(cross-posted from my blog)

The lab bench, beakers, liquids, a balance, data in a notebook these are the makings of the class lab. Now add in the lab report. Follow the way of writing science, abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion…Now turn it in, and move forward to the next assignment.


Now consider this: The lab bench, beakers, liquids, a balance, data in a notebook these are the makings of the class lab. Now add in the lab report. Follow the way of writing science, abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion…Post the report online seeking feedback and collaboration from your PLN (personal learning network). Go to your PLN, look at what they have done? Are you getting similar results? How do you (the PLN) explain the differences? What questions are you left with?

Or consider this: An open ended question is posed. Begin designing a way to answer the question, posting ideas and methods as you go. Feedback and suggestions come in allowing you to fine-tune your approach while you offer the same courtesy to others. As you collect data it is posted to a wiki set up to answer the question at hand. Other groups looking at the same question, but in different ways, add to the wiki too. Then end result is a collaborative document of evidence.

With companies like Novartis and Intel opening up data on previously closely held secrets and the tools of mass collaboration becoming commonplace in the global economy, science is beginning this big step forward.

As the pace of science quickens, there will be less value in stashing new scientific ideas, methods, and results in subscription-only journals and databases, and more value in wide-open collaborative-knowledge platforms that are refreshed with each new discovery. These changes will enhance the ability of scientists to find, retrieve, sort, evaluate, and filter the wealth of human knowledge, and, of course, to continue to enlarge and improve it.

- The New Science of Sharing

This one reference is chock full of good 21st century literacy skills, skills previously untaught in science classes. The relevance of information skills to science students is central to the processes of science. Using blogs and wikis students can be given the opportunity to develop the habits of mind required of a 21st century scientist. And given the increasing relevance of science to our daily lives shouldn’t we all be scientists?

Views: 105

Comment by WmChamberlain on January 31, 2008 at 8:48am
Nice! I teach fifth grade science. This gives me something to consider.
Comment by jamie anderson on March 2, 2010 at 1:31pm
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am a secondary science education major at the University of South Alabama, and I am take a computer application for teachers class this semester, and this is the first post I have read on how to apply the applications to a science classes.

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