Initial Publication Date: October 8, 2015

In the Trenches - October 2015

Volume 5, Number 4

In This Issue

Online Supplements This site provides web links that supplement the print articles as well as news and web resources. Members can follow the "Read more" links below to access full versions of the articles online. To receive the full edition of In the Trenches, join NAGT

Journeying to the Center of the Earth Using iPads and Smart Phones

Sheila Alfsen, Yamhill Valley campus, Chemeketa Community College and Dana Houston Jackson, Western Oregon University

The U.S. Department of Education has provided a national educational technology plan (2010) titled Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology. The plan (p. 12) recommends applying advanced technologies to instruction and pedagogy to improve student learning, encouraging teachers to "design, implement, and evaluate technology-powered programs and interventions to ensure that students progress through our K-16 education system and emerge prepared for the workplace and citizenship." Many students today have school-issued iPads or their own smart phones or tablets and are familiar with how to operate them; they often enjoy seeing technology utilized in the science classroom. These devices have allowed educators to implement current technology to illustrate a variety of concepts — seismic waves being among them. Read more...

Science, Journalism Undergraduates Join Forces to Boost Public Understanding of Water Quality Issues

Lee J. Florea, Adam J. Kuban, Zach C. Korst, and Rick T. Purtha, Ball State University

Experiential learning theory is the process whereby knowledge results from guiding students through immersion, implementation of potential solution to, and reflection about ill-defined problems (Kolb, 1984). In other words, students learn and therefore acquire knowledge through experience. In a more contemporary context, Giroux (2010) argues that students must be provided this opportunity as it allows them "to come to terms with their own power as critically engaged citizens." Giroux further argues that educators do not adequately prepare students for the complexities associated with real-world issues. This problem seems particularly apparent in the nexus of journalism and science education. Read more...

NAGT, GSA, and CUR Education Division Awards for 2015

We are very happy to congratulate the winners of a number of awards being given by NAGT, the GSA Education Division, and the Council on Undergraduate Research Geoscience Division. These awards will be officially presented at the 2015 Awards Luncheon taking place on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 during the GSA Annual Meeting. Read about all the award winners.

First Annual Earth Educators Rendezvous

Cathryn A. Manduca, Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College, Heather Macdonald, College of William and Mary, and Laurel Goodell, Princeton University

The first ever Earth Educators' Rendezvous, held at the University of Colorado in Boulder in July, provided more than 300 participants with a new kind of opportunity for learning and sharing in order to improve Earth education. Many attendees were geoscience faculty, but participants also included faculty from a wide variety of disciplines — from English to environmental science.Read more...

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Web Features

NAGT, its members, and its sponsored projects have produced a number of resources related to the topics addressed in this issue.

On the Cutting Edge: Teaching with Data, Simulations, and Models »

Today's geoscience education reaches beyond the traditional teaching tools such as rock samples and topographic maps. With the addition of computers in many geoscience classrooms and laboratories, faculty have unprecedented opportunity to create innovative learning experiences by bringing real-world data sets and models and simulations of geoscience processes into the classroom.

Preparing Teachers to Teach Earth Science »

This site examines the role of geoscience departments and faculty in preparing preservice teachers and supporting practicing teachers who teach Earth science at all pre-college levels.

InTeGrate: Environmental Justice and Freshwater Resources »

Despite the fact that most people would agree that water is a shared resource, few think about who gets what share of fresh water. This module enables students to identify the freshwater components of the hydrologic cycle and connect them to the basic need of all human beings for equal access to clean fresh water.

InTeGrate: Interactions between Water, Earth's Surface, and Human Activity »

This 2 week InTeGrate module focuses on water and its importance to humans, both as a limited resource and in shaping Earth's surface. Student activities include using simplified physical models of complicated systems, utilizing Google Earth data and images, and working with real hydrological data sets.

Starting Point: Interactive Lecture Demonstrations »

Interactive Lecture Demonstrations engage students in activities that confront their prior understanding of a core concept. The activity can be a classroom experiment, a survey, a simulation or an analysis of secondary data.

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