Probably the reason that I haven’t started a blog before now was that I couldn’t come up with a sufficiently witty title. Most of the resources that I read about blogs agree that the title has at least some importance in defining what your readers should expect to see. First impressions and all that. The “Science Education” part is pretty obvious, I’ve been teaching high school science for 10 years, yay for me. But for those of you reading this, maybe a bit of explanation is in order for the “on the edge” part of the blog title.
Here’s why “on the edge:” secondary education as we know it is changing. The writing is on the Web. Look around the world and see what teachers are doing with podcasts, iTunesU, learning management systems, and web 2.0 tools, not to mention the boring old webpage/wiki. Throw in some social networking and you have powerful tools for interacting with students in ways that were not possible a few years ago.
Where do I land in this jungle of edtech novelty? I am on the Edge. I teach in a physical classroom where I do actual labs with chemicals and specimens with my students. I even lecture and hold discussions while in the same room as my students. But I also have a reasonably large digital presence and online courses established to supplement what we do in class. I just went a whole semester without giving any paper tests to speak of. With only a little extra effort, my students could stay home sick for a month and not fall behind in class because its all online to some extent.
The Edge that I plan to think on and write more about in this blog is how we as teachers go about the task of integrating the educational system of yesterday with the tools of today. It is not meant to be “cutting edge” or “edgy” but hopefully will instead describe my view from a classroom full of laptop computers in a little rural town in Colorado.