start this post by publicly saying I couldn’t be prouder of how well everyone did in the workshops and sessions on new media. From handling random technical messes to giving presentations to remotely, from ad libbing demos to answer questions to just wiring computers and manning cameras – they did it all, they did it well, and I think we took turns making one another laugh as we worked our collective asses off. Here is to (in alphabetical order): Adrienne Gauthier, Chris Lintott, Emily Lakdawalla, Georgia Bracey, Jordan Raddick, Lance Walters, Lars Christensen, Michael Koppelman, Nancy Atkinson, Pedro Russo, Phil Plait, Preston Gibson, Robert Hurt, and Scott Miller. I would also be remiss if I didn’t say that Chris and Scott...

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Language of Virtual Communications

I’m coming to realize more and more than I live equally in virtual space and in real space. I collaborate with wonderful people spread around the world and I gab with them over Skype as we read one another’s blogs to see into one another’s worlds. Thursday, I even had a “Dang – these jeans don’t fit right” conversation with Adrienne, the IYA New Media Second Life lead about virtual jeans (I managed to make an IYA T-Shirt look, um, like something that shouldn’t be worn in real or virtual public thanks to jeans that were cut a bit low). This second reality of virtual friendships sometimes leads to fascinating turns of phrase. Imagine hearing the words, “You still seem to be my friend,” in real life. Can...

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AAS Day 2: Making Wishes come True

Earlier today I was giving a presentation on the IYA new media plans for next year. At one point, on behalf of the wonderful Adrienne Gauthier, I was talking about our plans (funding pending) for IYA in Second Life. After I said that “pending funding” sentence, Kris Koenig of Interstellar Studios raised his hand and said, “I’ll take care of it.” I was so confused by what he said that I looked at my overhead to see what I had written. He repeated himself and others in the audience clarified “He’s buying your team the IYA island,” and I, well, I had a giggly-thank you-“oh wow that’s wonderful” moment at the front of the room. I can now proudly state that 400 Years of the Telescope Partnership will be...

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