• iceberg
  • boy with flowers
  • checking water quality
  • planet eclipse
  • solarsystem model
  • rangitoto trees
  • kids with test tubes
  • kids with earth
  • snowy mountains
  • teens in physics class
  • Rainbow Clouds

    Refraction and diffraction of light through ice crystals in the clouds

  • Philippa On The Ice

    Philippa On The Ice Philippa Werry at an Antarctic research camp 2016

New Zealand Science Teacher

Teacher Education in Science

Join the science education Twittersphere

Twitter has real benefits for science educators, writes RACHEL CHISNALL.

At a school Professional Development day, I signed up to twitter with a personal account: @ibpossum. I dabbled a little, followed Steven Fry, and forgot about it.

Six months later, I set up a twitter account especially for promoting the ChemEd conference, held in Dunedin in 2013, and haven’t really looked back.

Since then, the number of science teachers on Twitter has grown, and thanks partly to the efforts of Danielle Myburgh (@MissDtheTeacher) and her #edchatNZ hastag, Twitter has become more accepted as an amazing source of professional development opportunities, resources, and support for teachers trying different blended learning strategies.

SciCon is coming up in a couple of weeks, and I’m trying to encourage more science teachers to join us on twitter where we want to develop a professional learning group with a specific science focus. As a relatively new teacher (5th year) in my second school, I am aware that there are so many teachers out there who are essentially an untapped resource for professional learning. As time pressures and the costs of PD increase within schools, learning for free in a supportive, collaborative environment has been a huge plus for me.

I have already learned an enormous amount from fellow science tweeters @MissDtheteacher, @mattynicoll, @Ms_Beaker and @AndreaHenson_NZ, and I am using the #hackyrclass resources provided by @ClaireAmosNZ. There is also an amazing array of classroom technology tips, Solo Taxonomy examples, and fantastic blog post at your finger tips.

Twitter also helps alert me to amazing resources from the Science Learning Hub, the Biotechnology Learning Hub, NZ Science Teacher and other organisations who are all active on Twitter. I also have the opportunity to connect with research scientists, institutes, and teachers and their classrooms the world over.

I want to encourage you to sign on to Twitter, start following some science ‘tweeps’, and get learning for yourself and your students. I am trying to challenge myself to become more than a ‘lurker’ on Twitter and start contributing more to the already amazing network of passionate educators.

- Rachel is a teacher at Taieri College, Mosgiel, Dunedin, and has previously taught at St Hilda’s Collegiate School. Before switching to secondary teaching five years ago she worked at the University of Otago as a research fellow. She has a keen interest in student-centered learning, using technology, and blowing things up...


You can find her on twitter as @ibpossum

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