Today was another awesome day for my students and I. We were able to do a Google Hangout with shark scientists.
In my ecology class we are spending learning about sharks in the ocean ecosystems and shark conservation. As any teacher knows the best way to get a real perspective in a field of study is to talk to the professionals in that field. In case you are wondering how I found shark scientists to video chat with my students and I, the answer is Twitter. Yep, scientists are on Twitter talking about science.
We were fortunate to have 3 scientists: David Sheffman @WhySharksMatter, Alister Dove @para_sight, and Chuck Bangley @SpinyDag answer student questions. We also had three teachers John Romano @PaleoRomano with his class, Tricia Shelton @TdiShelton – her class was unable to participate because of a snow day, and lastly the teacher next door to me, Eric Solomon @mr_2fish and his class. He is a marine biologist gainfully employed as science teacher.
My apologies to everyone. I did not realize the microphone on my new web-camera worked so well. I felt the need to repeat every question.
The discussion was great!
Many scientists “live tweet” the scientist conferences they go to. At other times scientists use Twitter to communicate findings, research, and even collaboration. Twitter can be used for more than keeping up with the mundane breakfast options of celebrities. Here is a list of scientists I follow (I add to the list daily).
Not only did I want to give my students a chance to talk with scientists face to face, I also wanted to build excitement for a bigger event next week on December 12th. Every month during the school year students across the US and Canada, login to Twitter to talk to scientists in from New York to New Zealand. We call it #SciStuChat (that is also the hashtag we use for our Twitter chat). On Thursday next week we will be discussing misconceptions about sharks. Last month we discussed bioluminescence. Archive of the discussions can be found here along with the home page.
It is a great experience and I would encourage anyone to check it out. 2nd Thursday of the month at 8pm Central US time using Twitter and the hashtag #SciStuChat.
BTW one of the scientists Dr. Dove was on CNN last and this week.
Also David Shiffman works hard to fix bad media about sharks – Recently there was a Shark PhotoBomb – it was actually a Dolphin – check out https://diigo.com/01gh0s and also Davids Blog about the picture. http://www.southernfriedscience.com/?p=16296