Archive for January, 2010

Web 2.0 training in Northern Uganda

Monday, January 25th, 2010

posted by: Tom Loughran


These site volunteers in Northern Uganda are undergoing web 2.0 training: learning to access and assess information in wikipedia, posting to a wiki, getting familiar with a range of Google services (gmail, chat, docs, search, maps, etc), and exploring twitter and other social networking sites. These are users who are living in what three years ago was a war zone, and who must travel to the district capital of Gulu to have a stable source of electricity. Web 2.0 opportunites, coupled with solar power, wifi wireless technology, and low-powered PCs, together consititute a set of technologies that are bypassing traditional infrastructure requirements and enabling users to overcome isolation and enter the global conversation.

We might keep this example in mind as we work to integrate web 2.0 technologies into classrooms in the United States. The rest of the world isn’t waiting.

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Just another day at the Museum of Natural History….

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

posted by: Tom Loughran

0122001203.jpg, originally uploaded by NDeRC2.

If you haven’t had the chance, go to the Museum of Natural History on the DC Mall. Here are a few images captured by cell phone.

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Cool pics with Cooliris

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

posted by: Tom Loughran

This is just another cool app to share–this widget is from Cooliris express. For PC and updated (10.5+) Mac users, the full application (free) is even better. Enjoy.

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Presenting at Professional Meetings

Monday, January 4th, 2010

posted by: Tom Loughran

kate, originally uploaded by NDeRC2.

Presenting at professional meetings is a regular activity of STEM graduate students, post-docs and faculty. NDeRC fellow Kate Rueff sent this image (at my request…thanks, Kate:) of her poster presentation at this year’s AAS (American Astronomical Society) meeting. NDeRC cohort 1 fellow Joe Ribaudo is also presenting at this same meeting. Among the meeting highlights, Kate reports, is the Kepler mission’s discovery of five new exoplanets.

K-12 students and teachers don’t often get to see this side of professional life. Two years ago I traveled to a similar AAS meeting in Austin, Texas with two high school students who had been studying star formation rate in distant galaxy clusters in a program sponsored by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. Here are one student’s reflections on the trip.

If STEM education consists in issuing effective invitations into STEM community, both those being educated and the educators ought to know what it is like to be part of the community. Imagine a world where STEM graduate and/or undergraduate students reported on their presentations at professional meetings to K-12/undergraduate classrooms, filled with students and teachers with whom they have a substantial collaborative history. “Here’s what the STEM community–our community–is doing”, these presenters convey in their report, “and what you’ll be doing, too.” What keeps us from building a community like this?

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