teaching

Yesterday, I wrote about students using science blogging as a way to develop an on-line portfolio and document their skills.  One friend wrote me this morning and asked if my instructions to our students were really as simple as I described.

Well, no.

In fact, it wasn't easy to persuade my colleagues that we should let students blog.  I had to promise them I would scrutinize every post and make sure no one got in trouble.  Luckily, our student bloggers are responsible ... Read more

When I was a post-doc, I spent a few months seriously thinking about changing careers and teaching high school. I might have followed through on that plan, too, but I didn't know how to pay for it.

Today, if you have a background in science, technology, math, or engineering, you can retrain to become a teacher and the National Science Foundation will help. The Robert Noyce scholarship program has funds to help ease that transition to the classroom.

From the NSF web site:

The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program seeks to encourage talented

... Read more

Experimenting with on-line worksheets

I know some people who always teach their classes the same way, semester after semester, year after year.. Not me. I always want to experiment and try new things.

This fall, I'm experimenting with using a wiki in the classroom, in addition to my blog. This wont be my first wiki experience. We've long used wikis where I work, and I've used them to collaborate with people in different locations, but this is the first time that I'll try one in a teaching situation.

The wikis in my past ... Read more

HealthMap is a great site that could be an excellent resource when teaching a biology, microbiology, or health class. Not to mention, I can picture people using it before they travel somewhere or even just for fun.

I learned about HealthMap awhile ago from Mike the Mad Biologist, but I didn't get time to play with the site until today.

Here's an example to see how it works.

How do I use HealthMap?

... Read more

I love using molecular structures as teaching tools. They're beautiful, they're easy to obtain, and working with them is fun.

i-9790f45bb226e437ef4adac839e2d21a-herpes.png

But working with molecular structures as an educators can present some challenges. The biggest problem is that many of the articles describing the structures are not accessible, particularly those published by the ACS (American Chemical Society). I ... Read more

The other day, I wrote that I wanted to make things easier for my students by using the kinds of software that they were likely to have on their computers and the kinds that they are likely to see in the business and biotech world when they graduate from college.

More than one person told me that I should have my students install an entirely different operating system and download OpenOffice to do something that looks a whole lot harder in Open Office than it is in Microsoft Excel.

I guess they ... Read more

When in doubt, turn to the internet.

In a couple of weeks, I'm going to start teaching my first on-line course. So far, I've been preparing by:

  1. learning how to use Blackboard
  2. getting a subscription to iFinch so we can do bioinformatics in style, and share data and other files
  3. getting a microphone and some software for making video podcasts

But, since this is brand new and I'm used to seeing students face-to-face, I have a queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. I do not want to be one of those ... Read more

Biology as a second-language: the immersion method
Language teachers say the best way to learn a language is by total immersion and even better, spending time in the country where it's spoken conversing with native speakers.

See it, hear it, speak it, use it!

Put yourself in a position where you must do these four things to survive (or at least find the restroom) and you will learn more rapidly than by any other method.

Graduate school serves a similar purpose for scientists. You go from an ... Read more