11 January 2010

A Preview of Coming Attractions

---Science Online 2010 Promo by Cephalopodcast

Later this week, I'm off to North Carolina for ScienceOnline 2010. Bora from A Blog Around the Clock started recruiting me last August. And I, being a girl who can't say "No," decided to jump on in and participate this year.

I was telling some colleagues earlier this week that what intrigues me most about this conference is that while it is all well and good for us educators to promote "21st Century Skills" in classrooms---here is a group of adults (most of whom were educated in "traditional" environments) who are remaking their professional world. Can we, as educators, claim that blogs, wikis, cell phones, and other tools have a place in the classroom when we don't couple that with examples of how real world professionals use these? I won't pretend that the kinds of online tools available to a kindergartner today will be the same as the ones when s/he exits graduate school, but I will predict that open access and the ability to connect with others across the globe will be even more important. So I am approaching this conference with a bit of an anthropological take.

I am leading or co-moderating three sessions (more on that in another post). It has been fun for me to un-think my usual approach for this "unconference," where sessions are driven by the knowledge, skills, and interests of participants. I like the idea that I don't have to be the expert...and I also like the idea of being part of the collective expertise for the sessions I attend. My plan is to immerse myself in as many events as possible. I am hoping not to become too starstruck among the science blogerati that will be present: Carl Zimmer, PZ Meyers, Dr. Isis, and more.

So, expect a slew of posts (I believe that is the proper collective noun) this week about ScienceOnline 2010. You can also follow the event on Facebook, Twitter, and via the main conference wiki. Just click the ScienceOnline 2010 link at the beginning of the post. If you can't be there with us in person, at least you can be present in ether.


Lab Rat said...

Looking forward to the posts! I can't make it to the conference (I'm on the wrong side of the atlantic and term just started) but I will definitely be following it online as much as I can.

Andy said...

Looking forward to meeting you (and the other citizen scientists) at the conference. I'm giving a demo on another citizen science effort, The Open Dinosaur Project, but unfortunately it's concurrent with your session! Hopefully I'll get a chance to pick your brain at another point during the meeting. . .

The Science Goddess said...

Lab Rat---it sounds like there will be lots of posts and tweets and other media coverage. You may end up with a broader scope of experience than those of us immersed in things at the event. Hope you can make it next year!

Andy---One of the things I'm looking forward to with this conference is that it's small. Plenty of opportunities to connect with people. Hope we get to chat.