At the same time, as busy teachers, trying to meet the needs of all of our students, we don't have time to read research journals across several disciplines of science. What follows are some resources that I use to stay current in the every-changing world of science so that I can ensure that my students get an up-to-date version of the science I'm teaching. I hope some of these resources also prove helpful to you.
My first recommendation is connecting with scientists on Twitter. By following a variety of scientists on Twitter, I am exposed, on a regular basis, to their research and their commentary on how the media reports research. Stay connected to great educators, but sprinkle in a few scientists as well.
Another way that I stay current in science is by listening to podcasts. Here are a few of my favorites.
- Minute Earth and Minute Physics--these short videos employ hand drawn illustrations and simple but not simplistic explanations of current science.
- 60-second science--this podcast is published by Scientific American and features quick highlights of current research that appears in reputable science journals. Each episode is less than 2 minutes long.
- Science Friday has long been a mainstay of public radio. It airs from 2-4 in the afternoon in my area. The problem is that I'm in school during most of that time. Fortunately, I can have each week's episode delivered to my podcast app so that I can listen at my convenience. Each week's episode is about 2 hours long and features science highlights as well as interviews with scientists about current events/topics in science.
- Astronomy Cast is a weekly podcast that I enjoy. It's dedicated to all things astronomy and space physics. University of Illinois professor, Dr. Pamela Gay, is the content expert featured on this podcast.
- HHMI's Holiday Lectures on Science--each year, The Howard Hughes Medical Institute hosts a holiday lecture series for high school students. The lecture series is archived on their website is converted to podcast format as well. I anxiously await these gems being published as podcasts in the spring of each year.
- The BBC World Service just wrapped up their Elements podcast series. This series looks at how individual chemical elements play a role in our lives and our economy. The entire series is available on the BBC website or as a podcast.
How do you stay current in the every-changing world of science? Comment to share any suggestions or your favorite science-related podcasts below.