Expert Helps Teachers Embrace Science Technology

Expert Helps Teachers Embrace Science Technology

Expert Helps Teachers Embrace Science Technology

Explore the fascinating worlds of Everyday Science with us.

The Scientific Teachers Network (STN) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the teacher education and professional development of teachers and education researchers. The group is a collaborative effort between eight American teachers organizations, including the American Association of Physics Teachers, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Academy of General Education, the Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, the Consortium of School Organization (COOP), the California Teachers Association, the Association of Secondary School Principals, and the Association of College and Research Libraries.

A-levels in science are common, yet little is known about how best to motivate, coach, and instruct students on the latest science literacy technologies. STN’s team has developed a new magazine, Curriculum Technology, that combines new features with content from Science Teachers Beyond, the main magazine section of the Science Teachers Network. They also recently created a course, Growing SECToSchools for The Clifton Rodman Journalism Center at the New School. We spoke with Judith Bielenberg, Executive Director of STN and Founder of Science Teachers Beyond, about Curriculum Technology.

What is Curriculum Technology?

Curriculum Technology publishes an education section where educators can buy original, online content and subscribe to it for $5 a month or $95 a year. It provides teachers with guidance on new technology for incorporating into classroom use and tries to help teachers understand their own psychology to learn how to use new technology effectively.

“Curriculum Technology not only offers educators the tools and resources they need to be successful, but also provides educators access to a professional network in a diverse group of educators with expertise in engaging their students in learning,” says Bielenberg.

Why should educators subscribe to Curriculum Technology?

We’re a not-for-profit organization and we need to raise money to fund our costs. Subscription to Curriculum Technology is a part of our campaign.

What are some ways that teachers can encourage their students to use technology effectively?

It starts with the communication with students and providing technology that teachers are comfortable with. It’s also about providing simple, low-cost solutions to help teachers teach students to engage in technology. For example, teachers could use an electronic whiteboard, computer adaptive learning modules or a website. We also want to teach teachers how to build their own application.

Also, a good opportunity for teachers to get involved is connecting students to an active community like Science Teachers Beyond, where their colleagues can give them real-life examples of how technology is being used to engage students in science and provide guidance. We also hope to create more meaningful relationships with parents to help students keep up with the latest technology skills needed to do well in school. Finally, the community collaboration that Science Teachers Beyond provides can help students in other schools learn what their schools are doing with technology.

How do you create personalized content for your subscribers?

We chose to publish content from Science Teachers Beyond to be more readily available than content from us. We already know that our content is made by and for our teacher readers.

For example, we can use the educator photographers we have as an example of what we would do in our own magazine. We put the images on STN’s web site and they are then distributed to our members. We also use a web portal called My Student Portal, which serves as an information resource for teachers. With My Student Portal, we have access to teachers’ own curriculum, research and classroom documentation. If a teacher uses the portal to research an education system, that info is sent to STN’s community of educators for them to share on their own portal.

How do teachers know they’re getting the content they want?

Members can subscribe to Curriculum Technology through our Curriculum Technology Newsletter. We have a simple questionnaire that asks questions such as: What topics do you read that you feel are relevant to today’s teacher? What are your greatest fears when using or teaching new technology? What other educators do you know are experts in their field?

Has Technology helped you be a better teacher?

Technology makes teaching and learning fun and fun helps me to see how it can be incorporated in the classroom. I know that science tools enhance my children’s learning experience and help them learn more when they are in the classroom. I use things such as educational technology to help children apply concepts. I feel like technology can help to enhance the learning experience at home as well.

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