Why “on the edge?”

cliffedge1Probably 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.

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1 thought on “Why “on the edge?”

  1. Sean Nash

    Nice start, Chris. Good for you for doing this. Our online biology community will only better because of it. You will be forever changed by being behind the wheel of your own place. It is different that pretty much any other web2 thing I have done.

    I appreciate your mission as stated in this post. I like the fact that you even begin this blog on what I see as such stable footing. What I mean by this is the fact that though you already dwell in collaborative web technologies with students… you are grounded enough to be aware that the physical world in which we dwell in is still (and likely always will be) of terrific importance. I know that sounds silly, but some are already so taken by clickyshiny things that they have looked past what matters. It is encouraging to see another who is fearless to try new things… and yet not so reckless as to abandon that which is already of lasting value.

    I look forward to it… be sure to always update us on Twitter when you post. I tend to look less at my reader these days and more to Twitter for news from the people I wish to follow.

    ps- superclean lines in the theme. i like it.




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