Blogs: a tool for the physical sciences

Kaye Placing, Mary-Helen Ward, Mary Peat, Pedro Telleria Teixeira


Teaching and learning are never static processes, and in the sciences we are increasingly mindful of the constructivist learning paradigm. We accept that science education needs to change from teacher-centred teaching to student-centred learning, from passive learning to active learning and towards a blended learning situation that relies heavily on research-led teaching. Lately we have been asking how the newest developments on the Web can be used to achieve these goals. Direct publishing to the web and content aggregation tools such as blogs, wikis and RSS (Really Simple Syndication) are having a powerful effect on publishing. These are excellent tools for promoting ongoing dialogue. Because of their ability to provide thoughtful dialogue within a short time frame, they provide a platform within science education for discussion on current theories and recent discoveries and development. One excellent example of a blog being used in this way is Real Climate ( with its ongoing discussion of global dimming and other issues of climate change. This paper aims to explore the various forms of direct publishing and content aggregation tools currently available to educators and the range of educational activities to which they are being applied. However, our search for examples of how blogs are being used in science research, science education and research into science education has not been very rewarding.

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